Schneider ES-65

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ES-65 Platypus
Role Two seat advanced trainer
National origin Australia
Manufacturer Edmund Schneider Ltd, Adelaide
Designer Harry Schneider
First flight August 1984
Number built 1

The Schneider ES-65 Platypus is a two-seater unflapped glider designed and built by Edmund Schneider Ltd in Australia. A single prototype was built, which remains operational as of 2012.

Design and development[edit]

The Edmund Schneider company was originally based in Grunau, Silesia but reformed after World War II in Adelaide, Australia, producing the successful Schneider ES-60 from 1960 until 1970. Anticipating an Australian market for an ES-60-based side by side two-seater Harry Schneider began design and construction of the ES-64, a marriage of ES-60 wings with a new glass reinforced plastic (GRP) fuselage. Australian gliding clubs showed little interest and the project proceeded slowly. In the early 1980s Schneider revived it with a simplified version, the ES-65 Platypus.[1]

The Platypus has the extended plywood skinned ES-60 wing, built around a single spar. The leading edge is unswept but the straight trailing edges have forward sweep that increases on the outer, aileron-carrying, panels. There are airbrakes mounted just aft of the spar on the inner panels. These wings were mid-mounted onto a new GRP fuselage. This has a maximum width of 1.20 m (3 ft 11 in) to accommodate the side by side seating but narrowed in pod and boom style, particularly in plan, behind the wings. The cockpit has a two-piece fixed screen extending almost to the nose and is accessed via a rear hinged, bulged canopy. The pod includes a fixed, faired, centre-line two wheel undercarriage, with a brake-equipped mainwheel under the wings and a smaller nosewheel.[1]

The tail is also mostly GRP, though the elevator uses carbon fibre for lightness. These surfaces are straight-edged and tapering, the fin is tall with a rudder that extends to the bottom of the fuselage. The high aspect ratio horizontal tail surface is mounted midway up the fin.[1]

The Platypus made its first flight in August 1984 and its handling and performance were generally judged to be good. There were plans to produce an all-GRP version, but the funding required was not available and no more ES-65s were built.[1]

Operational history[edit]

The prototype, VH-GFA, is owned by a syndicate of members of the Geelong Gliding Club[2] and of the Victorian Motorless Flight Group[3] based at Bacchus Marsh airfield, Victoria. It was still operational in 2005.[1]


Data from Sailplanes 1965-2005[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 7.726 m (25 ft 4 in)
  • Wingspan: 17.70 m (58 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 16.2 m2 (174 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 19.3
  • Airfoil: Wortmann FX61-164 root, FX61-140 inboard of aileron, FX60-126 tip
  • Empty weight: 400 kg (882 lb)
  • Gross weight: 590 kg (1,301 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 260 km/h (160 mph, 140 kn)
  • Stall speed: 72 km/h (45 mph, 39 kn)
  • Never exceed speed: 260 km/h (160 mph, 140 kn)
  • Wing loading: 36.4 kg/m2 (7.5 lb/sq ft)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Simons, Martin (2005). Sailplanes 1965-2000 (2nd revised ed.). Königswinter: EQIP Werbung & Verlag GmbH. pp. 12–15. ISBN 3 9808838 1 7.
  2. ^ "Geelong Gliding Club". Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Victorian Motorless Flight Group Inc". Retrieved 5 May 2015.