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Schweizer SGS 2-32

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SGS 2-32
Role Open-class sailplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Schweizer Aircraft Corporation
Designer Ernest Schweizer[1]
First flight 3 July 1962[2]
Number built 87
External image
image icon Schweizer SGS 2-32

The Schweizer SGS 2-32 is an American two-seat, mid-wing, two or three-place glider built by Schweizer Aircraft of Elmira, New York.[3]

The 2-32 was designed to be the highest performance two-place glider available, when it first flew in 1962. The 2-32 has been used as a tourist glider, trainer, cross-country and high-altitude sailplane and has set many US and world records. A total of 87 aircraft were completed.[1][3][4][5]

Design and development[edit]

The SGS 2-32 was conceived as a mass-produced sailplane of modest performance to act as a step-up from the SGU 2-22 trainer then in common use in North America. After careful examination of the potential market, the company decided to produce a higher performance sailplane with a greater wingspan instead.[4]

The 2-32 design was started in 1961 and completed with certification under type certificate G1EA on 19 June 1964.[4][6]

The 2-32 is all-metal, with a semi-monocoque aluminum fuselage and cantilever wings of 57 foot (17.37 m) span. It has top-and-bottom divebrakes and an all-flying stabilator tail.[1][3]

The aircraft seats two or three, with one seat in the front cockpit and a double bench seat in the back suitable for two smaller people of 150 lb (68 kg) each, maximum. The aircraft is often described as a "212 seater".[1][3][4]

The ability to carry two passengers, plus its complete and comfortable interior has made the 2-32 a popular aircraft with commercial glider operators for conducting tourist flights. The ability to carry two passengers doubled profitability for rides.[4]

The first customer aircraft were delivered in 1964, shortly after certification was completed.[4]

The type certificate is currently held by K & L Soaring of Cayuta, New York. K & L Soaring now provides all parts and support for the Schweizer line of sailplanes.[6][7]

Derivative designs[edit]

The SGS 2-32 has been the basis of several derivative designs, including:[5]

Operational history[edit]

As soon as it entered service many pilots realized that this high performance two-place sailplane would be ideal to break many of the two-place records previously set by lower performance gliders.[3][4]

At one time the 2-32 held the two-place speed records over 100 km, 300 km and 500 km courses, as well as many distance, out and return and altitude records in both the men's and women's categories. 2-32s were also flown in the 1964 US Nationals.[3][4]

Some of the records set by pilots flying SGS 2-32s include:

  • World record two-place out and return flight, 404 miles (654 km), May 23, 1970, Joe Lincoln and Cris Crowl. Lincoln's 2-32, named Cibola, had special longer wings of 67-foot (20 m) span installed that increased performance further.[4]
  • World record two-place speed over 100 km (63 miles) Triangle, 74 mph (120 km/h), 1971, Joe Lincoln.[4]
  • World record two-place feminine absolute altitude 35,463 feet (10,809 m) and altitude gain 24,545 feet (7848 m), 5 March 1975, Babs Nutt.[1][3]

In May 2014 there were still 58 2-32s registered in the USA[11] and one in Canada.[12]

In USAF service at the United States Air Force Academy the 2-32 was known as the TG-5.

Aircraft on display[edit]

The National Soaring Museum has two SGS 2-32s in its collection, N2767Z and N8600R, the prototype.[13][14] N8600R is currently on loan to and on display at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.[15]

Specifications (2-32)[edit]

Two SGS 2-32s used for tourist flights, Dillingham Airfield Oahu, 1993

Data from The World's Sailplanes:Die Segelflugzeuge der Welt:Les Planeurs du Monde Volume II[2] and Colorado Soaring Association [16]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: two passengers
  • Length: 26 ft 9 in (8.15 m)
  • Wingspan: 57 ft 0 in (17.37 m)
  • Height: 4 ft 0 in (1.22 m) at cockpit
  • Wing area: 180 sq ft (16.7 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 18.05
  • Airfoil: RootNACA 633618, MidNACA 633618, Tip NACA 43 012A
  • Empty weight: 831 lb (377 kg) equipped
  • Gross weight: 1,430 lb (648 kg) Above 608 kg (1340 lb) only utility class


  • Stall speed: 46 mph (74 km/h, 40 kn)
  • Never exceed speed: 157 mph (252 km/h, 136 kn)
  • g limits: +5.8 -3.8 at 164.0 mph; 142.5 kn (264 km/h)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 35 at 55.9 mph; 48.6 kn (90 km/h)
  • Rate of sink: 124 ft/min (0.63 m/s) at 46.0 mph; 40.0 kn (74 km/h)
  • Wing loading: 6.0 lb/sq ft (29.3 kg/m2)

See also[edit]

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d e Activate Media (2006). "SGS 2-32 Schweizer". Archived from the original on April 29, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Shenstone, B.S.; K.G. Wilkinson (1963). The World's Sailplanes:Die Segelflugzeuge der Welt:Les Planeurs du Monde Volume II (in English, French, and German) (1st ed.). Zurich: Organisation Scientifique et Technique Internationale du Vol a Voile (OSTIV) and Schweizer Aero-Revue. pp. 237–238.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Said, Bob (November 1983). "1983 Sailplane Directory". Soaring Magazine. Soaring Society of America: 32.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Schweizer, Paul A (1988). Wings Like Eagles, The Story of Soaring in the United States. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. pp. 183–265. ISBN 0-87474-828-3.
  5. ^ a b c d e The Aristocrat - The Schweizer 2-32. Schweizer Aircraft Corp. n.d.
  6. ^ a b Federal Aviation Administration (September 2007). "GLIDER DATA SHEET NO. G1EA". Retrieved May 28, 2008.
  7. ^ K & L Soaring (n.d.). "K & L Soaring, LLC". Retrieved April 5, 2008.
  8. ^ Goebel, Greg. "The Prehistory of Endurance UAVs". VectorSite. Accessed 2010-06-18. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  9. ^ Taylor, John W.R. (1973). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1973–74. London: Jane's Yearbooks. p. 431. ISBN 0-354-00117-5.
  10. ^ Jenkins, Dennis R.; et al. (June 2003). "AMERICAN X-VEHICLES" (PDF). Retrieved November 8, 2008.
  11. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (May 2014). "FAA Registry". Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  12. ^ Transport Canada (May 2014). "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  13. ^ Munson, J. (n.d.). "Sailplanes in Our Collection". Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2008.
  14. ^ "N8600R N-Number Search". FAA. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  15. ^ "General Aviation". Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  16. ^ SGS 2-32 at Colorado Soaring Association


External links[edit]

Media related to Schweizer SGS 2-32 at Wikimedia Commons