Schweizer SGU 1-7
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Schweizer Metal Aircraft Company|
|Designer||Ernst and Paul Schweizer|
Design and development
Schweizer Aircraft started construction of the 1-7 prototype 1937, shortly after the SGU 1-6 came in third in the 1937 Eaton Design Contest. The intention was that the winning design would be made available as drawings and kits for amateur construction and that Bureau of Air Commerce certification would be sought.
The 1-6 had not fared well in the competition and none of the winners in the contest had proven as easy to construct as the contest organizers had hoped. As a result of the lessons learned in the Eaton contest a new clean-sheet design was started by the Schweizer brothers.
The resulting single seater-seventh design (1-7) was quite different from the 1-6. The 1-6 had been an all-metal design including aluminum-covered wings and was the first all-metal glider ever built.
The 1-7 was designed to use more traditional methods and has a steel-tube fuselage frame covered in aircraft fabric. The wing is a constant chord, single spar, strut-braced type, including jury struts. The wing and horizontal tail are built from aluminum with fabric covering. The aircraft was designed to be as simple and inexpensive as possible to construct, even at the cost of higher performance.
While only two Schweizer SGU 1-7s were built the type was the beginning of a long line of Schweizer gliders based upon this design. The 1-7 lead directly lead to the improved single place Schweizer SGU 1-19 and long-wing Schweizer SGU 1-20. With two seats installed the basic design became the Schweizer SGU 2-22 trainer and finally evolved into the Schweizer SGS 2-33.
The aircraft was originally sold to the Altosaurus Soaring Club of North Conway, New Hampshire for USD$595. This club was formed by a group of Harvard University skiers from the Schussverien Ski Club. They used the single-seat 1-7 to teach themselves to fly by auto tow and winch launch. The aircraft was thought by the club members to resemble a pterodactyl in flight and was painted with one on both sides of the aircraft's nose.
- Crew: One
- Wingspan: 36 ft in (10.97 m)
- Wing area: 134 ft2 (12.5 m2)
- Empty weight: 243 lb (110 kg)
- Gross weight: 423 lb (192 kg)
- Maximum glide ratio: 17.5 at 45 mph (72 km/h)
- Rate of sink: 210 ft/min (1.07 m/s)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Schweizer, Paul A: Wings Like Eagles, The Story of Soaring in the United States, page 56. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988. ISBN 0-87474-828-3
- Said, Bob: 1983 Sailplane Directory, Soaring Magazine, page 26. Soaring Society of America, November 1983. USPS 499-920
- Activate Media (2006). "SGU 1-7 Schweizer". Archived from the original on 2002-05-06. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- Federal Aviation Administration (April 2008). "FAA Registry". Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- Schweizer Aircraft Corporation (2006). "Schweizer Aircraft Corporation History". Archived from the original on 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- Munson, J. (n.d.). "Sailplanes in Our Collection". Archived from the original on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
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