Tuesday, December 16, 2008



A quick glance at the gross weight or wingspan of the Calif motorglider or sailplane should tell the enthusiast that the pair are not ordinary aircraft. With 66.9 feet of wingspan, the A-21SJ is the only production turbojet-powered sailplane in the world. It offers side-byside seating and all-metal construction. The engine retracts into the fuselage just aft of the cockpit. Cruise speed is 124 mph and climb is 945 fpm. On 36 gallons of fuel, range is about 217 miles, with a ceiling of 43,300 feet. Takeoff run requires only 1,181 feet. Up to 90 percent of the parts between the sailplane and the motorglider are common to both, so the glider can be transformed easily into a jet glider, even in retrofit. The landing gear for both aircraft features dual main gear that retract into the undercarriage. Two small wheels are built into the wingtips. The wing is all-metal with a single spar, stressed skin, and fiberglass tips; the wing is fitted with top-hinged, differentially operated ailerons plus lower-hinged, aerodynamically balanced flaps/spoilers. The fuselage has a monocoque forward sectionof fiberglass with a load-carrying lightweight alloy structure. The tailboom is an all-metal stressed-skin unit ending in an all-metal single-spar tailplane.


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