Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Gerhard Glaser, owner of a civil engineering business, and Diplom Ingenieur Wilhelm Dirks, founded the Glaser-Dirks Flugzeugbau GmbH company. In 1972, they built their first glider, the DG-100. Glaser-Dirks produced 105 DG-100 and another 222 units have been produced later at the Elan factory. In 1977 the 15-meter class sailplane DG-200 entered the market. In 1978 the DG-200 was updated with 17-meter wingtip extensions. The DG-200/17 is one of the most sought-after gliders on the secondhand market. By 1980 Glaser-Dirks pushed into carbon fiber construction with the DG-200/17C motorglider. The DG-400 followed the next year and quickly became one of the best-selling motorgliders of all time. In 1983, version DG-300 Club Elan was designed to replace the DG-100 in the production line, and the fully aerobatic version DG-300 Elan Acro contributed to its popularity. The DG-300 is still in production; up until today 484 DG-300s have been delivered. In 1987 the two-seat DG-500 made its first flight, and the motorized DG-500M followed only 4 weeks later. Next came the 15m class sailplane DG-600. In 1989 a motorized self-launching version, the DG-600M followed. The latest product family is the DG-800, which was optimized for 18m span with wing flaps and equipped with modern wing sections designed by L.M. Boermans from the TU Delft. In May 1993, the self-launching version DG-800A and the pure sailplane DG-800S made their maiden flights. The newest projects are the DG-1000 in both sailplane and motorglider variations, along with the high performance two-seat LS10.