Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Glasflugel was founded by Eugen Hänle in 1962 and carried the logo of a dragonfly (in German “Libelle”). In May 1975, financial problems lead to a co-operation with the firm Schempp-Hirth. Until 1979 Glasflügel carried the name “Holighaus & Hillenbrand” and was then dissolved in 1982 as a German-Brazilian Aircraft Consortium. The founder, Eugen Hänle, was killed in a flight accident on the 21st of September, 1975.
Glasflugel began building the H-301 Libelle in mass production in 1963, a 15m glider with wing flaps, which achieved performance far ahead of the others in the newly created 15m class in 1975. Between 1964 and 1969 more than 100 gliders of this type, known as the Open Libelle, were mass-produced. This was the first time in history that an aircraft of fiberglass construction was mass-produced! There were other famous gliders
built at Glasflugel: the BS-1, Standard Libelle, Kestrel, Glasflugel 604, Club Libelle, Hornet, Mosquito, Glasflugel 304 and Glasflugel 402. In addition to these, there were some more prototypes, the 202, 203 and 204 were the predecessors of Club Libelle and Hornet.
The company’s most lasting design comes in the form of the Hornet, the top standard-class sailplane at the 1979 nationals contest. The 304 is a 15-meter-class smaller version of the 604. The Hornet offers a retractable monowheel, water ballast, and a large flush-fitting canopy. It is a shoulderwing cantilever monoplane with a T-tail and Wortmann wing section. The entire structure is a fiberglass monocoque and fiberglass/foam sandwich. Its carbon-fiber wing construction reduces the empty weight to 463 pounds compared to previous models. The Glasflugel 304 is a racing-class aircraft with a two-part double-tapered wing built with a fiberglass/hard-foam sandwich shell. The fuselage is a pure fiberglass shell with a one-piece canopy, and the empennage has a T-tail constructed of fiberglass and hard foam in a sandwich.