Entry Level 33:1 Sailplane Information page
COMPARING ENTRY LEVEL SINGLE PLACE SAILPLANES

Recently I've done some comparisons of the 5 Sailplanes above for my own personal use and I share this now with others to save them the work of collecting it themselves. Of the 5, all but the SGS 1-34 can be bought new. The 1-34 sells used for $15K with trailer, where the others run from $22K -$30K (new) with enclosed trailer.

There is a lot to consider in buying a sailplane. The most comforting part is that they don't seem to depreciate unless they are involved in an accident. A matter of fact they have APPRECIATED historically. 1-34s were built from 1969 - 1976 and sold new for $8000 with trailer. So rather than park your money in a CD or mutual fund, park it in a thermal !

The following table is a summary of the data I have collected, followed by some personal discussion. Beware that this is ADVERTISED information, not measured information. Some test data exists that dispute some advertised performance claims. Please keep in mind too that I have not flown any of these but I have seen them all and have talked to many owners of each in drawing my own conclusions.

NOTE: INFORMATION and PRICES ARE AS PROVIDED TO ME FROM THE VENDORs 11/97 -1/98. CONSULT EACH VENDOR FOR the LATEST INFORMATION, OFFERINGS, and PRICING. Pricing is "Base" and as you add options and shipping to your destination the bottom line will be higher. IF you are about to buy one of these new sailplanes please collect the latest literature from the rep and rely on their most current information, offerings, and pricing rather than relying exclusively on the information presented here.
SGS 1-34
Blanik
L-33 solo
Russia 
AC-4
Junior
51-1
PW-5
Dimensions 
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Standard
Wing Span(ft) 
49.2
46.33
41.3
49.2
44.1
Length (ft) 
25.4
21.72
17.2
21.9
20.4
Height (ft) 
7.5
4.7
4.3
5.1
6.4
Wing area (Sq.Ft) 
151
118.4
82.9
134.6
109
Aspect ratio  
16
18.12
20.6
18
17.8
Wing loading at full-up weight (lb/sq.ft) 
5.5
 6.33
6.66
 6.2
6
Mean Aerodynamic Cord (ft) 
2.7
Best Glide ratio (measured) 
34@55 mph
(47.8 KIAS)
(88.5 km/hr)
33@49 KIAS
(56mph)
(90.7 km/h)
31@45 KIAS
(51.8 mph)
(83.3 km/h)
35@43 KIAS
(50mph)
(80 km/h)
33@43 KIAS
(49.3 mph)
(79.6 km/h)
Min. rate of sink (low end) 
126 fpm@47 mph
(41 KIAS)
(75.6 km/h)
130 fpm@37 KIAS
(42.5 mph)
(68.5 km/h)
130 fpm@37 KIAS
(42.5 mph)
(68.5 km/h)
114 fpm@37.8 KIAS
(43.2 mph)
(70 km/h)
126 fpm@73 km/h
(45 mph)
(39.4 KIAS)
Min. rate of sink (Cruise end) 
280 fpm@65 KIAS
(75 mph)
(120 km/h)
340 fpm@70 KIAS
(80.5 mph)
(129.5 km/h)
275 fpm@70 KIAS
(80.5 mph)
(129.5 km/h)
Min. rate of sink (Top end) 
450 fpm@80 KIAS
(92 mph)
(148 km/h)
393 fpm@80 KIAS
(92 mph)
(148 km/h)
COMPARE POLARS
 POLAR 
 POLAR 
  POLAR 
  POLAR 
Airspeed Speed  
KIAS
KIAS
KIAS
KIAS
KIAS
Never exceed speed 
130
119 
119
119
Rough air 
82
84
Maneuvering speed 
85
84
84
Maximum winch launching speed 
70
70
Maximum aerotowing speed 
85
81
Stall 
35@max wt.
34.5@440lb
32.4@ave wt.
33
g-limits 
+5.3/-2.65
+5.3/-2.6
+5.3/-2.65
+5.3/-2.65
Weights 
LBS
LBS
LBS
LBS
LBS
Max T/O and Landing 
840
750
551
837
660
Empty 
550
463
279
495
410
Pilot 
230
121-287
270
123-309
251
Wing Weight 
115
75
116
81
Pilot ht. 
5.1 - 6.6 ft
5.0 - 6.6 ft
Other 
Airfoil 
FX-61-163
FX 60-17AII-182 
FX-60-126 (tip)
FX-60-157
SO2-196
SO2-158 (tip)
NN 18-17
# built/in USA 
93/69
70/35
30/18 (12/1/97)
100/7
160/50 (12/8/97)
Handicap 
1.31
1.22
1.22
1.24
Adjustable rudder pedals 
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
TE probe installed 
Y
Y
Y
Not Required
Nose and CG tow hooks
Y
Rig time
>15min
>10 min
<5 min
>10 min
<10 min
Airworthiness Certificate 
Y
Y
N
N
N
Pricing - provided by reps 
Base aircraft  $13K - used  $22,700 base 

[Note 1] 

$18,000 base  $23,450 base  $21,500 base 
Perf Package  $495 to get 33:1 
Trailers - Enclosed  $5,900  $4500 $4,450 - 7,450  $5,750 
CONVERTERS = 
1 mph
(1.61 km/h)
(.869 KIAS)
1 KIAS
(1.15 mph)
(1.85 km/h)
1 km/h
(.62 mph)
(.54 KIAS)
1 KIAS
(1.15 mph)
(1.85 km/h)
1 ft = .303 m
1 m = 3.28 ft
Notes

1. Price DELIVERED to 14 states and 4 Canadian Provinces. Other locations are higher; contact rep.

1-34

L-33 RUSSIA AC-4 51-1 Junior PW-5
PLEASE DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS BASED ON THIS INFORMATION.
 See other PICs of these models
MY PERSONAL CONCLUSIONS
 
updated 3 March 1999
If you have comments pass them on I update this regularly with the most current and correct information.
tmrent@goldengate.net

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