Akaflieg Munchen Mu-13 Atalante / Merlin
One of the principal prewar German high performance designs, the single-seater Mu 13 was developed at the Munich Akaflieg from the two-seat Mü 10 Milan, which had been built there under the direction of Dipl-lng Egon Scheibe, who later formed, at the end of 1951, the sailplane firm bearing his name. The first single-seat Mü 13 flew in 1936. It has an all moving tailplane and DFS airbrakes for approach control.
There were a number of variants, some later having air brakes instead of flaps while the rear fuselage cross section was later changed from a rectangular one to triangular. The Mü 13D-3 of 1943 had an increased wing span, longer fuselage and a modified fin and rudder. In May 1939, Schmidt set a new German record for a goal flight of 482km (299 miles) in an Atalante. Unlike most sailplanes of its size the Mü 13 was of mixed construction, using steel and chrome-molybdenum-tin alloy as well as wood. The wooden cantilever wing had steel tube flaps and fabric-covered steel-framed ailerons while the fuselage was a fabric-covered steel framework of basically square cross-section and the tail unit of conventional wooden construction. Particular attention was paid to good visibility, there being large window panels inset into the sides of the cockpit while a clear panel inset into the wing centre section leading edge gave the pilot a better view above and behind him; the cockpit canopy was detachable, and several different shapes were used. A monowheel landing gear and tailskid were featured.
Scheibe built a development of the Mü 13 in Austria known as the Mü 13E Bergfalke (Mountain Falcon), which first flew in prototype form on 6 August 1951 and this two-seat general purpose glider went into production as the Scheibe Bergfalke. The original Mu 13 made its first flight in 1936 and the two prototypes were named the Merlin and the Atalante, differing from each other principally in the fuselage structure and control arrangements. The Atalante with a number of modifications was built by Kurt Schmidt at the Black Forest factory and about 150 Mü 13s were built in all.
Akaflieg Munchen Mü 13 Merlin
Span: 52 ft 6 in
Length: 19 ft 9 in
Wing area: 174 sq.ft
Aspect ratio: 15.85
Empty weight: 375 lb
Max weight: 595 lb
Max speed: 124 mph
Min sinking speed: 2 ft/sec at 34 mph
Best glide ratio: 28:1 at 41 mph