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Slingsby T-45 Swallow


Described as 'a poor man's Skylark', the Swallow single-seater was intended to meet the need for a small moderately-priced high performance sailplane for clubs and the private owner.
Of conventional wooden construction, the Swallow has cantilver high-set wings of spruce and plywood, with single spars, plywood covering and a leading edge torsion box; the wooden fabric covered ailerons are unbalanced and there are dive brakes in the wing upper and lower surfaces. The forward fuselage is a plywood semi-monocoque while the rear portion is a braced structure of spruce and plywood with fabric-covered sides. The wooden tail unit has ply covering for the fin and tailplane and fabric covering for the rudder and elevators. Landing gear consists of a rubber-sprung skid under the nose, a fixed unsprung monowheel and a tailskid.


The prototype first flew on 11 October 1957 with a span of 39ft 4in (12m) but this was increased to 42ft 9.25in to improve performance. The type, then unnamed, got its name when the prototype, flown by John Reussner, crashed and ended up hanging from some telephone wires - 'just like all the other swallows', said Mr F. N. Slingsby, who witnessed the accident and promptly dubbed the type Swallow. Reussner later acquired the prototype and rebuilt it as a standard Swallow; it became BGA 865 in October 1958. It was later modified to his own ideas as the Reussner Swift, with the span increased to 15m (49ft 2.5in) by extending the wing roots, lengthening it by a 1ft insert in the rear fuselage, and fitting a revised canopy similar to that of the Swallow 2. As the Swift it became BGA 966 and crashed on 24 November 1963 at Netheravon, Wiltshire.



The Swallow 1 prototype was followed by the Swallow 2 production version which differed in having a revised canopy of slightly different shape; the type was sold to nine different countries and a total of 106 were built up to 1968 before production was terminated by the fire at Slingsby's Kirbymoorside factory, plus 10 more constructed from kits supplied by Slingsby for amateur constructors.


The Royal Air Force operated 4 (known as the Swallow T. Mk. 1) in its air cadet training program.
The Swallow 3 project of January 1968 was a variant designed for that year's Swallow Competition organised by the cigarette firm of W. D.& H. O. Wills, with which British sailplane pilot Philip Wills was associated; the Mk 3, which was not built, had a revised nose shape incorporating a flush-fitting one-piece canopy with no step, and the wing span was increased to 24ft and the area to180sqft.




T.45 Swallow
Span: 13.2m / 42 ft 9.25 in
Length: 7.04 m / 23 ft 2 in
Height: 1.58 m / 5 ft 2.5 in
Wing area: 13.55 sq.m / 145.9 sq.ft
Aspect ratio: 12.6
Wing section: NACA 63-618/4412
Empty Weight: 195 kg / 431 lb
Payload: 122 kg / 469 lb
Gross Weight: 317 kg / 700 lb
Wing Load: 4.8 lb/sq.ft /23.4 kg/sq.m
Water ballast: None
Max speed: 141 mph / 122.5 kt / 227 km/h
Stalling speed: 33.5 kt / 62 km/h
Max rough air speed: 75 kt / 139 km/h
MinSink: 0.76 m/s / 2.5 fps / 1.48 kt at 36 kt / 67 km/h
L/DMax: 26 @77 kph / 42 kt / 48 mph
No. of Seats: 1
No. Built: 116
Structure: wood and fabric






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