Tainan Mita III
LADCO / Light Aircraft Development Co Mita III
Japanese sailplanes of indigenous design often represent, as does the Mita III tandem two-seater training and sporting glider, an essentially conventional design philosophy. The Mita was built by LADCO - the Light Aircraft Development Co of Tokyo, whose designer was Mr Asahi Miyahara, and its production has been continued under licence by the Tainan Industry Co Ltd (Tainan Kogyo KK) after the latter took over the manufacture of sailplanes from LADCO; by 1 January 1979 a total of 37 Mita IIIs had been built.
Of conventional wood and fabric construction, the Mita has cantilever shoulder wings of constant chord centre section with tapered outer panels, of all-wood single box spar construction with plywood covering. The ailerons are fabric-covered an there are Schempp-Hirth air brakes in the wing upper surfaces. The fuselage is a steel tube framework with wooden stringers and fabric covering; the nose and forward section are of glassfibre, and there is an aero-tow release in the nose as well as a winch release at the cg. The wooden tail unit has a fabric covered rudder and elevators, and the landing gear consists of a rubber-sprung non-retractable monowheel with brake, plus a tailskid. The pilots sit under a flush-fitting two-piece blown canopy that hinges sideways to starboard for entry and exit.
Span: 52 ft 5 in
Length: 26 ft 1.5 in
Height: 4 ft 2.5 in
Wing area: 170.82 sqft
Aspect ratio: 16.13
Empty weight: 661 lb
Max weight: 992lb
Max speed: 118 mph (in smooth air)
Max aero-tow speed: 81 mph
Min sinking speed: 2.36 ft/sec at 47 mph
Best glide ratio: 30:1 at 51 mph