Wassmer WA 28 Espadon
The WA 28 Espadon (or Swordfish) high performance single-seater is the all-glassfibre version of the earlier WA 26 Squale (or Shark), differing from it in having cantilever shoulder wings of the same span, area, aspect ratio and plan form but of glassfibre/plastic foam sandwich construction instead of the WA 26 Squale's conventional wooden construction with trailing edge air brakes inboard of the ailerons; the Espadon has perforated Schempp-Hirth air brakes above and below the wings.
The WA 26 Squale first flew in prototype form on 21 July 1967; series production started in 1968 and by January 1970 a total of 85 Squales had been ordered. A version without the spring-loaded anti-tab in the allmoving one-piece tailplane was designated WA 26CM.
Design work on the Espadon began in 1972 and the prototype WA 28 made its first flight in May 1974, followed by the first production Espadon in November that year; 20 were on order by the spring of 1975. Both types have an oval section fuselage made of reinforced polyester plastics, with the pilot in an adjustable semi-reclining seat, with adjustable headrest and rudder pedals, under a long flush-fitting one-piece Plexiglas cockpit canopy that opens sideways to port. Comprehensive instrumentation is provided. Both types have a retractable monowheel mounted forward of the cg with a hydraulic brake; a fixed tailwheel is optional in place of the bumper fairing. The tail unit is a conventional wooden structure with fabric covering, with an all-moving one-piece tailplane with (on the Espadon) spring-loaded trimming.
WA 28 Espadon
Span: 49 ft 2.5 in
Length: 25 ft 1.25 in
Height: 5 ft 5.5 in
Wing area: 135.6 sqft
Aspect ratio: 17.82
Empty weight: 540 lb
Max weight: 833 lb
Max speed: 151 mph (in smooth air)
Best glide ratio: 38:1 at 56 mph