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Ross RJ-5 / RHJ-5


The original design was almost entirely that of Harland Ross, whom Dick Johnson commissioned to build it in 1948. Johnson took delivery of the semi-complete ship in 1950 and finished it at Mississippi State University, incorporated some changes of his own.

The RJ-5 became one of the world’s most famous sailplane when Dick Johnson flew it 861 km/ 535 miles in 1951 for a world sitance record that stood for 13 years. It was one of the first sailplanes to utilize a laminar airfoil and to archieve a glide ratio of 40 to 1. With it Dick Johnson won the 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1954 Nationals and set a 510/ 317 miles National goal record, a 584 km/ 363 miles National distance record, a 85.0 kph/ 45.9 kt/ 52.8 mph 100 km. Triangular speed course record as well as the world distance record.

The wood fuselage and tail were badly damaged later in an accident so the then owner had an-all metal fuselage and tail built, designed by Adnan Kisovec (thus the K in the later designation). The ship originally used a takeoff dolly, but the fuselage was later modified to incorporate a Schweizer 1-34 retractable landing gear and airbrakes.

It now belongs to the National Soaring Museum, which has a project under way to build a replacemant original fuselage and tail.

Wing span: 16.76 m / 55 ft
Wing area: 11.61 sq.m / 125 sq.ft
Aspect ratio: 24.2
Airfoil: NACA 63 (2)-615
Empty Weight: 295 kg / 650 lb
Payload: 91 kg / 200 lb
Gross Weight: 386 kg / 850 lb
Wing Loading: 33.25 kg/sq.m / 6.8 lb/sq.ft
Water Ballast: 0
L/DMax: 37 85 kph / 37 kt / 53 mph
MinSink: 0.61 m/s / 2.0 fps / 1.18 kt
Seats: 1
No. Built: 1



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