Scheibe Bergfalke Spatz / L-Spatz
Meteor SpA Costruzioni Aeronautiche MS SOL Passero (Sparrow)
Societe Avialsa Fauconnet A-60 (Falconet)
Second of the postwar Scheibe designs to go into production was the Spatz (or Sparrow) single-seater suitable for training or competition flying; this first flew on 12 March 1952 and in its initial form was a mid-wing monoplane. It was developed into the high wing Spatz-55 and L-Spatz-55, the latter differing from the Spatz-55 mainly in having a wing span increased to 15m (49 ft 2.5 in) to give a 10% improvement in performance, dive brakes and simple assembly. The Spatz had the usual Scheibe construction of fabric-covered steel tube fuselage and a wooden single-spar wing, which on the L-Spatz-55 had an area of 125.9 sq ft and an aspect ratio of 19.0.
Next variant was the L-Spatz-III, which differed from the 55 version in having aerodynamic twist on the outer wings to improve the stalling characteristics, larger air brakes and tail surfaces, a shallower fuselage to improve the aerodynamics and appearance, a roomier cockpit and a Flettner trim tab in the elevators. The wing leading edge torsion box is plywood-covered, the remainder of the wing being fabric-covered. The fuselage is rectangular in section forward and of triangular section at the rear, the rear fuselage having fabric covering over wooden formers.
The nose is covered with a moulded glassfibre shell on the L-Spatz-III, and the cantilever tail unit is of wood. The landing gear normally consists of a monowheel and nose skid, but a longer skid can be fitted under the fuselage and a detachable ground handling trolley can replace the monowheel. The pilot sits under a one-piece blown Plexiglas canopy, and has adjustable rudder pedals.
The L-Spatz-55 was also built under licence in small numbers at Monfalcone by the Italian firm of Meteor SpA Costruzioni Aeronautiche, as the MS SOL Passero (or Sparrow), and in France by Societe Avialsa as the Fauconnet A-60 (or Falconet). The latter was a refined version of the L-Spatz-55 which first flew in prototype form in June 1960 and received its French C of A in 1961; it was produced at the rate of two or three a month both in standard form and in a special version with 'super finished' wings, and was also made available in kit form for amateur constructors, requiring only about 400 hours of work to assemble. The special 'super finished' version had a better best glide ratio (29.5:1) and minimum sinking speed (2.03ft/sec) than the standard one. A few L-Spatz-IIIs were also built under licence by the Spanish firm Stark Iberica SA.
Span: 49 ft 2.5 in
Length: 20 ft 6 in
Height: 3 ft 11 in
Wing area: 125.9 sqft
Aspect ratio: 19.0
Empty weight: 353 lb
Max weight: 585 lb
Max speed: 112 mph
Max aero-tow speed: 78 mph
Min sinking speed: 2.20 ft/sec at 38.5 mph
Best glide ratio: 28:1