Schweizer SGS 1-26 / TG-3
Ernest Schweizer’s medium performance single-seat SGS 1-26 was originally designed to be marketed in kit form to homebuilders, with a wing span of 40ft 0in.
It first flew in prototype form in January 1954 and following FAA Type Certification production began in November that year of 1-26s both complete and in kit form.
To help the amateur constructor, all the complicated alignments, welding and assemblies requiring specialised tooling are undertaken by the manufacturer; included in the kit is a basic welded fuselage assembly, and parts such as a pre-formed aluminium nose cap and the moulded Plexiglas canopy. The 1-26 was reckoned to require from 300 to 600 man-hours for assembly, depending on the homebuilder's skill and experience and, unlike the earlier SGS 1-23, it had fabric covering of the control surfaces, fuselage and tail unit.
The 1-26 once held the National Feminine Distance and Goal records at 439.8 km./ 273.28 miles and 153.1 km./ 96.5 miles set by Rose Marie Licher and Jean Arnold, respectively. A significant number of pilots have earned all three Diamond badges in 1-26’s. A significant number of 1-26’s were sold outside the U.S. notably in Canada and Indonesia.
The original (‘standard’) model was factory completed (22 built); the A was a standard kit (114 built). They were of metal/ fabric wings and tail, steel-tube/ fabric fuselage.
The prototype 1-26 had fabric-covered wings, whereas the B, which first flew in June 1956, was factory completed with all-metal covered wings increasing both empty and gross weight by 11 kg/ 25 lb. The C was the kit version of the B.
The 1-26D, which first flew in June 1968, offered a new low-profile fuselage featuring a monocoque metal nose and new one-piece canopy for better visibility, plus air-balanced double dive brakes, a new cockpit interior and an increased allowable load, with a welded chrome-molybdenum steel tube fuselage with Ceconite fabric covering, and a new fin and rudder with squared-off top and straight trailing edge, replacing the curved top and rudder trailing edge of earlier versions.
The SGS 1-26E first flew in March 1971, with an all-metal semi-monocoque fuselage. The all-metal mid-wing has fabric-covered horizontal tail surfaces, ailerons and airbrakes.
The E model superseded the 1-26D in 1971, being the last refinement in the 1-26 series with an all metal monocoque fuselage which appreciably increased the empty weight. The 1-26E has cantilever all-metal mid-set wings of aluminium alloy, with metal skinning and fabric covered ailerons, and balanced air brakes immediately aft of the spar. The cantilever tail unit is of aluminium alloy, with fabric covering on all versions. Landing gear consists of a non-retractable unsprung monowheel with a brake, with a nose skid mounted on solid rubber blocks just ahead of it; there is also a small solid rubber tailwheel, although the early versions had a tailskid, and there is a small wheel mounted under each wing tip. The pilot sits under a one-piece moulded Plexiglas canopy, and there is provision for radio to be carried. Dick Johnson’s flight test show little difference between the earlier models and the E. The U.S. Air Force Academy operates 3 as the TG-3.
More than 700 1-26s of all variants had been produced by January 1980, of which about 200 were in kit form.
An SGS 1-26E was to be a prototype for an electrically-powered light aircraft being studied by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Wing span: 12.19 m / 40 ft
Wing area: 14.86 sq.m / 160 sq.ft
Aspect ratio: 10
Airfoil: NACA 4301 2A
Length: 21 ft 6 in
Height: 7 ft 2.5 in
Max TO wt: 318 kg / 700 lb
Empty wt: 202 kg / 445 lb
Useful load: 116 kg / 255 lb
Wing loading: 21.4 kg/sq.m / 4.38 lb/sq.ft
Max speed: 99 kt / 114mph
Max aero-tow speed: 99 kt / 114mph
Rough air speed: 99 kt / 114mph
Stall: 29 kt
Lift to drag: 23 @ 46 kt / 53 mph / 85 kph
Sink: 0.88 m/s / 2.9 fps / 1.72 kt @ 35 kt
No. Built: 210