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Schweizer SGS 2-32

1971 Schweizer SGS 2-32 C/N 76


Designed by Ernest Schweizer for training, the 2-33 was to succeed the 2-22 as something a little plusher and better performing, thereby making it easier to attract new students into soaring. One of the very few sailplanes designed to carry passengers as distinct from a second pilot under training, the high performance SGS 2-32 accommodates a pilot and one very large or two average sized passengers under a long jet fighter-type blown Perspex cockpit canopy that opens sideways; dual controls are provided, and the rear control column can be removed for the passenger's comfort. The cockpit is of a size more usually associated with powered aircraft than gliders, and among the optional 'extras' are radio, special instrumentation, electrical and oxygen systems, canopy locks, map cases, cushions and small wheels mounted at the wing tips.
Of traditional Schweizer all-metal construction, the 2-32 has cantilever single-spar mid-set wings with metal covering and fabric-covered ailerons; there are air brakes in the upper and lower surfaces. The fuselage is an all-metal monocoque, and there is a non-retractable unsprung monowheel, with a hydraulic brake, and a tailskid. The cantilever tail unit has an all-moving tailplane with an adjustable trim tab in it, the fin being metal-skinned and the control surfaces fabric-covered. A special SGS 2-32 with a new wing of 67ft span with integral water ballast tanks was built in 1970 for Joe Lincoln.
The prototype SGS 2-32 first flew on 3 July 1962 and FAA Type Approval was granted in June 1964, whereupon production started at once, a total of 89 having been built by January 1978. The 2-32 has set up a number of world and national records, including womens multi-place world and national records for absolute altitude and altitude gain (10,809 m / 35,463 ft and 7,848 m / 24,545 ft), in Class D2, of 35,462ft set by Babs (Mary L.) Nott and Hannah F. Duncan of the United States at Black Forest, CO on 5 March 1975.
The SGS 2-32 was chosen by the Lockheed Missiles & Space Co as the basic airframe of their YO-3A quiet observation and reconnaissance aircraft developed for service in Vietnam through the earlier QT-2 and Q-Star, likewise based on the 2-32. The Q-Star, developed by Lockheed as a private venture, first flew in June 1968 and was powered by a 185hp dorsally-mounted Curtiss Wright RC 2-60 rotary combustion Wankel engine driving a special low speed propeller through a long prop shaft passing over the top of the cockpit.
The SGS 2-32 also formed the basis of another quiet observation aircraft, the LTV Electrosystems L450F, which first flew in prototype form in February 1970 and was powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-29 turboprop derated to 680shp.


The X-26A was a Schweizer SGS 2-32 sailplane that was used by the Navy to expose novice pilots to the phenomenon of yaw/roll coupling. Conventional jet trainers reacted much too quickly and dangerously for effective instruction - an aircraft that had unusually slow roll rates and excellent recovery characteristics was needed instead. Four of the gliders were originally delivered, but accidents soon claimed three of them. U.S. Navy 157932 crashed March 1971, pilot killed. U.S. Navy 157933 crashed May 18, 1972, pilot killed. In each case the aircraft was replaced with a new one, and the training program continued, making the X-26 the longest-lived X-vehicle.
Two Schweizer 2-32s (67-15345 and 67-15346) from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School X-26 Program (USNTPS) were modified to QT-2 configuration (QT for Quiet Thruster) by the Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. The original X-26 glider version was then designated X-26A.
The program included the X-26A Frigate sailplane and the motorized X-26B Quiet Thruster versions: QT-2, QT-2PC, and QT-2PCII. All were based on the Schweizer SGS 2-32 sailplane.



The first 2-32, serial 001, belongs to the National Soaring Museum.


Schweizer X-26
LTV Electrosystems L450F
Lockheed YO-3A


Wing span: 17.37 m / 57 ft 1 in
Length: 8.15 m / 27 ft 9 in
Wing area: 16.72 sq.m / 180 sq.ft
Aspect ratio: 18.05
Airfoil: NACA 63(3)-618, 4301 2A
Empty Weight: 377 kg / 831 lb
Payload: 231 kg / 509 lb
Gross Weight: 608 kg / 1340 lb
Water ballast: None
Wing Load: 36.36 kg/sq.m / 7.44 lb/sq.ft
Max airspeed: 130 kt / 140 mph (in smooth air)
Rough air speed 130 kt
Max aero-tow speed: 110mph
Stall 44 kt / 81 km/h
L/DMax: 33 84 kph / 45 kt / 52 mph
Best glide ratio: 34:1 at 59 mph / 51 kt / 95 km/h
MinSink: 0.61 m/s / 2.38 fps / 1.18 kt at 43 kt / 50 mph
Seats: 3
No. Built: 87


X-26A Frigate
Wingspan: 57 ft 1.5 in (17.37 m)
Length: 26 ft 9 in (7.92 m)
Height: 9 ft 3 in (2.74 m)
Wing area: 180 ft² (16.7 m²)
Wing aspect ratio: 18
Empty weight: 857 lb (389 kg)
Loaded weight: 1,430 lb (650 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: lb (kg)
Maximum speed: 158 mph (254 km/h)
Wing loading: 39 kg/m² (7.9 lb/ft²)
Power/mass: 0.07 hp/lb (0.12 kW/kg)
Rate of sink: 0.6 m/s (120 ft/min)
Crew: two






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