DEVELOPMENT and DESCRIPTION
Designed by Dipl-Ing Adam Meus, this high performance tandem two-seater is intended to succeed the popular SZD-9 Bocian for training and performance flying, and resembles the SZD-42 Jantar 2 and 2B but with a shorter span and the addition of the second seat. The Puchacz (or Eagle Owl) has been modified and developed from a prototype known as the SZD-50-1 Dromader which first flew on 21 December 1976; the Puchacz first flew a year later. The first production aircraft flew on 13 April 1979 and nine had been built by the beginning of 1980.
It is mainly of glassfibre sandwich construction, and has cantilever mid-set wings with slight forward sweep, plain ailerons and air bakes in the upper and lower surfaces. The glassfibre fuselage is supported in the central portion by two wooden frames, to which the wings and undercarriage are attached, and the landing gear consists of a non-retractable semi-recessed nose wheel, a sprung monowheel mounted behind the cg with a disc brake, and a tailskid which can be replaced by a tail wheel. There are two towing hooks, one in the nose for aero tows and the other mounted on the cg for winch launching. The tail unit is of glassfibre sandwich, the rudder being fabric-covered. The two pilots sit under a flush-fitting one-piece cockpit canopy that opens sideways, and have dual controls; the instrumentation for the front seat is easily visible from the rear seat.
The SZD-50-3 PUCHACZ is a two-place training and aerobatics sailplane designed primarily for clubs and soaring schools. The Puchacz features beautifully finished fiberglass construction, a quiet and comfortable tandem cockpit, and exceptional handling qualities. This combination of characteristics has established the Puchacz as one of the world's favourite two-place sailplanes.
The Puchacz meets both OSTIV and JAR-22 Utility Category certification requirements... plus, it is approved for extended aerobatics including inverted flight and rolling manoeuvres. It is solidly built of fiberglass epoxy composite and protected by a durable polyurethane.
It is among the easiest two-place sailplanes to assemble. A single pin secures the wings in place. Rigging the tailplane is even easier, with a spring-loaded locking pin automatically securing the assembly. Connection of all flight controls is fully automatic.
The spacious cockpit has adjustable front rudder pedals and an adjustable rear seat to accommodate pilots of all sizes in comfort. The one piece side-opening canopy provides outstanding visibility for both pilots. The front instruments are arranged so that they can be easily viewed from the rear seat; however, a rear instruments panel is also available as an option. But the real secret to the PUCHACZ popularity is its excellent handling qualities, both on the ground and in flight. Flight instructors and experienced pilots often describe the Puchacz as the nicest flying two-place sailplane they've ever flown.
Design life: 6,000 hours.
| Wing Area
| Aspect Ratio
| Empty Glider Mass
| All-Up Mass
| Load Factors
|| +5.3 / -2.65
| Maximum L/D
|| 30 at avg. mass at 85km/h
| Stalling Speed
|| 60 at avg. masskm/h
|Minimum Sinking Speed
| 0.7 m/s at 75 km/h
| Never Exceed Speed
Three Axis View SZD Puchacz
FLIGHT MANUAL download (PDF 3.16MB)
GGC's PUCHACZ - VH-OWL
The glider was purchased new from SZD Bielsko in 1994 arriving a few months later. VH-OWL is fitted with the optional rear instrument panel. It was obtained originally for air experience flights, and advanced training but with a view to taking over the role as a primary trainer in the future. It's role in cross country training was initially limited by the lack of a trailer, now competed, and has now been used in this role completing a 500 km task in 1997.
Puchacz; pronounced “Puhatch”, is Polish for Eagle Owl, hence the fortuitous registration.
The club is now moving to use the Puchacz in the role of primary trainer. Victorian Motorless Flight Group, a co-resident club has just obtained their first Puchacz thus moving towards a common training fleet which will improve the mid-week training options.