Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co
is a major manufacturer of sailplanes located in Poppenhausen, near Fulda
Fulda is a city in Hesse, Germany; it is located on the river Fulda and is the administrative seat of the Fulda district .- Early Middle Ages :...
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
. It is also the oldest sailplane manufacturer in the world.
The company was founded in 1926 by Alexander Schleicher
Alexander Schleicher was a German pioneer of sailplane design. The company that he founded and which bears his name - Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co - is today one of the world’s leading sailplane manufacturers....
using money that he had won as a pilot in a gliding
Gliding is a recreational activity and competitive air sport in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as gliders or sailplanes using naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne. The word soaring is also used for the sport.Gliding as a sport began in the 1920s...
competition. It grew quickly in size and fame, producing many notable designs including the Anfänger ("Beginner")
, Zögling ("Student")
, and the Stadt Frankfurt (City of Frankfurt)
. Meanwhile, the aircraft produced under contract by the company continued to grow in size and complexity, reaching their pinnacle with the DFS Rhönadler (Rhön eagle)
and DFS Rhönbussard (Rhön buzzard)
designed by Hans Jacobs
Hans Jacobs was a German sailplane designer and pioneer. He had been taught sailplane design by Alexander Lippisch, designer of many gliders during the 1920s and the 1930s...
, and a huge, three-seat experimental glider built from a design by Alexander Lippisch
Alexander Martin Lippisch was a German pioneer of aerodynamics. He made important contributions to the understanding of flying wings, delta wings and the ground effect. His most famous design is the Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket-powered interceptor.Lippisch was born in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria...
for the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug
The Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug, or DFS was formed in 1933 to centralise all gliding activity in Germany...
(DFS - German Research Institute for Sailplane Flight). By the time war broke out in Europe, Schleicher was already employing hundreds of workers in what was a major enterprise.
During World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
, the factory was used to maintain and repair training gliders for the Hitler Youth
The Hitler Youth was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung...
who received flight training at the Wasserkuppe. At the end of the war, aviation activities were suspended in allied-occupied Germany, and Alexander Schleicher returned to his roots, using his factory to build furniture until the restrictions were lifted in 1951 and the company could build sailplanes once more.
The first notable post-war designs were made by Rudolf Kaiser
Rudolf Kaiser was a designer of gliders who worked for Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co.The designs of Rudolf Kaiser have proven themselves for over 50 years all over the world. His designs for Schleichers can be recognised by the K in the ASK designation...
- Ka 4 (Two seat trainer)
- Ka 6
-Bibliography:* Coates, Andrew, Janes World Sailplanes and Motorgliders. London. Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1978. ISBN 0 354 01119 7...
- Ka 7 (Two seat trainer)
- Ka 8
|-References:*Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67. London:Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1966.**...
- ASK 13
(Two seat trainer)
- ASK 14
(Single seat touring motor glider)
- ASK 16
(Two seat touring motor glider)
- ASK 18
|-References:Gliders and Sailplanes of the World by Michael Hardy Ian Allan Ltd 1982 ISBN 0711011524-External links:*...
- ASK 21 (Glass fibre two seat trainer)
- ASK 23 (Glass fibre Club Class)
The modern era of using Glass Fiber began with single seat gliders designed by Gerhard Waibel. His designs are:
- ASW 12
- ASW 15
|-References:***Thomas F, Fundamentals of Sailplane Design, College Park Press, 1999*Simons M, Segelflugzeuge 1965-2000, Eqip, 2004*...
- ASW 17
|-References:* Gliders and Sailplanes of the World by Michael Hardy - Ian Allan Ltd 1982 ISBN 0711011524* Sailplanes 1965-2000 by Martin Simons - Eqip ISBN 3980883817-External links:*...
- ASW 19
- ASW 20
|-References:**, Soaring, May 1978*Sailplane Directory, Soaring, July 1997*Thomas F, Fundamentals of Sailplane Design, College Park Press, 1999*Simons M, Segelflugzeuge 1965-2000, Eqip, 2004...
(15 metre Class, some with tip extensions)
- ASW 22 (Open Class)
- ASW 24
|-See also:-References:**Thomas F, Fundamentals of Sailplane Design, College Park Press, 1999*Simons M, Segelflugzeuge 1965-2000, Eqip, 2004*-External links:*...
- ASW 27
|-References:***Simons M, Segelflugzeuge 1965-2000, Equip, 2004...
(15 metre Class)
- ASW 28
|-See also:-References:***Simons M, Segelflugzeuge 1965-2000, Eqip, 2004...
(Standard Class, but some also with tips for 18 metres)
Designers Martin Heide and Michael Greiner have produced:
- ASH 25 (Two seat Open Class)
- ASH 26
|-External Links:***Simons M, Segelflugzeuge 1965-2000, Equip, 2004...
(18 metre Class, often motorised)
- ASG 29
(15 metre Class and 18 metre Class)
- ASH 30 Mi (Two seat Open Class, motorised, replacing ASH 25)
- ASH 31
(Open class and 18 metre class, replacing ASH 26)