Sugarbush Soaring owns seven gliders that are available for rental, instruction, scenic rides and member use. We have an ASK-21, a PW-6, a Grob 102, two Schweizer 1-26's, and two Schweizer 2-33’s. We also own two Piper Pawnee towplanes.
Most of our rides and advanced flight training takes place in the two-seat Schleicher ASK 21, which is made in Germany. The ASK 21 is the longest continuous production fiberglass trainer in the world, with over 750 currently in use. It has a T-tail, airbrakes on the upper wing only and a fixed undercarriage. With a wing span of 55.74 ft (17 m), a 33.5:1 glide ratio and an empty weight of approximately 850 lbs, it has above average performance for a trainer, and is known for its comfortable cockpit, excellent visibility and handling, docile flight characteristics and reliability. It is certified for 18,000 hours of service.
The Politechnika Warszawska PW-6U is a Polish two-seat training sailplane designed at the Warsaw University of Technology for basic flight instruction and transition training to the Politechnika Warszawska PW-5 single-seater. It was designed to be an introductory trainer with the capability of providing cross-country training as well. It has handling and performance characteristics similar to the PW-5.
Most of our initial flight training takes place in the 2-33. From its introduction in the late 1960s until the late 1980s, the 2-33 was the main training glider used in North America. Production ceased when demand dropped off due to the import of higher-performance two-place sailplanes from Europe. Manufactured in Elmira, NY, the 2-33 makes a great trainer because it is easy to fly and is quite rugged. The 2-33 is a combination metal/fabric sailplane with a wing span of 51-ft, and a 23:1 glide ratio.
After students solo in the 2-33, they often transition into the Schweizer SGS 1-26 to gain solo experience in a different aircraft. The SGS 1-26 is a single-place, combination metal/fabric sailplane that was built by Schweizer Aircraft Corporation in Elmira, NY. The 1-26 is rugged, inexpensive, durable and easy to fly, making it one of the most popular sailplanes in America. It has a 40-foot wing span, a 23:1 glide ratio and an empty weight of approximately 400 lbs. The 1-26 and the Schweizer Aircraft Corporation both have fascinating histories. Schweizer is unique in that it is the oldest privately-owned aircraft company in the United States (and perhaps the world). The three Schweizer brothers built their first glider in 1930 and incorporated Schweizer Aircraft in 1939. The first 1-26 was flown on January 16, 1954 by Paul Schweizer. A total of 700 1-26 aircraft were produced, with production ending in 1981. There were five different models, and our club owns a C and E model, both of which were built in 1971. Our E model was factory refurbished in 2017, and is as good as new. Schweizer gliders helped to popularize the sport of soaring throughout the United States.
When advanced students complete their training in the ASK 21 and/or PW-6, they often transition into the single-seat Grob 102. This is the highest performance glider that our club owns. Made in Germany, it is a fiberglass ship that has a T-tail, airbrakes on the upper wing surface, a retractable undercarriage and ballast tanks in the wings. It has a 49-foot (15 m) wingspan, a 36:1 glide ratio and an empty weight of approximately 600 lbs. Test pilots at Grob-Werke GmbH & Company KG in Germany first flew the Grob 102 Standard Astir III late in 1980. It is one of several models that Grob has designed specifically to conform to the international Standard Class category of competitive sailplanes.
Sugarbush Soaring owns two Piper PA-25-235 Pawnees (C and D models). Originally designed for agricultural spraying and dusting, the single seat Pawnee has found a second home at glider ports across the country. Its relatively low flying speed, ample power, general ruggedness and excellent visibility make it a very popular glider tug. Powerplant: one 235 hp Lycoming O-540 B2B5 flat six piston engine with a two blade fixed pitch McCauley propeller.
Performance: maximum speed 102 kts (117 mph), cruise speed 91 kts (105 mph).
History: The Pawnee was originally designed by Fred Weick as the AG-3. It flew in prototype form in 1957. Several thousand were built by Piper aircraft. Production ceased in 1982.