Libelle Sailplane Card model

Libelle Sailplane

Libelle Sailplane Laminar glider gliders sailplanes







As its name implies, the Standard Libelle is a version of the popular Open Class H 301 Libelle with modifications to meet the Standard Class requirements; these consisted of removing the flaps and tail braking parachute, fitting a fixed instead of retractable mono wheel and raising the height of the canopy. A new Wortmann wing section was featured and terminal velocity dive brakes were fitted. The canopy is unusual in having a catch that enables the front to be raised by 25mm in flight to provide a blast of ventilating air if required, instead of the more conventional small sliding panel used for this purpose. When the Standard Class rules were modified in 1970, a retractable mono wheel was substituted for the fixed one. The Standard Libelle is of similar glass fiber construction to the H 301 Libelle, and likewise has provision for 30 lbs of water ballast in the wing leading edge.


The prototype made its first flight in October 1967 and the Standard Libelle proved to be very popular, a total of 601 being built altogether. The type soon made its mark in contest flying; one flown by Per-Axel Persson of Sweden, winner of the 1948 World Championships, came second in the Standard Class at the 1968 World Championships at Leszno in Poland.


Salto V-Tail libelle sailplane gliderThe H 101 Salto is a version of the Standard Libelle developed by Frau Ursula Hänle, widow of Ing Eugen Hänle, the former Director of Glasflügel; the Salto (German for loop) is produced by Start + Flug GmbH formed by Frau Hänle, and differs from the Standard Libelle largely in having a V-tail with an included angle of 99°. The Salte also owes something to the V-tailed Hütter H-30 GFK. Four flush-fitting air brakes repositioned on the wing trailing edges replace the more conventionally-located air brakes of the Standard Libelle; the Salto's air brakes are hinged at their mid-points so that half the surface projects above the wing and half below.


The Salto prototype first flew in March 1970 and 60 had been delivered by the spring of 1977; German type certification was granted on 28 April 1972 and the Salto has also been certificated by the FAA as well as Germany in the Normal and Aerobatic categories. The wing span is 44ft 7 1/2in but a 49ft 2 1/2in span wing can be fitted optionally for Normal category operation; the former wing has an area of 92.35sq ft and an aspect ratio of 21.8. The landing gear consists of a fixed mono wheel with a fairing and a tailskid, and the one-piece canopy is hinged to open sideways.


Salto V-Tail libelle sailplane in flight gliderThe Libelle first flew in 1964 and quickly revolutionized competitive soaring. It spearheaded the fiberglass take-over in American competition flying, becoming the first fiberglass sailplane to receive an U.S. ATC. In 1969 Soaring magazine readers voted the Libelle the World's most beautiful sailplane and the one they would most like to own. The H 301 Libelle has camber-changing flaps and was able to compete both in the Open Class and, with locked flaps, in the Standard Class.


The first fiberglass glider to come to the US in large numbers was the Glasflügel H 301 Libelle. It revolutionized soaring. The fiberglass wing was so smooth that it was possible to achieve and consistently maintain large "runs" of laminar flow on the wing. This resulted in lower drag, and higher all around performance on an easily maintained production glider.  It is still amazing to see the many advanced features present in this very early fiberglass glider. Flaps, ailerons that interconnected with the flaps, automatic hook ups for the flaps and spoilers, water ballast- the list goes on.

Glasflügel means "glass wing" and "Libelle" means dragonfly. The intent, so far as I can tell from looking at the distinctive logo, was to link the idea of transparent wing of the insect with the then-novel fiberglass construction method. The 301 has down turned wing tips, flaps, airfoil, and a high aspect ratio wing plan form, and a balsa core in the wing skin. Virtually all 301s now fly with the high profile style canopy. There was a low profile racing canopy, but it reduced pilot head room, and the benefit was not all that great. It was dropped when the later models came along.

The second model of the Libelle to come along was the 201. (Strange that 201 comes after 301, but that is how it happened.) The rules for the racing "Standard Class" changed to disallow flaps, so a new wing was built for the 301 fuselage that had a different airfoil, a little more area, no flaps, upturned wing tips etc.

Length: 20.25 ft
Span: 49.2ft
Aspect Ratio 23.6
Empty Wt 397 lb.
Payload: 264 lb
Max Wt: 661 lb.




Libelle Glider Sailplne

Libelle Loading up Glider sailplaneLibelle Glider Sailplane

Liblle glder sailpln

libelle glider sailplane cockpit image