The Glaser-Dirks DG-202 Glider

Whilst the DG-200 sailplane was well-received and quite popular there was enough adverse feedback from owners regarding particular deficiencies that Glaser-Dirks began redesign work to correct these almost straightaway.  The result of this work emerged in 1980 and the redesign was so extensive that the company gave the new model a new designation, the DG-202. Judged even by today's standards this was a particularly graceful aircraft and remains highly sought-after today.

DG-202/17 'KCW' at the Scottish Gliding Centre, Portmoak, Scotland

Photograph of the DG202/17 'KCW' (now SOLD) at the Scottish Gliding Centre's airfield at Portmoak.

The webmaster's DG-202 flying in the Bavarian Alps.The most obvious outward change from the original DG-200 design was to the canopy** which became a 1-piece unit hinged at the nose, supported by a gas strut, and locked down by a catch in the centre of the rear frame. The original large canopy size was retained along with the outstanding visibility in flight seen here on the left, but the new 1-piece canopy made entry and exit much easier and dispensed with the much-complained-about frame member which in the earlier model had crossed the pilot's field of view. See Glaser-Dirks' original prospectus (in German) for the DG-202 or my english translation*.

Webmaster's DG-202, 'KCW', in wave above Portmoak, ScotlandOther major changes included the all-important elevator linkage which was now self-connecting and changes to the wing profile to improve the high-speed flying characteristics. These changes reportedly also improved the low-speed weak thermalling characteristics and the aircraft could now be flown in slow, tight turns using as much as 8o or even 12o of flap. The undercarriage was improved with the addition of suspension and there was a substantial rearrangement of the instrument binnacle and controls to suit a wider range of pilot sizes. The trimmer was redesigned to be a spring trim mechanism with a toothed quadrant operated by a trigger on the stick and the wheelbrake, which had previously occupied this position, was moved to the overtravel of the airbrake lever. Because of the large canopy the space available for controls on the low side bulkheads is somewhat less than average and these changes made for a much less cluttered layout.

The DG-202 was still available in the original 15-metre and 17-metre (DG-202/17) GRP versions, the latter with removeable 15-metre wingtipsDG Flugzeugbau's web site as before but the 13.1-metre acroracer version was dropped. Instead, a new model was introduced - the DG-202/17C, available only as a 15/17 metre option - using the relatively new carbon-fibre reinforced plastic technology for the wing-spars with a significant reduction of about 60lb in the unladen weight. The carbon-fibre model was about 15% more expensive than the glass-fibre model and, presumably because of this, was the less popular. Its lower unballasted weight could be expected to give slightly better climbing performance in weak conditions but overall the only real difference for the extra cost was ease of rigging. The aircraft first flew in 1980 and entered manufacture later that year. The strength and lightness of the carbon-fibre wings permitted a large increase of weight elsewhere and the company embarked on a motorised version of the DG-202 which appeared in 1981 as the highly-acclaimed DG-400, probably the most successful self-launching glider ever produced.

The carbon-fibre DG-202/17C prototype was reviewed (prior to LBA approval) by the Aerokurier in August 1980 and a you can view a reproduction of the original report or read my attempt at an english translation*.

Apart from the fairly routine optional and mandatory airworthiness modifications, DG-Flugzeugbau have taken the fairly unusual (my opinion) step of designing several safety-related upgrade modifications as retrofits to the DG-200/DG-202. As a company DG-Flugzeugbau, and especially its current managing director Karl-Friedrich Weber, is particularly safety-orientated. DG-recommended modifications include the following:

In addition to these there are a few approved modifications which can be made to improve some aspects of the controls:

Technical notes are available on DG-Flugzeugbau's website here. Or use the direct link here.

Outline specifications for the new DG-202 were as follows:
(glassfibre 15/17m model  -  15m fixed and carbon fibre model weights etc.differ)

Wing Span 15 metre 17 metre
Fuselage Length

7 metre

Fuselage Height

0.81 metre

Height at Tail

1.45 metre

Wing Area 10 sq. metre 10.57 sq. metre

Wortmann Fx-61-K-170

Aspect Ratio 22.5 27.34
Unladen Weight 248 kg 251 kg
Water Ballast

130 kg

Maximum Flying Weight 480 kg 450 kg
Maximum Wing Loading 48 kg/sq. metre 42.6 kg/sq. metre

270 kph

VB 190 kph
VA 190 kph
Gear Down max speed 190 kph
Aerotow max speed 190 kph
Winch Launch max speed 130 kph
Positive Flap max speed 190 kph
Landing Flap max speed 150 kph
Stall Speed 62 kph 60 kph
Minimum Sink (at 72kph) 0.59 m/s at min weight 0.53 m/s at min weight
Best Glide (at 110kph) 42:5 at max weight 45.5 at max weight

Some notes on l'hotellier connectors as used for the aileron and airbrake linkages.
The LBA has issued airworthiness directives regarding these connectors.

You can see a list of various documents here and a list of the aircrafts' known registrations here.

* English Translations have been done by myself and since my German language skills are not great there are likely to be some errors. If you see any or if you can think of a better English rendition of any phrases please with your suggestions. Many thanks.

** A few later builds of the DG-200 produced in 1979 were also equipped as standard with the new canopy.

Bob Adamson

I owned and flew a DG-202 15/17, registration G-CKCW, for 10 years selling it in April 2012.

back to DG-200 page


Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.

2002-2010      Page last updated by on 12th September 2012