Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co

Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co is a major manufacturer of sailplanes located in Poppenhausen, near Fulda in Germany.

Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co
Alexander Schleicher
Company typePrivate
IndustryAircraft manufacturing
FounderAlexander Schleicher
Poppenhausen, near Fulda
Area served
Key people
  • Peter Kremer (CEO)
  • Ulrich Kremer (CEO)
ProductsGliders (sailplanes)
Production output
70 to 80 aircraft per year (2019)[1]
Number of employees

It is also the oldest sailplane manufacturer in the world.[2]

History edit

The company was founded in 1927 by Alexander Schleicher using money that he had won as a pilot in a gliding competition. It grew quickly in size and fame, producing many notable designs including the Anfänger ("Beginner"), Zögling ("Student"), Professor, Mannheim, 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, and a huge, three-seat experimental glider built from a design by Alexander Lippisch for the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (DFS - German Research Institute for Sailplane Flight).

Production during WW2 edit

By the time war broke out in Europe in 1939, Schleicher was already employing hundreds of workers in what was a major enterprise.

During World War II, the factory was used to maintain and repair training gliders for the Hitler Youth, who received flight training at the Wasserkuppe.

At the end of the war in 1945, 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.

In the 21st century edit

The company is managed by Alexander's grandsons, Peter Kremer, and Ulrich Kremer.[1]

Gliders edit

Schleicher K 8 D-9035
ASK 13 being winch launched

The first notable post-war designs were made by Rudolf Kaiser and include:

The modern era of using composite materials such as fiberglass and carbon fiber began with single-seat gliders designed by Gerhard Waibel. His designs are:

A Schleicher ASH 25.

Designers Martin Heide and Michael Greiner have produced:

  • ASH 25 (Two-seat Open Class)
  • ASH 26 (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)
  • ASG 32 (Two-Seater Class)

Following the retirement of Martin Heide, successive aircraft were designed by a team that includes Joschka Schmeisl, Paul Anklam, Andreas Storch, Ulrich Simon, Tobias Mörsel and Manfred Munch:[3]

  • AS 33 (15/18 metre Class, ASG 29 successor)
  • AS 34 Me (15/18 metre Class, self launching electric)
  • AS 35 Mi (18/Open Class, self launching, replacing ASH31)[4]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "We introduce ourselves". Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co Segelflugzeugbau. 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Company Introduction". Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co Segelflugzeugbau. 2014. Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  3. ^ "The AS Design Team Introduces Itself". Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co Segelflugzeugbau. December 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Schleicher web-site". Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  • von Dietmar, E. Geistmann (2007). Die Segelflugzeuge und Motorsegler in Deutschland [Sailplanes and motor gliders in Germany] (in German). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02739-9.
  • Selinger, Peter F. (2003). Rhön-Adler (in German) (2nd. ed.). Frankfurt am Main: R. G. Fischer. ISBN 3-8301-0554-1.

External links edit