The Rensselaer RP-1 (for Rensselaer Polytechnic design 1) is an American low-wing, single-seat, foot-launchable glider that was designed and produced by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York.[1]

Empire State Aerosciences Museum - Glenville, New York (8158342359).jpg
Role Glider
National origin United States
Manufacturer Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Status Production completed
Number built one

Design and developmentEdit

The RP-1 was partly funded by NASA and was the first aircraft in Rensselaer's Composite Aircraft Program.[1]

The aircraft is of mixed construction, made from composites, Kevlar and PVC foam. Its 37.5 ft (11.4 m) span wing employs a Wortmann FX-63-137 airfoil. The aircraft weighs just 116 lb (53 kg) and was intended to be foot-launched. The landing gear consists of a main skid and dual tail skids. The aircraft achieved a 20:1 glide ratio. Only one was completed.[1][2]

Specifications (RP-1)Edit

Data from Sailplane Directory[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Wingspan: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
  • Wing area: 129 sq ft (12.0 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 11:1
  • Airfoil: Wortmann FX-63-137
  • Empty weight: 116 lb (53 kg)
  • Gross weight: 265 lb (120 kg)


  • Maximum glide ratio: 20:1 at 33 mph (53 km/h)
  • Rate of sink: 120 ft/min (0.61 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 2.05 lb/sq ft (10.0 kg/m2)

See alsoEdit

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d Activate Media (2006). "RP-1 Rensselaer". Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  2. ^ Lednicer, David (2010). "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 1 August 2011.