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Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus

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Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus
Duo Discus T flying over the ridges of Pennsylvania USA.
Type designation Duo Discus
Competition class Two Seater
Number built 400 +
Crew 2
Length 8.62 m
Height ca. 1.6 m
Cockpit width 0.71 m
Cockpit height 1.02 m
Wingspan 20 m
Wing area 16.4 m²
Aspect ratio 24.4
Wing profile HQ-31 A/XX
Empty mass ca. 410 kg
ca. 420 kg (Duo Discus x)
Water ballast 200 kg
Tail ballast Optional
Maximum mass 700 kg
750 kg (Duo Discus x)
Wing loading ca. 29.3 – 42.7 kg/m²
ca. 30 – 45.7 kg/m² (Duo Discus x)
Maximum speed 250 km/h
275 km/h (Duo Discus x)
Rough air speed 180 km/h
Minimum sink ca. 0.58 m/s at 85 km/h
Best glide ratio 45
46.5 (Duo Discus x)
Duo Discus T
Empty mass ca. 445 kg
Engine type Solo 2-stroke 2-cylinder
Engine power 22 kW
Climb rate in
powered flight
Range in 'saw-tooth'
200 km

The Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus is a high performance two seat glider primarily designed for fast cross-country flying including gliding competitions. It is often used for advanced training.

The Duo Discus replaced the Janus as Schempp Hirth's high performance two seater trainer. Although it shares its name with the highly successful Standard Class Discus, any resemblance is only superficial. It first flew in 1993 and is still in production at the factory in Orlican in the Czech Republic. It has a 20 metre four piece wing that is slightly swept forward so that the rear pilot is close to the centre of gravity. Its best glide ratio was measured as 44:1. An optional 'turbo' engine can be specified. Landing flaps were announced in 2005 to improve its approach control. Over 400 had been built by mid-2005. Its chief rival is now the DG Flugzeugbau DG-1000.

A Duo Discus was used in the 1999 film The Thomas Crown Affair. This film shows the rear pilot reaching to front controls. This is normally physically impossible in any tandem two-seater. For the film the rear instrument panel was removed to allow the actor to take this bit of artistic license while on the ground. Undoing the seat straps in flight to allow the rear pilot to lean forward would also be hazardous, as unbelted pilots have been ejected by turbulence through canopies.

External links

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