Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus

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Duo Discus
Schempp-Hirth DuoDiscus.jpg
Duo Discus T flying over the ridges of Pennsylvania, US
Role Two Seater-class sailplane
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Schempp-Hirth
First flight 1993
Number built Over 500

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.

Glider (sailplane) type of glider aircraft used in the sport of gliding

A glider or sailplane is a type of glider aircraft used in the leisure activity and sport of gliding. This unpowered aircraft uses naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne. Gliders are aerodynamically streamlined and are capable of gaining altitude and remaining airborne, and maintaining forward motion.

Cross-country flying

Cross-country flying is a type of distance flying which is performed in a powered aircraft on legs over a given distance and in operations between two points using navigational techniques; and an unpowered aircraft by using upcurrents to gain altitude for extended flying time. Cross country is distinct from purely aerial work in a small defined area requiring little navigation.

Gliding recreational activity and competitive air sport

Gliding is a recreational activity and competitive air sport in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as gliders or sailplanes using naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne. The word soaring is also used for the sport.


Design and development

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' retractable two-stroke engine can be specified for extended gliding sessions. Over 500 Duo Discuses had been built by August 2007. Its chief rival is now the DG Flugzeugbau DG-1001. In U.S. Air Force service it is known as the TG-15A.

Schempp-Hirth Janus

The Schempp-Hirth Janus is a high performance two-seat glider that was built by Schempp-Hirth GmbH.

Schempp-Hirth Discus glider

The Schempp-Hirth Discus is a Standard Class glider designed by Schempp-Hirth. It was produced in Germany between 1984 and 1995 but has continued in production in the Czech Republic. It replaced the Standard Cirrus. It was designed by Klaus Holighaus.

Czech Republic republic in Central Europe

The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants; its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen. The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

Duo Discus X

A revised model the Duo Discus X was announced in 2005. This has landing flaps incorporated into the movement of the airbrake lever to improve its approach control, giving steeper and slower approaches, it also has winglets to improve thermal flying and a sprung and lower retractable undercarriage. This makes it slightly harder to get in because the distance between the cockpit and ground is increased, but the wings have a slightly higher angle of attack.

Duo Discus XL

The Duo Discus XL is the latest version. It shares the same fuselage as the Schempp-Hirth Arcus and the Schempp-Hirth Nimbus 4D. The cockpit is now 10 cm longer to improve seat comfort, security, space and ergonomics. The airbrake system has been moved 4 cm towards the leading edge and now extends 18mm higher. The XL is certified for simple aerobatics, including spinning. It can also be flown entirely from the back seat.

Schempp-Hirth Arcus

The Schempp-Hirth Arcus is a flapped Two Seater Class glider in production by Schempp-Hirth. It first flew 7 April 2009. It is offered in addition to the Duo Discus which is an unflapped 20 metre two-seater, whose fuselage it shares. The wings have flaperons integrated along the whole span.

Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4 family of gliders

The Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-4 is a family of high-performance FAI Open Class gliders designed by Klaus Holighaus and manufactured by Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH in Kirchheim, Germany. The Nimbus-4 first flew in 1990.

Specifications (XL)

General characteristics


  • Maximum speed: 263 km/h (164 mph)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 46-47
  • Rate of sink: 0.58 m/s (114 ft/min)

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

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