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FS 24 Phönix
FS-24 in the Deutsches Museum in Munich
Role Sailplane
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Akaflieg Stuttgart
Designed by R. Eppler and H. Nägele
First flight 27 November 1957
Number built 8

The Akaflieg Stuttgart FS-24 Phönix was a glider designed and built in Germany from 1951.


The Phönix was the first glider to use fibreglass in its construction. The development of modern aerofoil sections for gliders required very accurate reproduction with smooth surfaces. The tolerances required were extremely difficult to achieve using conventional wood or metal construction, but could be achieved by using composite materials laid up in a mould.

The design was started at the Akaflieg Stuttgart, (Akademische Fliegergruppe - academic flying group), by R. Eppler and H. Nägele in 1951. Originally it was constructed of balsa wood with a strengthened outer layer of paper and glue layers, which was not satisfactory. The project was abandoned until a grant was received for further research from Baden-Württemberg state. By then glass fibre reinforced polyester resin was available and so it was redesigned using a balsa wood/glass fibre 'sandwich', with the load-bearing points and the edge of the cockpit canopy strengthened with plywood.

At the time the Phönix was designed emphasis was placed on climb performance rather than high cruising speed, thus the Phönix was designed with a low wing loading to optimise thermalling, but a faster cruise speed (best Lift /Drag speed) was achieved through careful attention to fuselage shape, wing incidence, aspect ratio and other criteria.

The first flight was made on 27 November 1957, and good performance and excellent handling were demonstrated, especially in weak thermal conditions. For its first flights the prototype had a conventional tail unit and fixed undercarriage but later a T-tail and retractable undercarrriage were fitted. Flaps on the underside of the wing trailing edges could be used to control the glideslope on landing, with minimal trim change. Eight examples of the Phönix were built and all were still flying in 1980, with at least one example now preserved in the German museum in Munich and another in the Deutsches Segleflugmuseum at Wasserkuppe.


Data from

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Length: 6.84 m (22 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 16 m (52 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 0.95 m (3 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 14.5 m² (155 ft²)
  • Aspect ratio: 17.8
  • Empty weight: 164 kg (360 lb)
  • Gross weight: 265 kg (583 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 172 km/h (108 mph)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 37 at 77 km/h (48 mph)
  • Rate of sink: 0.52 m/s (102 ft/min)

Surviving aircraft

The prototype fs 24 Phönix is on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany.[1]

D-8353 is part of the collection of the Deutsches Segelflugmuseum at Wasserkuppe, Germany.[2]


External links



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