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TG-10B gliders at the U.S. Air Force Academy

The TG-10 is the military designation for the Blanik sailplanes used for basic flight training at the United States Air Force Academy. The Academy maintains an inventory of 21 TG-10s in three variants. The aircraft are flown by cadets and officers of the 94th Flying Training Squadron, 306th Flying Training Group, Nineteenth Air Force, Air Education and Training Command.

Variants

All of the TG-10 models are of aluminium semi-monocoque construction with fabric-covered control surfaces. All are equipped with full soaring instrument panels (altimeter, airspeed indicator, accelerometer, variometer, vertical velocity indicator, magnetic compass) and feature a full avionics suite (VHF radio, GPS, navigation computer, ELT).

TG-10B Merlin: LET L-23 Super Blanik. 12 in inventory. Basic trainer; 2-seat tandem configuration. Used in the Academy's Soar For All Program and for training cadets to become glider instructor pilots. Four of them have been configured for high altitude wave soaring.

TG-10C Kestrel/"Saber": LET L-13AC Blanik. 5 in inventory. Advanced trainer; cockpit and controls are identical to the Merlin making transitions between the two aircraft very seamless. Used for aerobatics and spin training. Slightly heavier with shorter wingspan and conventional tail configuration offers slightly faster dynamic response to control inputs.

TG-10D Peregrine/"Thunder": Blanik L-33 Solo. 4 in inventory. Advanced trainer; single seater. Cockpit and controls are similar to TG-10B. Used for advanced cross country and wave soaring training.

The Air Force Academy has retired the TG-10D sailplanes in favor of their newest high-performance gliders, the Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus and Discus 2b, designated the TG-15A (tandem two-seater) and TG-15B (single seat).

History

The Academy used the older, very reliable TG-4 gliders (Schweizer SGS 2-33) until 2002, when it replaced them with the newer TG-10. Until 2004, sailplane operations were conducted by the 94th Flying Training Squadron under the 34th Operations Group, a unit of the 34th Training Wing, United States Air Force Academy. In 2004, the 94th as well as other operations units at the Academy (98th and 557th) realigned under Air Education and Training Command.

Other References

TG-10 can also be referred to as The Gathering 2010, a computer party hosted in Hamar, Norway inside "Vikingskipet" within the easter holidays. The main page for The Gathering can be found here: http://gathering.org

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