Meet Chad Sanders – Chad took an inexpensive (and ubiquitous) Schweitzer 1-26 sailplane and built a beautiful mount for a pair turbojets – and now he has a jet-powered, self-launching sailplane that can get him from the flatlands of the California Central Valley up to the hills where he can find lift to go soaring – and then back to his home base when he’s had enough fun!
The modified 1-26 is just a little more sophisticated than what most sailplane pilots have experienced in the stock aircraft – but not much more complicated. The engine start sequence is simple, and there is little for the pilot to do — move the throttle lever and let the computer do its thing. Sanders reports take-offs of about 600 feet, with a climb rate of 500 rpm with both engines running.
Sanders left the wings at home for the SSA convention in Reno, but the little jet is an impressive piece of homebuilding!