Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region

Mecenas Muzeum

Kraków Airport

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Skrzydlata Polska

Glider: SZD-6X Nietoperz

SZD-6X Nietoperz
experimental glider

  • Technical data

Span 12.0 m (39 ft 4 in)
Length 4.0 m (13 ft 1 in)
Wing area 14.4 sq m
Empty weight 150 kg (331 lb)
Take-off weight 235 kg (518 lb)
Glide ratio 17.5 at 90 kph optimum speed
Sink rate 1.35 mps (4.43 fps) at 80 kph economy speed
Minimum speed 54 kph (29 kt)
Max. diving speed 300 kph (162 kt)


An experimental tailless glider.

A single-seat, all-wooden glider of mid-wing configuration. A short fuselage houses an enclosed cockpit and is ended with the residual vertical stabiliser with the rudder of very big surface. The wings centre section is equipped with flaps, the external parts have divided elevons, which also play a role of the air brakes. To improve the cockpit visibility and the directional stability, a wings centre part features a characteristic sweep. This original layout was the reason for giving the glider the name of Nietoperz (bat).

By the end of the 1940s, in the Gliding Institute in Bielsko-Biała, a team led by engineers Władysław Nowakowski and Justyn Sandauer started the initial works on the glider, aiming at build of the cheap experimental construction, allowing for testing the unique tail-less configuration. The first flight of the one and only example of the Nietoperz took place in January 1951, at Katowice-Muchowiec airfield.

The in-flight tests of the Nietoperz were carried out at the Gliding Institute in Bielsko-Biała until 1959. The three modes of steering were tested. The most interested were the two variants of the so called drug rudder-spoiler control, done by opening of the external elevons, acting as an aerodynamic brakes. The glider then flew with removed or blocked vertical rudder. Similar steering system was adopted in the American bomber Northrop B-2 Spirit.

The Nietoperz being a machine difficult to fly, served only for the in-flight tests. After concluding it, the glider was transferred to the Polish Aviation Museum in 1964.



Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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