Se 103 - DFS Kranich (1943-1953)

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Hans Jacobs at the DFS (Deutsches Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (German Research Institute for Soaring Flight) designed in 1935 a sailplane called Kranich (the bird ”Crane” in English). The two-seated aircraft was equipped with dual command with the instructor (in tandem) behind the pupil.  

The Air Force ordered  the Kranich, which got the designation Se 103, as it needed a two-seat sailplane for basic training. The rights for building it under license in Sweden had been bought by AB Flygplan at Norrköping. This company was in 1938 appointed as the representative of Klemm aircraft in Sweden. As the Air Force had acquired a considerably number of the Klemm Kl 15 trainer aircraft, AB Flygplan had got a lot of money as commission. To avoid tax, AB Flygplan now decided to build up a production facility for sailplanes. 

30 Kranich - Air Force numbers 8201-8203 - were manufactured in 1943-1944. AB Flygplan never managed to find a suitable successor to the Kranich and the Grunau Baby. After the production of these types was finished, the company was laid down. 

The Kranich was built in wood and fabric. Its monocoque plywood fuselage had a long framed canopy with individual detachable sections. The gull wings were equipped with spoilers. To take off, it used a jettisonable double wheel and landed on an ash skid. As the rear seat was located behind the wing spar, a transparent panel in each wing root provided downward visibility for the instructor.  

The aircraft at the photo now hangs under the ceiling of Flygvapenmuseum. It has the Sw/AF No 8211 and the c/n 072.   

Length: 7,70 m. Span: 18,00 m. MTOW: 365 kg. Max. speed: 215 km/h. Lift/drag ratio 23:1 at 70 km/h.


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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-11