Published February 06, 2007
(No longer in service at USAFA )
The TG-3A (Schweizer 1-26) is a single-seat, medium performance sailplane used for cross-country and spin training. The TG-3A allowed students to master basic flight maneuvers while solo before progressing from the TG-4A basic trainer to the more advanced TG-9A sailplane. Commonly known as the"1-26", the TG-3A went by the callsign "Thunder" in the air.
The TG-3A features spoilers and a mid-wing configuration. Equipment includes basic flight instrumentation, an L-NAV soaring flight computer, a secure Cambridge GPS, and an oxygen system complete with intercom for high-altitude flights. The TG-3 was a very under-performing aircraft compared to the new, sleek fiberglass gliders. But in the hands of an accomplished cadet pilot, it has been flown for 6 hour flights, and has traveled over 190 miles away from the home airport using thermal lift to stay aloft. Every once and a while though, the weather wouldn't cooperate, and the glider would land away from the starting airport in a farmers field only to be trailered up and brought home. The TG-3 can be dis-assembled and put on a trailer for transport to contests or during a landing away from the home airfield situation (as shown below).
The TG-3A is manufactured by the Schweizer Aircraft Corp. at Elmira, New York. The USAF Academy has been flying this type of aircraft since the 1960's when only a soaring "club" existed. The first SGS 1-26 was flown on 16 January 1954 by Paul Schweizer. A total of 700 SGS 1-26 aircraft were produced. The TG-3 was replaced as the 94 FTS primary cross-country platform by the TG-10D in Fall 02. The last TG-3 was flown at USAFA at the Air Force/Navy football game demonstration on 5 Oct 02 by C1C Matthew Sartori.
Primary Function: Cross-Country and Spin Trainer
Length: 21 feet 6.5 in.
Height: 7 feet 2.5 in.
Wingspan: 40 feet (12 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 700 lbs
Speed: 114 mph
Glide Ratio: 23:1
Ceiling: FL 250
Max Positive G Limit: 5.33
Max Negative G Limit: 3.31
Range: Dependant on soaring conditions
Crew: One pilot
Date Deployed: 1960's