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TG-10B Merlin

TG-10 B Merlin

TG-10 B Merlin

The TG-10B (L-23 Super Blanik) is a conventional two-place tandem, basic training sailplane. It is used to introduce all Air Force Academy cadets to flight through the Soar-For-All program. Maneuvers flown in the TG-10B include aerotow, stall recoveries, slow flight, steep turns, and rectangular traffic patterns.

The TG-10B is one of the world's most common initial soaring trainers. The LETECKÉ ZÁVODY Aircraft Corporation (LET) of Kunovice, Czech Republic manufactures the L-23 Super Blanik (Air Force designation TG-10B). It is an all-metal, two-seat, self-supporting, T-tail, high-winged glider with a retractable main wheel and a fixed tail wheel. The canopy is a one-piece design, allowing for excellent visibility. The tandem cockpit has dual flight controls. The radios and basic flight instruments are mounted in both cockpits. Advanced glide computer and a secure GPS Flight recorder are also maintained in each aircraft. Four sailplanes are configured for cross-country and wave flying. They are equipped with oxygen, electronic location transmitters (ELT's), and wing tip extensions for better glide performance.

The TG-10B aircraft was procured from LET via Blanik America Corporation Fall 2001 and the first delivery was in May 2002. The TG-10B replaced the aging TG-4 fleet that has served the Academy well for many years. The TG-10 aircraft were purchased as a family of similar aircraft with the intent of making upgrade to different aircraft easy.
Today, the 94 FTS trains nearly 500 USAFA and AFROTC cadets in a fleet of 12 TG-10Bs each year. Cadets typically fly 10-15 sorties in the TG-10B, with the average student soloing on the 12th sortie. The 94 FTS corps of officer instructor pilots and attached first and second class (senior and junior) cadet IPs provide instruction.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Basic Soaring Trainer
Length: 27.89 ft
Height: 6.23 ft
Wingspan: 55.35 ft (59.71ft with wing tip extensions)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 1168 lbs
Max Speed: 124 Knots Indicated (below 13,780 ft MSL)
Glide Ratio: 28:1 (32:1 with wing tip extensions)
Ceiling: 20,000 ft MSL (4 wave aircraft-25,000 ft MSL)
Max Positive G Limit: 5.0 (at maneuvering airspeed)
Max Negative G Limit: 2.5 (at maneuvering airspeed)
Range: Dependent on soaring conditions
Armament: None
Crew: Two (student pilot and instructor pilot)
Date Deployed: May 2002
Inventory: 12