Published February 06, 2007
(No longer in service at USAFA )
The TG-4A (SGS 2-33A) is a conventional two-place tandem, basic training sailplane, that was used to introduce all Air Force Academy cadets to flight through the Soar-For-All program. Maneuvers flown in the TG-4A include aerotow, stall recoveries, slow flight, steep turns, and rectangular traffic patterns.
The TG-4A is the world's most common initial soaring trainer. The Schweizer Aircraft Corporation of Elmira, NY manufactured the TG-4A. It has an all-metal airframe, with aluminum covering on the wings and vertical tail. The forward 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 the front cockpit only. TG-4's could also be dis-assembled and put on a trailer for easy transport for contests or demonstrations, although very rarely done.
Soaring became part of the Academy curriculum in December of 1964, as an optional military training course. Four sailplanes were acquired through donations and non-appropriated funds. From its early roots, flight training was expanded to all cadets in 1970 with the establishment of the Soar-For-All program. Its mission was "to form the foundation of cadet exposure to aviation related activities, build character, and help motivate cadets toward a career in the United States Air Force." The TG-4A provided a proven, reliable, and low-cost means of providing this training. The TG-4 was replaced by the TG-10B in 2002. The TG-4 was last flown at USAFA on 20 Feb 03 by Maj Mark Matticola, 94 FTS. The TG-4 fleet will be donated to government entities, such as the Civil Air Patrol, and to various aviation museums.
Primary Function: Basic Soaring Trainer
Length: 25 feet 9 in.
Height: 9 feet 3.5 in.
Wingspan: 51 ft
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 1040 lbs
Speed: 98 mph
Glide Ratio: 23:1
Ceiling: 14,000 ft
Max Positive G Limit: 4.67
Max Negative G Limit: 2.56
Range: Dependant on soaring conditions
Crew: Two (student pilot and instructor pilot)
Date Deployed: October 1984