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More than fourty years after the Horten IV, the members of the Academic Flying Group in Braunschweig began to use the flying wing design again, however with new materials and new laminar profiles. They wanted to find out if the performance of gliders could be improved by means of this design.

The flying performance of the experimental airplane SB 13 was slightly better than the one of serial aircraft of this time. In flight, however, some pronounced flight characteristics, which demanded much better flying capabilities from the pilots, turned out to be adverse. The high, swept-back wing was prone to fluttering,  a problem that could only be solved by means of time-consuming research and by the first-time use of carbon fibres with a high elastic modulus in the spar construction, as well as its alignment in the wing. Ultimately, the disadvantages prevailed and the flying wing design was not used for serial aircraft.

A special feature of the SB 13 is the innovative rescue system, which permits the rescue of the entire aircraft at low altitude with the use of several parachutes.

This one-of-a-kind aircraft was developed, built and tested by the student members of the Akademische Fliegergruppe Braunschweig. The first flight took place on March 18, 1988. It was followed by two years of flight testing. The glider took part in several competitions and flew for the last time in 2000.

Technical specifications:

  • Manufacturer: Akademische Fliegergruppe Braunschweig e.V., Braunschweig, 1988
  • Wingspan: 15.0 m
  • Wing aspect ratio:  19.4
  • Empty weight:  282 kg
  • Best glide ratio:  42 at 107 km/h
  • Minimum sink rate: 0.57 m/s at 85 km/h