Mü17 "Merle"

The Mü17 'Merle' (occasionally referred to as 'dress-hanger' because of its characteristic wing shape) is the oldest Akaflieg-built glider still in operation. It was developed for a construction competition in 1938 by which the glider association ISTUS searched for a standard olympic glider for the 1940 Olympic Games. Participants were, among others, the Akafliegs Aachen, Berlin and München. Two Mü17 prototypes were completed. They were designed for easy assembly and handy flight characteristics. Already then, the 'Merle' had automatic aileron and speed brake junctions.

The second prototype was first tested at the pre-elimination in Rome 1939, where it achieved only a second place behind the DFS Olympia-Meise. The Mü17 was reproduced about 60 times, even some with retractable landing gear. None of them survived WW2. The Mü17 features characteristically darted, trapezoid wings with a wingspan of 15m. Its advantages were its low minimal speed (45km/h, approx. 28mph) and its low weight (158kg). Today, the Akaflieg operates the Mü17 'Alpha Sierra' (registration number D-1740) that was rebuilt in 1961. It has a calculated ratio of 26 at 64km/h and a minimal sink rate of 0,63m/s at 54km/h. We use it for training purposes for pilots on their first solo and cross-country flights.

Wing span 15m
Wing area 13.3m²
Aspect ratio 16.9
Wing load 22.6kg/m²
Empty weight 157kg
Max. weight 300kg
Min. sink rate(55km/h) 0.64m/s
Glide ratio (66km/h) 26

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