DG-100 History

published in Magazin “Segelfliegen” 4/2007

While studying for a mechanical engineering degree at Darmstadt Technical University from 1968 onwards, Wilhelm Dirks helped design the D-37 and D-38 in the local Akaflieg (academic flying group). After the maiden flight of this glass-fibre standard class glider on 19th December 1972, Dirks joined forces with the building contractor Gerhard Glaser whom he had met at a gliding competition. With Glaser he found a partner with the necessary funds, and after Dirks had obtained his degree, in 1973 the two founded the Glaser-Dirks Flugzeugbau GmbH in Bruchsal, Germany. 

In August 1973 they began building moulds of what was to become the starting point for a long line of DG gliders. The new glider was named DG-l00 and did its maiden flight as early as May 1974.

The glass-fibre fuselage had a pointier nose than the D-38 and a double-walled safety cockpit, which is enclosed by a very long two-piece canopy, the front part of which is fixed. The 101 was the first variant to have the newer, one-piece canopy with a gas strut at the nose end, which is still used on new DG single-seaters today. The pilot lies in a reclining but very comfortable position with the legs slightly elevated. DG pilots should wear long dark trousers to avoid reflections, which could spoil the excellent view through the large canopy. The instrument panel does not move up with the canopy. The parallelogram stick configuration was to become typical for DG, and the DG-101 and later models were offered with a fixed tailplane instead of the all-moving tailplane, designated by the G after the type name (which incidentally has officially always been DG-100). The size of the cockpit was increased slightly and a club version with a fixed undercarriage was available, which could easily be converted to a standard class version with the help of a few additional parts. The large, sprung, retractable undercarriage had a gas strut to facilitate retracting the wheel.

Cloudy – our translator Claudia Büngen –
in her DG-100 with the two-piece canopy
and all-moving tail over Feshiebridge in Scotland

The wings with a double trapezoid shape, a straight leading edge and the Wortmann profile 61-184 are fitted with Schempp-Hirth top-surface airbrakes, and except for the club version it takes up to 100 kg water ballast. Without water ballast the DG-100 is also certified for basic aerobatics. The DG-101 Club had a reduced MTOW of 385 kg (849 lbs) and an L/D of only 36. The L/D of the standard version is not improved on the DG-101. In 1985 an hour extension up to 6000 hours was introduced, and it is also possible to fit a Tost hook for aerotows. Since 1999 it has also been possible to retrofit modified wingtips to improve performance. There are no winglets for the DG-100 and its variants.

It is known as a docile, well-built glider, and Wilhelm Dirks put a strong emphasis on designing a comfortable cockpit for long, non-tiring flying.

105 gliders of the type DG-100 were built in Untergrombach (Bruchsal). From 1979, ELAN in Begunje in Slovenia built a total of 222 DG-100 ELAN in its different variants. Only 34 of those were still built with an all-moving tail. In 1983 Glaser-Dirks began building the DG-100 successor, the DG-300.

Second-hand DG-100s are very sought after and not that cheap to get. There are four official variants: The LBA has 37 DG-100 and eight DG-100 ELAN registered, plus eleven DG-100G and 89 DG-100G ELAN.

Buyers currently expect to pay approx. 18,000 – 20,000 Euro (£12,000 – £15,000) including the trailer.

Three-aspect view of the


Type Support:

DG Flugzeugbau GmbH
Otto-Lilienthal-Weg 2 / Am Flugplatz
D-76646 Bruchsal

Telefon: +49 (o) 72513020-0
e-mail: info@ls-flugzeugbau.de
internet: www.ls-flugzeugbau.de
formerly manufactured by:
Rolladen-Schneider Flugzeugbau, Egelsbach

Translation: Claudia Buengen, UK