DG Flugzeugbau

DG-1001M – The New Self-Launcher

“When will the DG-1000M self-launcher finally be ready?”

This question has been posed to us frequently in the past few years, and our answer has always been the same:

When we have the right propulsion system!

We can now announce that the real construction phase of the DG-1000M (as a DG-1001) has begun. The first airplane should be ready for its first flight in the sommer of 2009, and production should commence 2009.


It is well known that there is an engine from Solo with a double carburetor and 64 hp for the larger gliders. We are very familiar with this unit, and have already installed it in the DG-505MB. However, certain issues need to be addressed.

We were looking everywhere for a replacement, preferably a four stroke with a dry sump lubrication system and fuel injection. You might not believe it but, we don’t think such an engine exists!  We considered modern motorcycle engines, but they were too heavy and always carried an integrated gearbox, which we neither want nor need. And none of these engines are certified for airplane use.

We have a rather unique set of circumstances. We need an extremely small and light engine that only runs for short periods while giving ultimate performance. When retracted it must fit into the very tight confinement of the fuselage aft of the cockpit.

The best engine for this that exists today is a two stroke engine. The four strokes are at least 30 kg heavier, much bulkier and can therefore not be used.

Development at Solo motors has of course not stood still. On the contrary, the well known motor with twin carburetors has really evolved, which has made it much more suitable for us:

  • Programmable fuel injection unit (ECM) for two strokes has been introduced
  • Less restrictive intake manifold and the new fuel injection system raise power output  to around 68 hp
  • Improvements to start and exhaust systems lead to slightly lower fuel consumption
  • Altitude compensation System has been added so the engine loses less power and runs with less noise emissions, at higher altitudes
  • New crankshaft reduces vibrations
  • Torsional damper on the crank further reduces engine vibrations and the risk of drive belt failure
  • Higher pitch propeller is used to lower engine speed and to lower high frequency vibrations

All this cannot be further quantified at present. Exact performance data can
only be given after completion of development.

The Aircraft.

The DG-1001M will have the same wingspan (20 m) as the DG-1001T.
This is very positive, because:

Flaps are not required, as the tried and tested standard large undercarriage
already allows sufficient decalage* for take-off.

*(According to Wikipedia "Decalage" is the angle difference between the wing and the horizontal stabilizer)

The new DG-1001M will also offer the following:

  • Full operation of the powerplant from both seats makes it more useful for passenger flights - the passenger may even be carried in the front seat
  • Steerable Tailwheel and Electric Operation of Main Gear
  • DEI-NT will offer stall warning and all the monitoring functions found in the DG-808
  • a safety-backup-system for the fuel injection - in the case of a failure the pilot can continue to fly with a simple carburetor
  • Full range of options already existing for the DG-1001S and T


First deliveries are scheduled for the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010.

We cannot say much about cost yet. To keep the cost of development within reason, we will examine experience gained with the DG-505MB and reuse as many components as possible.

Our sales manager is already taking options that secure early delivery date with a refundable deposit of 3,000 Euro. The first options have already been sold.

Otherwise, just wait and see for yourselves!

- friedel weber -
Translation: Lars Lundin

Well, end of January 2009 we announced the new product line DG-1001, and of course the 1000M immediately will become a "DG-1001M" .

The fuselage is glued together, and midst of February the ship is standing in the rough assembly hall.

AERO 2009

On the AERO-Exhibition in Friedrichshafen the DG-1001M was presented to the visitors.
Now all interested pilots are waiting for the test flight possibility.

Maiden Flight of the DG-1001M took place at July 9th, 2009

DG- Info 07-2009

Maiden flight of the DG-1001M

July 9th 2009
DG chief designer Dipl. Ing Wilhelm Dirks together with his co-designer Michael Harms were able to perform the maiden flight of the DG-1001M.

Here are his first impressions:
The new DG-1001 powerplant impressed me with a very good acceleration. So it was possible to lift off after 250m - before the mid runway marking of the small 600 m long Bruchsal grass strip. Also the field was very wet. It had rained very often  today and the preceeding days.

We climbed with about 3 m/s and could cruise with 155 km/h at 6300 engine RPM.
The engine was running very smoothly and hardly any vibrations could be felt in the cockpit. The noise level in the cockpit was so low that it was comfortable to fly without headsets.

With the engine retracted the DG-1001M felt like a DG-1000S without waterballast, no decrease of manoeuvrability could be detected.

The DG-1001M is equipped with a new engine called 2 625 03 developed by the Solo company. This engine has several innovative features distinguishing it from the engines used at present for similar applications, e.g. in the DG-500MB.
An electronic fuel injection sytem provides higher power output at high altitudes and lower fuel consumption and smooth operation at reduced power settings (cruise).
It produces more power for safe selflaunching, approx. 50 kW / 68 hp

The DG-1001M retractable powerplant system features fundamental differences from the systems using toothed drive belts. The engine, which must be mounted rigidly to the propeller mast when using a toothed belt drive, is mounted flexible to the DG-1001M propeller mast for vibration insulation. Instead of a toothed belt 5 high-tech V-belts will be used. These belts can tolerate the movements between engine and drive system. The system has a redundancy feature as any 4 of the 5 belts can take up the full load.

Bruchsal - July 9th, 2009
Dipl. Ing Wilhelm Dirks



DG-1001M - Three dim View

DG-1001M Take off

DG-1001M propulsion system


DG-1001M on YouTube

A short video of the DG-1001M in Bruchsal on the 3rd of September Pilot: Holger Back 

Report of the Flight Testing of the DG-1001M

written by Holger Back on September 11th, 2009

Since approximately 2 month the prototype of the DG-1001M is airborne for flight testing.

Meanwhile Wilhelm Dirks, Michael Harms and Holger Back accomplished numerous self launches at different airfields. The engine was additionally  tested during various climbs up to 3000m. Main tasks were the accurate adjustment of the electronic fuel injection to different parameters like engine temperature, air temperature, air pressure etc. These adjustments are almost completed and from the so far conducted tests we can draw a positive conclusion:

The propulsion system satisfies all required terms.

  • It is powerful, quiet and low-vibrational.
  • The take off length was even under unfavourable conditions with a little tailwind below 300m, on average between 250m and 280m.
  • The average climb rate was 2.5 to 3m/s.
  • At test flights of a DG-505MB and of a DG-1001M with the same wingspan and take off weight, the DG-1001M showed the superiority during the complete climb over the Otto engine of the DG-505MB.
  • Especially the comparison with the DG-505MB shows the progress regarding the noise emissions and the vibrations. The DG-1001M is definitely more quiet in the cockpit and the vibrations are less.
  • Flying in the thermals is uncomplicated as well.
  • The excess weight of 50kg of the self launcher is of no  relevance compared to the DG-1001T. Circling in the thermals is even possible at a higher bank with a speed of 90-95km/h.

Within the next week an optimised engine support will be assembled. (Cable and tubular laying were not optimised for the prototype and some add-on parts had not enough space).

From the beginning of October the DG-1001M will be open to the public so that customers and interested people can see for oneself the positive characteristics.

Holger Back
- Managing Director -

....and this is a letter, Wilhelm Dirks wrote to a potential customer:

Dear Mr. M.......,

In the meantime we have performed several self launches with the DG-1000M.
To see the power on flight performance gain due to the new engine we have performed a comparison flight with a DG-500MB with 20m wingspan.
Both glider were loaded to the same weight, which means we had to put a lot of ballast into the DG-1000M.

We found that the take-off distance on grass runway was quite the same but the climb of the DG-1000M was about 30% better than of the DG-505MB.
The cruise power on is also much faster VH=160 km/h which is due to the changed reduction ratio of 1:2,8 instead of 1:3 and due to the new propeller.

So as I already told you take-off performance is very good even without wing flaps.
The new engine (Schempp Hirth will - as far as we know - not use it for the Arcus!) gives a remarkable climb performance improvement.

Concerning gliding performance I like to point out that the DG-1000 wing section was designed for use without wing flaps. This means that the high speed performance is much better than that of a wing section with flaps at neutral flap setting. This feature is similar to the famous LS8 which is able to compete with flapped gliders in the 18m class as you know.

Further I like to point out the ground handling and taxiing of the DG-1000M which is superb due to the large tip wheels and the steerable tailwheel, similar to your DG-800B. I think the Arcus will not be designed for taxiing without external help.

So your cousin must decide if he wants to trade the DG ease and comfort and safety against a little gliding performance improvement.

With kind regards

Wilhelm Dirks
Leiter der Entwicklung / Chief of Design

Another report of Holger Back:

Hello Friedel,

I would like to add, it's because I am so enthusiastic:

Last weekend the Swiss Glider Pilot Convention took place where I achieved great attention with the DG-1001M, although the DG-1001M was only exhibited.

Afterwards I continued to the airfield of Biella in Italy, in order to make the well in advance scheduled flights with the local customers. The airfield has a length of 1.500 m possessing a paved runway as well as several paved taxiways and I was able to taxi with the customer from the car to the starting point like an aeroplane. Stefano made a video and you can watch it on YouTube:


It is quite impressive how the airplane takes-off and how it is capable of taxiing back after the landing until the retraction of the engine.

Considering the airplane "everything" is working properly. Finally, after the usual problems of a prototype at the beginning, now the airplane makes a mature impression. The engine purrs powerful with only little vibrations and enables the airplane for a 2,5 to 3 m/s climb. Our guests were accordingly enthusiastic.

At noon, my son and I were done and we made an appointment with our customer in Kufstein, Austria, where the weather pretended to be suitable. During the night it rained heavily there. The airfield in Kufstein has a 800 m grass runway and the local executive had a dubious face if the airplane could take-off at all.

We pulled the airplane in the outermost corner of the airfield, but it was that wet that even the car was stuck. No idea of how to roll here! We pulled it back 100 m where it was a little dryer. Thus, getting in, full power and - nobody would believe it! - after nearly 250 m the bird was airborne.

Over the day I made 5 further flights, whereas at one flight a guest and myself weighing over 190 kg. That was of no problem! - yet not for the DG-1001M!!! Smiley

I also worried about that the airplane could touch the ground with its nose due to the wet underground. However, the changed landing gear with the forward placed wheel ensures a high tail loading so that after some stitching  I could easy accelerate and take-off. Everything without any problems and so our prospective customers were also enthusiastic.

What is still missing is a back-up system in case of the unlikely failure of the fuel-injection system. We decided not to allow autonomous customer flights without such a back-up system. Whether this "Safety comes first" strategy is still necessary needs to be discussed. Let's leave it at that.

Many regards from an interesting weekend.


- holger back -

Translation: Holger Kuhn

Our friends in Austria have made a videoclip showing the take-off distances of the DG-1001M in different configurations. The grass air field in Kufstein was extremely wet during these tests.

Here you can see the flights:

dg-1001m-testfluege.wmv  (56MB groß)


Noise Level Measurement

On Monday 7/12/2010 we visited Augsburg Airport with the DG-1001M in order to perform the noise-level tests with OUV assessor Peter Styrsky. After 6 successful overflights of the test equipment we were able to complete this point of the certification process without any problems.

With 64,1 dB(A) we now stay far below the allowed limits and also fulfill the demanding noise-level rules in Germany  valid since 01/01/2010!

So, the DG-1001M pleases not only its pilots with outstanding take-off performance and climbing, it also reduces the noise level around the airfields. This is a very important point for a lot of airfields in the world which have noise problems!

Here the summary, taken out of the DG-1001M flight manual:

Noise requirements: ICAO Annex 16, Volume I, Part II, Chapter X

Measured noise level: 64.1dB(A) at 790 kg (1720 lbs.)

Noise limit:               74.8 dB(A) at 790 kg (1720 lbs.)


Stefan Goeldner




Flight Tests of the DG-1001M could be finished!

With the beginning of the company summer holidays Wilhelm Dirks has finished the flight tests. The measurement of the necessary take-off runways has confirmed our previous assumptions.
We even could increase the gliders max. weight up to 790 KG.

The peliminary Flight Manual is available, too.

So the development of the DG-1001M has been finished successfully.


... and here you can see a really beautifil Video made by our former employee Michael Weber -

It nearly gives the same impression as a test flight! Smiley

On YouTube:


and in original size - 182 MB:





The DG-1001M is certified now.

The EASA has issued the final certification dated from March 17th, 2011.



DG-1001M – The Self Launch Motor Glider for Clubs!

The DG-1001M enjoys great popularity in soaring clubs. One reason is the modernization of the glider fleet. But the main reason is pure independence and easiness which make this glider unique and popular.

Usage of self-launch motor gliders in clubs has been a big discussion worldwide for a long time. The reason why clubs fear such an investment, are easy to understand: complex handling, extensive maintenance, high purchase costs etc.

Taking a closer look on these arguments you can see that older self-launchers are not far away from these prejudices. The first generation self-launchers were developed in the 1980s’ and the 1990s’. Those days manufacturers went through troubled waters. Of cause, compromises were made quicker, since the main aim was to create a functioning self-launch system enabling customers to self-launch without any assistance. This benefit reached a higher priority than the complexity of such a glider.

At that time DG was already leader of the self-launch glider market especially with regard to functionality and design. Of cause, these systems had room for improvement, as implementation takes many years.

And today?  Anything changed?

We know that the DG-1000 is a popular glider, especially for clubs, but how can we make such a glider self-launch without losing its superb all-round characteristics? One of our first aims was to set the flaps aside. As SOLO released the SOLO 2625 02i 2-stroke engine, we knew that we had found the engine we had been eagerly awaiting. This engine would enable us to take off even without flaps. But we didn’t intend to include this engine in the old propeller-dome of the DG-505MB. We wanted to improve maintainability and vibration level so we designed a complete new power unit with an engine mounted on shock mounts, combined with 5 V-belts with the ability of running incomparably smooth. This prevents instruments and electronic devices getting damaged.

All important equipment such as water-pump, generator, igniters and lines are not covered making maintenance easier. The V-belt cover is designed to enable a quick exchange with minimum work. In the rare case that the power unit has to be removed, this can be done without much trouble and effort.

The next stage was to customize and modernize the famous DEI-NT engine management system, known from the DG-808C and the DG-1000T. This enables new features like log-book, memory function, big display and adjustable stall-warning which were not available in the DG-505MB. Also, we were able to automate the monitoring of all parameters during engine operation. The DEI-NT permanently checks all incoming information and activates a pilot alert if information with warning data occurs. The DEI-NT also sends a warning should there be an overheating due to a defective water pump, or an engine stop because of fuel pump problems. Finally, the complete data can be read immediately or retrospect and can also be related to a specific flight. This is comparable to a modern automobile.

The DEI-NT allows the power unit’s automatic retraction and extraction process. Especially this procedure was very complex in older self-launchers and required lots of concentration. Today, you simply pull back the throttle to idle power and use the “extract/retract” switch, the rest is operated automatically by the DEI-NT engine management system. Normally, operating errors are nearly impossible. Naturally, the power unit is steerable from both seats as this makes instructions and training easier.

But what about flying now?

After moving the extract/retract switch (described as “ignition switch” in the manual) into the upward position, the power unit extracts automatically and support devices such as fuel pump, ignition and water pump get activated. The DEI-NT shows when the propeller is fully extracted. This procedure takes about 10 seconds. Now the pilot can start the engine by pushing the starter button. The engine starts like a car due to the electronic fuel injection.

Taxiing without assistance is easy due to the large wing wheels and the steerable tail wheel.

The motor glider’s acceleration is great and the wings move horizontal after a few meters. There is no tendency to yaw by increasing power. After approx. 250m (820ft) the glider takes off at about 80km/h (43kts) and climbs constantly with more than 3m/s (6kt/s).

In Flight:   
For shutting down the engine you simply have to pull the throttle back to idle power and move the “ignition-switch” into “off” position. Ignition, water pump, fuel pumps and all other devices switch off. The propeller stops within a few seconds and the whole unit moves back into an interim position. In this position, the wind milling effect automatically pushes the propeller against the propeller stopper. A sensor, mounted to the propeller head, activates the retraction process as soon as the propeller stays to the stopper. Everything is done automatically!

Flight characteristics do not change, although the glider’s weight is 100kg more than a normal DG-1001S. All gentle flight characteristics stay as they are. Only the minimum speed increases by 7-8 km/h (4.5 - 5kts).

Eventually we designed a self-launch high performance double-seater, high in performance, comfort and flight characteristics which suits perfectly into any soaring club.

This is proven by several articles - see below please!

Up to now, clubs have bought a large amount of the DG-1001M. This impressively shows how great the response is on this glider.

A big advantage is flying during the week and in small weather windows. Also smaller clubs can benefit from the DG-1001M for eg, schooling during the week and flying when nobody is around. It’s remarkable how many hours these gliders are flying as they can be operated easily without assistance in a very short time.

Clubs also begin to use the DG-808 more and more. Of course the flaperon requires more training, but thanks to the easy engine management and the harmonic flight characteristics the glider is not only suitable for “top-pilots” but also pilots with average flying skills. This gives a good outlook to club members who wish for independence, flying during the week, autarkic ground handling and last but not least the same advantages as the DG-1001M. This results in a high operating rate and makes the glider fly economically for the clubs.

High performance gliders with high comfort and reliability made by DG-Flugzeugbau! There is a reason, why “top-pilots” count on the DG-1001M and the DG-808! You can see it by reading the OLC world ranking lists, rank one and two go to DG-Sailplanes!

Have we made you curious then please contact us!

DG-Flugzeugbau and our worldwide network of highly experienced dealers are looking forward to your inquiries. We’ll be happy to prepare an individual offer for you!

Stefan Goeldner
Translation: Marion Goeldner


Technical Data Sheet



Other Articles of Interest:


DG-1000 - the development


DG-1001M the new Freedom


Derek Piggott flies the DG-1000

DG-1000 - Impressions and Comments


DG-1000 Trim Box


Aerobatic Test flights of the DG-1000S/18m


DG-1000 T - the sustainer version


DG-1000 hums