by Thomas Bergmann
published in the”Segelfliegen” Magazine in 2007
The elegant DG-300 by Glaser Dirks, DG aircraft since 1996, is one of the most popular standard-class Gliders. 183 of them are currently registered in Germany. Until early 2007 a total of 511 DG 300 in four variants were built in Slovenia by AMS-Flight, formerly ELAN.
Foto: Luc Dubelaar
William Dirks, during his mechanical engineering course at the Technical University Darmstadt, worked from 1968 in the local akaflieg and began 1970 with the development of a standard class aircraft in FRP construction. The project received the designation D-38 and on 19 December 1972 its first flight took place. To establish serial production, Dirks joined up with Gerhard Glaser, whom he met at a gliding competition. Glaser had the required capital and after completing his studies they established the Glaser Dirks Flugzeugbau GmbH in 1973.
The new aircraft was called DG-100 and was ready for its maiden flight in May 1974. From 1979 ELAN produced in Slovenia the DG-100 ELAN.
In 1983 the production of the successor DG-300 began in Slovenia in four variants. They were offered as DG-300 Elan, Elan Acro, Club Elan and DG-300 Club Elan Acro.
William Dirks developed the new aircraft together with his former employees Alwin Güntert and even the prototype was built by ELAN. The fuselage is based on that of the DG-100, but has a different T-tail with conventional elevator and ballast tank in the fin and was 20 cm shorter. The very large canopy enables unparalleled visibility and gives the aircraft a distinctive silhouette. However, it also grants the sun unfettered access and requires wearing of dark trousers to avoid reflection. The seating position is flat, but comfortable with adjustable headrest; the excellent cockpit of the DG-101 was largely retained, adding only 2 cm in width and the water dump handle. The center of gravity release in vicinity of the main wheel was later supplemented by a nose release to facilitate aero-towing.
The carbon fiber wings from had a modified Dirks HQ profile and improved layout with a straight leading edge and several kinks in the trailing edge, it is the first production aircraft with blow turbulators. The approximately 900 tiny holes on the bottom wing force the flow from laminar to turbulent at a well-defined point of the laminar profile to reduce the drag and thereby contribute to a performance improvement. The DG-300 has new transitions between wing and fuselage and all controls connect automatically. The big-Schempp-Hirth air brakes only open to the top and allow for steep approaches.
Two versions of water tanks with 130 and 190 liter capacity were on offer, permitting wing loading up to 51 kg/m². Filling is done from the under side of the wings.
The club versions were delivered without retractable undercarriage, blow turbulators and water tanks. The later versions of the DG-303 could be ordered either with or without winglets and the underside of the profile received further improvement.
The Acro version differs by a reinforced structure; aerobatics are permitted only without winglets and water ballast.
In 2005, Elan was sold to AMS Flight who took over distribution of the DG 303 as well. DG-Flugzeugbau, since 1996 in the hands of Friedel Weber with Wilhelm Dirks as development manager, became the distributor in Germany.
The production of DG-303 ended in 2005. Up to that date 511 DG-300 were delivered.
Used DG-300 are in demand and prices are around the 30,000 euro mark. Only 42 ELAN ACRO units were built, including seven in club version, probably few of their owners want to part with their gliders and hardy any appear on the market.
Three Dimensional Side View
of the DG-300
List of Spare Parts
some more Photos of the DG-300
DG Flugzeugbau GmbH
Otto-Lilienthal-Weg 2 / Am Flugplatz
Telefon: +49 (0) 72513020-0