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Schweizer SGS 2-33

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Schweizer SGS 2-33

SGS 2-33
Role Training sailplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Schweizer Aircraft Corporation
Designer Ernest Schweizer[1]
First flight 1965[1][2]
Number built 579[1]
Developed from Schweizer 2-22
Schweizer SGS 2-33A belonging to The Winnipeg Gliding Club
SGS 2-33A showing its semi-tapered wing planform. The tire is used to secure the wing in windy conditions
Schweizer SGS 2-33A used for training in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets gliding program

The Schweizer SGS 2-33 is a United States two-seat, high-wing, strut-braced, training glider built by Schweizer Aircraft of Elmira, New York.[1][2][3]

The 2-33 was designed to replace the Schweizer 2-22, from which it was derived. The aircraft first flew in 1965 and production was started in 1967. Production was completed in 1981.[1][2][3]

From its introduction until the late 1980s, the 2-33 was the main training glider used in North America.[1][2][3]


The SGU 2-22 two seat training glider was introduced in 1945 and quickly became the most popular training glider in the USA.[4]

By the early 1960s it became obvious to Schweizer Aircraft that a replacement for the 2-22 was needed. At that time the single seat Schweizer SGS 1-26 was becoming very popular for one-design competition flying. The company realized that the new trainer should have similar performance to the 1-26, in order to be used as the 1-26's two seat transition trainer.[3]

SGU 2-22 production was ended at serial number 258 in 1967 to commence production of the new model.[3]


The SGS 2-33, indicating Schweizer Glider, Sailplane, 2 Seats, Model 33, was designed by Ernest Schweizer. The aircraft was a derivative of the 2-22, which in turn was based on the SGU 1-7 single place glider of 1937. The 2-33 retained the 2-22 and 1-7's metal wing, single spar and single strut arrangement.[1][2][5]

The 2-33 was manufactured in three variants and remained in production for 14 years. Production was only curtailed when demand dropped off due to the import of higher-performance two-place sailplanes from Europe.[3]

The 2-33 received type certificate G3EA on 10 February 1967.[6]

A number of 2-33s were delivered as kits to the purchaser and designated as SGS 2-33AK. These were accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration as certified aircraft and not amateur-builts, subject to conditions:[6]

The 2-33 type certificate is currently held by K & L Soaring of Cayuta, New York who now provide all parts and support for the Schweizer line of sailplanes.[6][7]


The 2-33 was designed to be rugged, easy to maintain and with a high degree of crashworthiness.[1][2][3][5]

The 2-33 has a welded steel tube fuselage covered in aircraft fabric. The single-spar, aluminum structure wings are tapered from mid-span and feature top and bottom balanced divebrakes. The wings are covered in aluminum stressed skin. The tailplane and elevator are made from welded steel tube covered in aircraft fabric. The vertical fin is aluminum stressed skin construction, while the rudder is fabric-covered.[1][2][5]

The 2-33 has a fiberglass nose cone and a one-piece molded front canopy. Access to the rear seat is via door on the right-hand side. Instruments are fitted in the front cockpit only. Most 2-33s have a four-position bungee trim system, with aircraft starting with serial number 500 equipped with a "ratchet-lock trim".[1][2][5][8]

Operational history

The United States Air Force Academy operated 13 2-33s as the TG-4A until they were replaced by the TG-10B (L-23 Super Blanik) in 2002. The USAFA TG-4s were all donated to other US government agencies, such as the Civil Air Patrol or to aviation museums.[1][9][10]

Under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system the USAF 2-33 was designated as the TG-4A. This can cause confusion with a World War II training glider made by Laister-Kauffman and used by the United States Army Air Forces from 1941 to 1947. The Laister-Kauffman LK-10B also bore the designation TG-4A, but from an earlier USAAF designation system.[11][12]

In June 2011 there were still 347 SGS 2-33s registered in the USA. These included:[13]

  • 64 SGS 2-33
  • 281 SGS 2-33A
  • 2 SGS 2-33AK

There were 91 2-33s registered in Canada as of May 2008, including:[14]

  • 15 SGS 2-33
  • 76 SGS 2-33A


SGS 2-33
The original 2-33 was certified on 10 February 1967 and includes serial numbers 1 to 85.[1][2][6][15]
SGS 2-33A
The "A" model incorporated some minor changes, including a larger rudder with an aerodynamic balance horn. It was certified on 7 March 1968 and includes serial numbers 86 and subsequent. The replacement rudder of the "A" model was available as a retrofit to earlier 2-33s and some have been upgraded to "A" status.[1][2][6][15]
SGS 2-33AK
The "AK" model was an "A" model completed by the buyer from a kit. It was certified on 19 April 1973.[1][2][6]


The SGS 2-33 remains popular with glider schools, the largest operator is the Air Cadet League of Canada with a fleet of 54 2-33s and 2-33As as of June 2011.[14]

Aircraft on display

SGS 2-33A at Wings Museum, June 2007

There is a 2-33A in the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, but none in the collection of the National Soaring Museum.[16]


Data from Pre-Course Information Package for Glider Candidates[17]

General characteristics
  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 25 ft 9 in (7.90 m)
  • Wingspan: 51 ft 0 in (15.54 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 3.5 in (2.90 m)
  • Wing area: 219.48 ft2 (20.4 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 11.85:1
  • Wing profile: NACA 63(3)-618[2]
  • Empty weight: 600 lb (272 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,040 lb (472 kg)


  • Maximum speed: 98 mph (157 km/h)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 22.25 at 52 mph (83 km/h)[5]
  • Rate of sink: 168 ft/min (0.85 m/s)

See also

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Activate Media (2006). "SGS 2-33 Schweizer". Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Said, Bob: 1983 Sailplane Directory, Soaring Magazine, page 32. Soaring Society of America, November 1983. USPS 499-920
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Schweizer, Paul A: Wings Like Eagles, The Story of Soaring in the United States, pages 227-327. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988. ISBN 0-87474-828-3
  4. ^ Said, Bob: 1983 Sailplane Directory, Soaring Magazine, page 28. Soaring Society of America, November 1983. USPS 499-920
  5. ^ a b c d e Schweizer Aircraft: The Schweizer 2-33 Super Club Sailplane, pages 1-4. Schweizer Aircraft undated
  6. ^ a b c d e f  
  7. ^ K & L Soaring (n.d.). "K & L Soaring, LLC". Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  8. ^ Schweizer Aircraft: Schweizer 2-33A Sailplane Flight - Erection - Maintenance Manual, page 1-2B. Schweizer Aircraft
  9. ^  
  10. ^ "TG-4 Sailplane". Global Retrieved 2007-02-28. 
  11. ^ Activate Media (2006). "LK-10A Laister-Kauffmann". Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  12. ^ Andrade, John: U.S.Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909, Page 169 and 170, Midland Counties Publications, 1979, ISBN 0-904597-22-9
  13. ^  
  14. ^ a b  
  15. ^ a b  
  16. ^ Munson, J. (n.d.). "Sailplanes in Our Collection". Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  17. ^ Regional Gliding School (Pacific) (2005). "Pre-Course Information Package for Glider Candidates" ( 

External links

  • 2-33 takeoff video
  • 2-33 takeoff video - cockpit view
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