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There are over one hundred L23 Super Blaniks in North America!
USAF Academy Dual Basic Training Glider of choice.
U.S. Civil Air Patrol glider of choice.
The original L13 BLANIK was built by the LET factory in 1958. Since then almost L13s were made, and many of them are still flying all over the world. The two-seat, all-metal L 13 became very popular due its durability, reliability, and ease of handling.
The designers at LET have applied their experience from the L13 to the creation of a new glider, the L23 SUPER BLANIK. The new glider retains the excellent flying and maintenance characteristics of the L13, while visibility and handling were further refined. Among the many improvements are the new T-tail (to minimize damage during land-outs), the swiveling tail wheel (for easier ground handling), and the new canopy (enhancing visibility to the sides and back).
The L 23 is an all-metal, two-seat, self-supporting, high-winged glider. Due to its all-metal construction, the glider is guaranteed a service life of 6,000 hours assuming that mostly ground-launching is used. With mainly aero towing used in North America, the service life may be extended to well over 10,000 hours. The L 23 has been approved for all stages of flight training from basic to advanced cross-country, aerobatic, stunt, and instrument flying.
Removable wing tip extensions of one meter each may be installed. Among other features available were one-piece canopy, wing tip wheels, and more comfortable pilot seats.
The L23 is manufactured according to JAR-22 requirements and is Type-Certified in most countries of the world.
L23 Super Blaniks, serial numbers 029005 and subsequent, are capable of carrying forty four more pounds of payload than their predecessors. The change is reflected in Revision 3 to the FAA Type Certificate G60EU.
Wing span 53.1 ft, with optional wing tip extensions 59.7 ft
Length 27.9 ft
Height 6.2 ft
Wing area 206.1 sft, with wing extensions 215.3 sft
Empty weight 683.5 lbs
Max. weight 1168 lbs
Never exceed speed 124 kts
Rough air speed 81 kts
Aero tow speed max. 81 kts
Winch speed max. 65 kts
Stall speed at max. weight 32 kts, with wing extensions 29 kts
G-limits with 2 pilots +5.3/-2.65
G-limits with 1 pilot +6.0/-3.0
Max. glide ratio 2 pilots 28:1 at 49 kts, 1 pilot 28:1 at 43 kts
Max glide ratio with extensions 2 pilots 32:1 at 49 kts, 1 pilot 32:1 at 43 kts
Min. rate of sink 160 fpm at 37 kts
Available equipment and accessories are: front aerotow and center of gravity winch hooks, 4-point seat belts, seat cushions, special seat back rests, extra seat with 33 lb ballast, one-piece canopy, cockpit cover, pitot cover, set of spare parts, flight manual, maintenance manuals vol 1 and 2, levelling and rigging record, weight and balance record.Additional options are: White color all over with optional red stripes, wing tip extensions (improving the L/D from 28:1 to 32:1), winglets, wing installation drift pin, control locks and ground anchors, winch tow rope, wing tie-down rings, spart parts tool kit, strut charger, spare parts catalog. Also available as options are G-meter, 35,000' altimeter, radio and installation, special upholstery, center of gravity bottom winch tow hook, strut seal kit, covers for the entire glider, and custom paint ornamentation.
The fuselage is of semi-monocoque construction with longerons and bulkheads, oval in cross-section. The cockpit is covered with a two-part plexiglass canopy, and its lowered sides allow very easy access. The rear fuselage is made of two stiffened semi-monocoque structures and reinforcing bulkheads riveted together.
The trapezoid-shaped wing with a negative sweep is of all-metal, single-spar construction. Each wing half is connected to the fuselage by means of a vertical main spar pin and a horizontal front spar pin. The fiberglass wing tips have a handy skid. Removable wing tip extensions of one meter each may be installed. Ailerons are of metal structure, fabric-covered. The spoilers extend both above and below the wing, and hook up automatically.
The one-piece stabilizer of all-metal construction attaches to the fin at three points. The elevator is a metal frame covered with fabric, and has two trim tabs. Both the elevator and tabs hook up automatically upon assembly. The rudder's metal frame is fabric-covered and attaches to the all-metal fin on two mounts.
The control sticks actuate the elevator and ailerons via a system of levers and rods. The adjustable rudder pedals are connected to the rudder by cables. The elevator is aerodynamically trimmed. A system of levers and torsion rods extends and retracts the spoilers. The L23 is equipped with a front aerotow hook and side winch/auto tow hooks. A custom, bottom center of gravity tow hook may be built in. Both tow releases are controlled by handles on the instrument panels.
The landing gear consists of a semi-retractable single wheel, equipped with a drum brake, and sprung by a well-proven oleo-pneumatic shock absorber. The front bottom of the fuselage has a protective steel shoe. The reinforced, fully-swiveling, solid rubber tail wheel has a rubber shock absorber. Optionally, a fixed pneumatic tailwheel may be installed. The wing tips with skids may be replaced by wint tips with built-in faired robust solid rubber tip wheels.
The cockpit can accomodate pilots 5'1" to 6'8" tall. The four-point seat belts protect the pilots along with upholstered seats and laminated supports. Two full sets of instruments are installed. The variometers are attached to the total energy probe mounted in the fin. Fresh air can be let in the cockpit either through the front fuselage vent or through sliding window scoops.
The L23 is a very enjoyable glider to fly. The take-off roll is smooth even on rough ground thanks to a very effective shock absorber on the main wheel. On tow, the aircraft is very stable and can be flown hands-off when trimmed with the responsive and easy to adjust elevator trim. The controls are accurately tuned and balanced, and move lightly with little friction. The fore-and-aft stability is excellent with no tendency to over-pitching. The lateral handling is very effective with a roll rate of 4 seconds from 45° to 45° at near the best glide speed. The optional wing tip extensions bring the glide ratio from the standard 28:1 to 32:1, making the L23 a perfect glider for cross-country training and badge flying. The airbrakes are effective and gradual in application. Side-slipping is excellent.
On the ground the glider is very easily maneuverable thanks to the swivelling tail wheel and wing tip wheels. If tail lifting is required to move the tail over especially rough ground, the newer models come with permanently mounted handle bars just ahead of the vertical fin. The access to the cockpit has been greatly improved over the L13 Blanik. The L23's cockpit sides have been lowered full 4" (10 cm), and the top of instrument covers include clever hand holds for easy exit. The new one-piece canopy closes and opens from either seat, and the small aft top canopy is removable if flying without it is desired on especially hot days. Seats and back rests have been redesigned. The front pan lower rim, straight originally, has been oval-shaped to ergonomically contour the lower back of the front pilot. The aft pilot's back rest has been the most extensively redesigned. It is no longer a plain bucket, instead it is an integral extension of the seat without any protrusions and is upholstered. It is one of the best recent improvements to the L23.
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