This information is provided to owners of already delivered L33 Solo gliders, for servicing purposes. Manufacturing of new L33s has been suspended.

LET L33 Solo

[Product Image]The one-seat L33 Solo was a new addition to the Blanik family of two-seat gliders. Over 3,000 L13 and L23 Blaniks have been manufactured, and the L33 Solo followed in their footsteps. As its name Sólo suggests, the L33 was the glider of choice for transitioning to solo flight in a single-place glider.

Over 60 L33 Solos are in North America.

Better than fiberglass

The all-metal L 33 Solo offers many advantages over fiberglass aircraft - in utility, durability, and maintenance. Unlike fiberglass gliders, which due to their sensitivity to ultra-violet light have to be hangared or stored disassembled in a trailer, the L33 can be left tied down outside year-round, always ready for immediate take-off, whenever you want to soar. You do not have to round up a ground crew to help you put the glider together before flight. And you can soar until sunset if you wish, without worrying about who will still be at the airport when you land to help you disassemble the glider or drag it to a distant hangar.

Easy to fly

The L33 is a very easy and safe glider to fly, as most everyone who has soared in it has testified. The high ratings the L33 has received are a result of sophisticated design development, incorporating the latest in soaring technology. Pilots who received their initial dual instruction in L13 or L23 Blaniks will find the transition to the L33 quite natural. Many students have soloed in the L33 already, including young teenagers.

Technical description

The LET L33 Solo is an all-metal, single seat, cantilever mid-high wing sailplane with semi-monocoque fuselage, fixed gear and cantilever T-tail surfaces. The ailerons and elevator are of metal sandwich construction; the rudder is fabric-covered. The L33 Solo is manufactured according to JAR-22 requirements in the Utility Category.

Data / Performance

Wing span 46 ft 4 in

Length 21 ft 8 in

Height 4 ft 8 in

Wing area 118.4 sft

Glider empty weight 463.0 lbs

Glider max. weight 749.7 lbs

Pilot min. weight 121 lbs

Pilot max. weight 287 lbs

Pilot height min. 5.1 ft

Pilot height max. 6.6 ft

Never exceed speed 130 kts

Rough air speed 82 kts

Aero tow max. speed 82 kts

Winch max. speed 68 kts

Stall at max. weight 35 kts

G-limits +5.3/-2.65

Max. glide at 49 kts 33:1

Min. sink at 37 kts 130 fpm

Sink at 65 kts 280 fpm

Sink at 80 kts 450 fpm

Standard Equipment

This all-metal glider comes equipped with many attractive standard features: total energy variometer 1,000 ft/min or 10 kts with a fin-mounted TE probe, altimeter 20,000 ft, air speed indicator in kts, compass, TOST center of gravity tow hook, white color all over with optional stripe, 4-point seat belts, seat cushion, wing installation pins, horizontal stabilizer pin, extra seat with 22 lb ballast, cockpit cover, pitot cover, set of spare parts, flight manual, maintenance manual, levelling and rigging record, weight and balance record.


Here is a recap of what optional features buyers typically choose to add: Wing installation lever , special upholstery, wing tie-down steel sleves, stripes and registration number, seat back cushion which incorporates a head rest, front release tow hook for beginning pilots, and tail dolly for ground handling. Some pilots have also ordered the wing ground handling wheel (wing support with a bicycle-like wheel, and the bar for car towing with hitch. Also available are wing tip wheels. Custom starburst paint on the wings is also popular, and clear all-metal version is also available as an option. For transportation and storage the enclosed TV1 trailer was available.


GENERAL: The LET L33 SOLO glider is an all-metal, single seat, cantilever mid-high wing sailplane with semi-monococque fuselage, fixed gear and cantilever T-tail surfaces. The ailerons and elevator are of metal sandwich construction, the rudder is fabric-covered. The L33 SOLO was certificated according to JAR-22 on 12/31/92.

FUSELAGE The fuselage consists of two parts, front and rear. The front part's cross-section is oval semi-monocoque and comprises of lower beams, side longerons, bulkheads, skin panels and a one-part side-hinged canopy. It has mounts for attachment of wings, undercarriage, and towing gear for aero- and ground launch. The conical rear fuselage section is rolled from sheet metal and has no bulkheads. In its aft end there are attachment points for vertical stabilizer and tail wheel assembly.

WING The wing consists of left and right halves connected in the middle by two main pins. The wing is attached to the fuselage by two pairs of mounts located at the wing root ribs. The outline of the wing is a combination of a rectangle with a trapezoid in the aileron area. The wing profile is FX 66-17AII-182 in the rectangular area, which tapers to FX-60-126 in the tip area. There is one spar. The wing is equipped with metal sandwich ailerons hung on four hinges, and with slide-out top spoilers.

TAIL The tail surfaces are carried by the vertical fin. The rudder's metal frame is fabric-covered, is hinged on two mounts, and has no trim tab. The one-piece horizontal stabilizer is attached to the fin at three points. The two halves of sandwich elevator are interconnected with a control rod, by means of which the elevator is actuated. Each half is hinged to the stabilizer at two points. The elevator has no trim tab. The profile used for tail surfaces is FX 71-L-150/30.

FLIGHT CONTROLS The flight controls are of classical design. The control stick actuates the elevator and ailerons via a system of levers and rods. The adjustable rudder pedals are connected to the rudder by cables led through polyamid tubes. The elevator is spring-trimmed. The spoilers are extended and retracted by a system of levers and rods.

LANDING GEAR The landing gear consists of main and tail undercarriage. The main gear has an oleo- pneumatic shock absorber, and a wheel with tire and tube. The bottom front of the fuselage is reinforced to absorb ground impact.

COCKPIT The cockpit can accommodate pilots 5'1" to 6'8" high. The upholstered seat has an adjustable backrest fitted for a parachute, and an integral head rest. The four-point seat belts (optionally five-point) protect the pilot along with the upholstery and front fuselage bottom honeycomb panels. Aft of the back rest is the baggage rack, where additional ballast can be mounted. The jettisonable canopy opens to the right.

INSTRUMENTATION The self-supporting mushroom-shaped instrument panel houses an air-speed indicator, altimeter, variometer, turn and bank indicator with inclinometer, and compass. Custom equipment may be built in, such as radio and electronic instrumentation. The total pressure for membrane instruments is taken in by the fuselage nose tip probe and the static pressure from the fuselage side probes. The variometer is attached to the total energy probe mounted in the fin. The system lines have condensation sumps at lowest points.

VENTILATION The air in the cockpit may be ventilated either through the front of the fuselage via hoses venting the inside of the canopy, or through the sliding canopy window.

TOWING GEAR The L33 SOLO is equipped with a bottom center of gravity TOST tow hook. A custom front tow hook may be built in. Both hooks are controlled by the handle located below the instruments.


Assembly The L-33 Solo may be easily rigged or derigged in just fifteen minutes by two people. All controls hook up automatically. The main wing spars are connected in the fuselage center by two pins conveniently accessible from pilot's cockpit. The pins lock onto the spars so they can't slip out and are secured against unlocking by bridging the pin handles with a safety sleeve. The horizontal stabilizer is attached by one pin and the elevator control hooks up automatically.

Ground handling and care Both the main and tail wheels have pneumatic tires, and the optional wing tip wheels enable smooth handling. The optional tail dolly has a 360° castoring wheel. Also available are wing ground handling wheel and auto tow bar. The L-33's metal construction permits outdoor storage without suffering deterioration common to other gliders, such as fiberglass. The surface is anodized and coated with durable epoxy polyurethane paint.

Flight handling The L-33 Solo takes off by itself with trim set at take-off position, after lift-off stabilize at 42 kts behind towplane, after release trim to 50 kts. Best thermalling at 40 kts, slower in smooth lift. Stalls at 35 kts. Rough air 85 kts, acro at 92 to 97 kts, red line 130 kts. All controls are harmoniously balanced and the ship is very nicely responsive. The air brakes are very effective and smooth to operate, enabling precision landings. The wheel brake is powerful, and the wheel is sprung with the same oleo-pneumatic shock absorber as on the L-13 and L-23.

Comfort The cockpit is very comfortable for a wide range of pilots in terms of their sizes and weights. Rudder pedals are adjustible in flight, and the incline of back rest as well. The back rest has five lower adjustments, and is fitted with a head rest. The visibility is superb and the cockpit is very quiet.

Approved acrobatic maneuvers:

Standard Airworthiness

The L-33 Solo is Type-Certified in Glider Utility Category, FAA Certification No. G71EU. Transport Canada Type Approval G-120. The L33 is type-certified in most soaring countries of the world.


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Copyright © 1997 BLANIK AMERICA, INC.
Last modified: November 22, 2010