World Class PW5 Single Seat Glider.

History:
The
Federation Aeronoutique International organised a competition to design a glider that could eventually become the first to compete in the Olympic Games.  The new category would be known as the World Class.
 
The competition requirements were simple.  The
World Class glider had to be of simple construction with an accent on safety and good low-speed handling and with reasonable performance. 
 
The winning design had to be capable of mass production at such a cost as to make it affordable to a wide cross-section of the gliding fraternity.  The idea behind the Class was to take the aircraft out of the equation so the pilots competed on an equal footing against each other with only their flying skills to make the difference between winning or not.  The glider had to be suitable for club use, training and for competition flying with low maintenance costs.  In other words to have universal appeal.
 
Further design specifications required a fixed undercarriage with suspension, no flaps, no water ballast, should be certified for cloud flying, a glide ratio not less than 30:1 and a sink rate less than 0.75 m/s at max weight. 
 
In the early 1990s forty two designs were submitted from twenty countries.  Eleven designs were taken to the prototype stage with seven eventually making it through to flight evaluation tests in 1992.
 
The winners were a team of Polish scientists and students from The
Technical University of Warsaw.  Under the supervision of Roman Switkiewicz they produced the PW5 named 'Smyk' (as close to 'Rascal' as translation allows).  The wing profile was specifically designed for the PW5 by Professor Jerzy Ostrowski Ph.D.Sc. 
 
Production of the glider was left to
WSK PZL Swidnik S.A. Polish Aviation Works a factory with many years of glider manufacturing behind it.  The PW 5 was manufactured to conform with JAR-22 and additional FAI requirements.  The glider is suitable for all standard types of launching and has a design life of 9000 flying hours or 20 years.
 

 Auckland Aviation Sports Club PZL Swidnik PW 5 Registration  ZK - GVF 
The registration
VF was selected in memory of Vic Foster a long time ASC Gliding club stalwart from days gone by. 
1978 to 1996.

 
ASCs PW 5, GVF, first flew in the World Class, World Championships in Inonu Turkey in 1997.  John Roake took a huge personal gamble in ordering 12 PW5s, hiring them to the World Championship pilots in Turkey then on-shipping them to New Zealand.  As a result of the hireage the gliders were offered to New Zealand Gliding Clubs at a US$3000.00 discount  making them a very affordable single seat glider.   The gliders had only five days of competition flying in Turkey so arrived virtually unused. 
 
The PW 5 is thoroughly delightful to fly.  Being an excellent entry level single seat glider it makes a great stepping stone from the two seat trainer to higher performance sailplanes.