Diana 2 - Latest Technical News ( english )

SZD-56 Diana

    SZD-56-1 Diana was designed in late 1980'th in Polish sailplane factory SZD-Bielsko-Biala. Chief of the design team was Bogumil Beres. Its first flight was in 1990. The sailplane was quite unusual. It had the thinnest airfoil (13%), the highest aspect ratio wing - 27.6, the smallest wetted surface of the fuselage, the lowest empty mass and the best ratio empty mass to water ballast mass between all 15m-class sailplanes. The empty mass of the Diana is 175 kg/385 lb, while empty mass of other sailplanes in Diana's class are about 235 kg/515 lb. Such design characteristics were possible thanks to the very inventive structure, especially in case of wing. Unlike other sailplanes, Diana's wing was made as a spar-less, monocoque pipe, where skin takes all: torsional load, shear forces and bending moment. This allows really to take full advantage of the modern construction materials: epoxy resin, kevlar and carbon fiber. Each wing panel weighs only 46 kg / 102 pounds. The spar-less design leaves extra room for ballast: the '56's wet wings hold 160 liters / 42.2 gallons. Aerodynamics of the sailplane was based on Wortmann type, free transition airfoil NN27-13.
In the late 80's and early 90's, glider aerodynamics progressed quickly thanks to both: extensive wind tunnel experimental works and development of advanced computational methods for fluid dynamics. SZD Bielsko Biala and Mr. Beres did not have these kinds of resources at that time. Other gliders built a few years after the Diana had a chance to use all these new tools and ideas.


    With today's aerodynamics, computers and software, it was possible to make the sailplane really modern. Estimated possible reduction of profile drag of the actually used Diana's airfoil can achieve about 20%. Taking into consideration the possible effect from lowering the adverse aerodynamic interference, the reduction of parasite drag by making wing slightly bigger and installing winglets to reduce induced drag, the increase of max. L/D about 10% and farther reduction sink rate at higher speeds can be expected. Aerodynamic design of the new wing was performed by Krzysztof Kubrynski (Warsaw University of Technology). The new wing planform is totally curved. This solution lets reduce both induced drag and wing profile drag, and allows to expect proper wing stall progression. Wing profiles are changing along the span and meet aerodynamic requirements in all sections in the best manner. Diana-2's airfoil sections are even thinner then before, ranging from 12.8% at the root to 12.2% at the tip (and much less at the winglets). Additionally they are modified at the wing/fuselage junction. The flaperon chord is 17% and they can be deflected -2 to +28 deg. Aerodynamic philosophy of new Diana's airfoils is slightly different then that of other sailplanes and aerodynamic characteristics are expected to be slightly more profitable, especially at lower speeds. At the same time, even the profiles are thinner than original Diana's airfoil, the stiffness and strength characteristics are much better, and a cross section area is higher. This is important for wing weight and volume of water ballast. Pneumatic turbulators are used to enforce turbulent transition on the lower flap surface.

Aerodynamics of the wing is quite new, but the proven inner wing structure is retained. The entire internal wing volume is used as integral water tank. The wings can carry 50\% more ballast than previously: 240kg / 63.3gals. Also the cockpit is slightly modified internally in order to make it more comfortable for taller pilots.

All the design of the glider and modified wings, including geometry definition, was performed using Unigraphics NX computer system. The wings mock-up were made by means of CNC technology. The Diana-2 will be certified according to JAR-22.

Masses and dimensions of the new Diana:
Wing span 14.942 m
Wing area 8.657 m^2 93.2 ft^2
Empty mass (approx)180 kg400 lbs
Water ballast 240 kg 63.3 gals / 529 lbs
Max. mass 500 kg 1102 lbs
Min. wing loading 28 kg/m^2 5.7 psf
Max. wing loading 58 kg/m^2 11.9 psf

Maximum L/D is expected to be exceed 50:1. Calculated speed polars are presented below.

Picture from first flight

Picture from second flight

Producent szybowca Diana - Bogumił Bereś Polska / Bielsko-Biała

Dealer szybowca Diana - Jerry Zieba USA / Chicago

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