I like unique planes, but every once in a while a design comes along that even I need to take a second look at... This is one really unique AND cool plane!
Meet the SZD-45 Ogar: A high-winged, self-propelled, T- tailed sail plane. Add to that combination that it has staggered side-by-side seating, and you have one VERY unique airplane! The Ogar was designed and constructed in Poland - 41 of the 64 planes built were exported, with some of them ending up in the U.S.
The Wings Maker has recently released the SZD-45 in an electric sail plane, coming in two versions. They have an ARF consisting of the plane itself, and a pre-assembled combo. I'll be reviewing the latter version, which comes with four micro servos, and a brushless outrunner motor with 3-bladed propeller and spinner pre-installed!
I looked around my shop, gathered up a few basic building tools and an ESC and receiver. Let's dig into the box and see what we've got!
EPO foam construction and carbon fiber reinforced tail boom
The Ogar arrived in a sturdy box- the large color label had a list of the specifications and required completion equipment. I laid out all the parts and did a quick inventory. Everything was present and in very good shape!
The four micro servos were pre-installed on plastic hatches - I like this because it makes for a clean set-up. The wings come out of the box almost ready to install! I really like the fact that The Wings Maker includes not only a nice padded bag, but there's also a foam divider to separate the two wing halves to prevent damage. Well thought out, Wings Maker!
HELLO! (Insert echo here?) There is so much room inside the fuselage that you can mount almost anything - In fact, there is a removable ballast installed in the nose that can be removed to add a camera or first person viewing (FPV) equipment!
The brushless outrunner motor, 3-bladed propeller, and spinner are all pre-installed at the factory, cutting down the assembly time.
The instruction manual is the same for both the ARF and the pre-assembled combo. While it is great for assembling the ARF, it took a few minutes to figure out which steps applied to the pre-assembled combo. If you've assembled an ARF before, it's really not a big deal, and there are plenty of illustrations to guide you through the assembly process.
Assembly began with removing the pre-installed aileron pushrods and applying the included tape to the aileron hinges. Though the hinge-line is molded into foam, it was nice to add a little reinforcement. After the pushrods were reattached, the wings were complete!
More tape was added to the stab/elevator hinge line, followed by pulling the long servo wire through the fuselage. There was a pull-string installed in the fuse and tail, but I found that it was a bit short to work with. I simply added another section of string, and then pulled the servo wire through the fuselage. To make the corner at the fin/tail boom junction, I removed the rudder servo hatch - this provided a great access point to guide the wire!
With the servo wire ran, I test-fit and then attached the stab to the fin using 5-minute epoxy. I really liked that the servos are all installed on hatches - it makes for a clean looking sail plane!
The wings were then installed - after sliding the carbon fiber tube through the fuselage, I slid each wing half onto the tube. A rubber band was wrapped around the wooden hooks to hold the wings in place against the fuselage. A Y-harness was connected to the aileron servo wires and then plugged into the receiver along with the elevator, rudder, and speed control wires. The ESC was secured using a zip tie.
According to the instructions, the ESC is to be mounted on the rear-most wood tray, but I found it very difficult to install it there using my big, clunky hands. Since there is SO much space inside the fuse, I opted to mount the ESC where I could get at it easily!
After securing the battery using the included hook-n-loop strap, I snapped the canopy in place and marked the center of gravity (CG) on the bottom side of the wing. The Ogar balanced perfectly neutral set up as instructed. The last picture is of the completed airframe (sitting on the included, wheeled launch stand) prior to applying the decals - I thought I'd show the applied decals off once I got the plane outside?
Let's take her out into the sun, take a few pictures, and see
how she flies!
I finally got a decent day for the maiden flight, so the Ogar was packed in my truck and I headed for the old airport.
After a quick re-check of the controls, I set the sailplane on its launch stand and readied for take-off. The wind was decent - straight out of the East at about 8-10 MPH, so when I pushed the throttle stick forward, the sailplane rolled about 8-10 feet and left the stand!
When I had climbed to a safe altitude, I added some down elevator trim - this was the only adjustment needed.
With the throttle pulled back to around 1/3, the Ogar was floating along nicely on its long wing. I really liked the look of the wings when the plane was in the air - both wingtips were curved up, looking more like they belonged on an airliner.
I once again opened up the throttle to see how fast the Ogar would fly. While she's not a record breaker, she will move quite quickly across the sky!
With the power off, I enjoyed several minutes of silent flight. The SZD-45 will hang for what seems like forever on the wing!
I even tried some aerobatics. Due to the long wingspan, rolls require some down elevator input while inverted. Loops can be made large and graceful or small and tight - there's plenty of power and elevator authority for both!
As it was getting late in the day, I decided to bring her in for a landing. In the 10 MPH wind, the Ogar didn't want to stop flying! I had to hold down elevator input almost all the way to the ground. In less breezy conditions, I believe that bringing her down would have been extremely easy!
Initially, I was worried about scuffing a wingtip on the pavement when a wing dropped on landing, but this proved to be a non-issue. The wings stayed almost perfectly level until the plane had lost all forward momentum, then the sailplane gently tipped to the right - no scuffing at all!
Check out the video to see the Wings Maker Ogar in
Well, there's not much else I can say. Assembling the plane presented no problems - in fact, it was easy and only took about two hours (minus the decals). I really enjoyed flying this powered sailplane, and I can see it will be heading to the field a lot this summer!
Is the Ogar unique? Yes! But I have a feeling that there'll be a lot of them at local fields across the nation. It's a great flying plane that has lots of potential for mounting cameras and first-person viewing equipment! A well-deserved pat on the back goes out to The Wings Maker for bringing us a unique sailplane that's a lot of fun and easy to assemble!
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.