Schweizer RU-38 “Twin- Condor” (1998)

Schweizer RU-38 “Twin- Condor” In 1998 Congress set aside $450,000 to begin the plan being to rebuild the Coast Guard’s two RG-8s into the new twin-engine version one at a time with the remaining aircraft staying in service while the conversion on the first was carried out. The plan included building a third RU-38 from available spare parts. Concerns about the lack of anti-icing capability and weather radar, the aircraft’s limited ditching characteristics in the event of an emergency, inability to launch in high winds, lack of engine-out capability, small cockpit, and pilot fatigue, led the service to explore a modification of the RG-8 to a twin-engine design The withdrawal of Air Force support for the program though caused the Coast Guard to limit the plan to converting its two RG-8s. On 24 January 1994 the Coast Guard sent CG-8101 to Schweizer in Elmira, New York, for conversion while the remaining aircraft continued operating out of Air Station Miami. A RG-8 crashed. Schweizer continued the conversion of CG-8101 [...]

Schweizer RU-38 “Twin- Condor” (1998)2017-07-13T22:30:10+00:00

Schweitzer RG-8A “Condor” (1988)

Schweitzer RG-8A   “Condor” The RG-8A was developed by the U.S. Air Force under a “black” procurement program. It was a derivative of the Schweitzer motor-glider and was engineered and used to perform covert surveillance missions. Mission versatility was designed into the aircraft. The Coast Guard acquired two of these aircraft in 1988. They were used for drug interdiction, locating illegal immigrants, documenting fisheries violations and detecting the pollution of oceans and rivers, and on rare occasions for night search and rescue. Careful matching of the very high-aspect ratio aerodynamic design with the propeller, engine and mufflers enabled the RG-8A to operate with engine between 1,000 RPM and 1,300 RPM during the “quiet” mission mode. It was equipped with a six cylinder reciprocating Lycoming IO-540 engine rated at 250 horsepower but required only about 65 horsepower to maintain altitude in the “quiet” mode. The engine was highly muffled with exhaust vents over the low wing.  The low RPM propeller speed vastly reduced the noise generated by the prop [...]

Schweitzer RG-8A “Condor” (1988)2017-07-13T22:30:51+00:00