Technical data
Type Steglau-2
Year 1912
Crew 1+2
Engines 1*100hp Argus
Length 9.5m
Wingspan 12.8m / 10.0m
Wing area 28m2
Empty weight 837kg
Loaded weight 1200kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 43
Power load (kg/hp) 9.2
Maximum Speed 130km/h

Steglau-2, I.I.Steglau

32k Early variant, "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.90;

This two-seater aircraft marked one of the most significant steps in aircraft design. On the contest of warplanes in 1912 it was the most original (not to say revolutionary) among all presented designs.

What is so remarkable about it? Steglau-2 was the first aircraft in the world incorporating complete solid skin (plywood) included into mechanical structure of airframe. Thickness of the plywood was up to 5mm on wings. By some sources wing spars were made of 2T-profiles (20-25 years ahead of the time), by others - wooden. Anyway, strength of construction allowed to use only one pair of X-struts, what was absolute record for many years, specially for aircraft with such a big wingspan. Tension wires were arranged in pairs with wooden strip between them to reduce drag.

24k Modified Steglau-2, "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.90;

Wielding was used to put together struts and steel elements of the aircraft frame. Fuselage was 1m wide, allowing to install 2 passenger seats as an upgrade. Original break hook was installed to decrease Landing Roll. I.I.Steglau added special device which supposed to provide automatic stability for the aircraft. Copper tank with 30kg of oil, connected with control stick added weight, but did not improve aircraft performance.

Aerodynamic calculations (including propeller) were performed V.A.Slesarev.

Heavy skin, strong frame with steel elements, oak landing gear stricture, silly 'stabilization system' made aircraft overweight. Despite of this, its exceptional aerodynamics allowed to show the best speed among presented aircraft, as well as very good climb.

Major problem of this aircraft was... its designer. I.I.Steglau was self-educated pilot, never joined pilot's classes. Friends recomended him to invite some prominent aviator to fly his aircraft. But he insisted to fly himself. Result - 3 nose-overs during the contest plus regular 'hard landings'. Thanks aircraft was enormously strongly built and at the same time was easy to repair.

But at last propeller was broken in flight, emergency landing ended in a ditch and aircraft fell out of contest.

Antony Fokker paid a lot of attention to this aircraft. Later he became a pioneer in mass-built aircraft with 'hard skin'...

  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.89-91;

  • Modified September 2, 1997 Back to
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