Schweizer SGS 2-12 / TG-3A Training Glider

The Estrella Warbirds Museum has a unique opportunity to acquire a rare Schweizer TG-3A, World War II era Training Glider. The glider is partially restored and would be fully restored by EWM restoration staff and would become a small piece of aviation history for future generations to enjoy. Our intentions are to restore this glider to static display status only. A fully restored TG-3A is pictured below and currently on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

This project will require funding of approximately $2,500.00 for the aircraft and an additional $500 for finish details. This is only an approximate for finish work. We are asking that you carefully consider helping us raise the necessary funds for this project. The training glider in question is partially restored (all parts available) and would also include a second training glider, a Schleicher K7 Training Glider from Germany. All donations to Estrella Warbirds Museum are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Training Glider


Manufacturer: Schweizer Aircraft Corp, Elmira, NY
Year/Model: 1942 TG-3A (USAAF)
S/N: 42-52945 (SERIAL NO. 25)
Aircraft Class: Glider
Purpose: Training Sailplane
Wingspan: 54 ft 0 inches
Length: 27 ft 7 inches
Height: 8 ft 0 inches
Empty Weight: 820 lbs
Payload: 340 lbs
Gross Weight: 1200 lbs
Number Built: 110
Crew: 2 - Pupil and instructor
Construction: The SGS 2-12 has a welded 4130 steel tube fuselage covered in aircraft fabric. The wood wings and empennage are also covered in aircraft fabric.
Status: Static Display Only
Owner: Acquisition Pending

TG-3A in Action

Background and History

When the US entered World War Two in December l941, none of the US forces had a glider training program. The successful use of glider-borne attack by German forces on the Belgian fortress of Eben-Emael and subsequent use during the invasion of Crete convinced the US military that there existed a need for glider-home forces of their own.

Airborne delivery of combat and support troops, equipment and material had, in the planners' minds, definite advantages over traditional military delivery systems used in the past. Designs for these new airborne capabilities in the form of general purpose utility glider(s) began taking shape on the designers' drawing hoards.

Training pilots for this undertaking took on an equally urgent priority as did procuring suitable training gliders and the development of training facilities. Initially, the USAAF contracted the Schweizer Aircraft Corporation, located in Elmira, New York to produce their existing SGS 2-8 2-place glider for the US Army under the designation TG-2 with additional aircraft to be produced for the US Navy and US Marine Corps under the designation LNS-1.

The SGS 2-8 was a good trainer, hut had fabric-covered aluminum wings. Aluminum was designated as a "strategic material" and its use was restricted in the production of training aircraft to conserve it for the manufacture of combat aircraft. The Schweizer Aircraft Corporation was therefore asked to design and produce a new glider that would not make use of aluminum.


Work began on the new SGS 2-12 in the winter of 1941/42 as production of the SGS 2-8 was getting underway. The U.S. Army ordered three examples of a new Schweizer SGS 2-12 high performance two-seat sailplane in 1942, which was developed as a military training glider under the designation XTG-3 (42-14702/704). After evaluation, the type was ordered for use in the Army glider pilot training program, with contracts for 110 TG-3A (42-52924/998 and 42- 53097/53131). A single example of the TG-3A (42-91974) was also built by Air Glider, Inc., (and designated the TG3-B), but due to poor contract performance, the remaining order for 50< aircraft was canceled.

The SGS 2-12 had a wooden wing, replacing the aluminum wing on the SGS 2-8. Since the wing was being redesigned, several other improvements requested by the USAAF were incorporated into the new design, including design simplification to facilitate mass production. The new wing was 2 feet greater in span, giving it a slightly better glide ratio than the SGS 2-8. The greater span also helped make up for the additional weight of the aircraft. Typical empty weights were almost double that of the SGS 2-8 at 860 lbs (390 kg).

The wing also had a thicker section, with a thicker spar, which allowed the elimination of the struts that the SGS 2-8 used, while permitting a higher redline speed. The wing was also moved from a mid-wing position to a low wing, to improve the instructor's visibility from the rear cockpit. The new wing also incorporated balanced top and bottom surface dive brakes, replacing the SGS 2-8's top surface spoilers.

The SGS 2-12 received type certificate G-2-11 after the war was over, on February 27, 1947. All aircraft are officially certified as TG-3As, rather than SGS 2-12s.

Military History

The military history of this glider was brief. According to USAF records, this aircraft was manufactured by Schweizer Aircraft Corp., Elmira, New York and received on strength by the USAAF on 27 January, 1943. It was shipped by land to the AAF Western Flying Training Command, IHS"* Glider Training Squadron, located at Ft. Sumner AAF New Mexico. On 11 May, 1943 it was transferred to the Glider Replacement Training Pool, Roswell Army Flying School, (AAFWFTC), Roswell AAF, New Mexico. It remained there until September 1944, when it was shipped to Cimarron Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where it was disposed of as surplus property by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation on 15 September, 1944.

One hundred percent of all donations made utilizing the above "Donate" button will be designated for the acquisition and restoration materials of Schweizer TG-3A. It will be restored as a static display, preserving another small portion of military aviation history for future generations. Thank you for your generosity!

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