Fiche biographique n° 51

Nom KAISER, Rudolf
Année de naissance1922
Année de décès1991
Pays Allemagne
Biographie “Rudolf Kaiser (10 September 1922 - 11 September 1991) was a designer of gliders who worked for
Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co.
The designs of Rudolf Kaiser have proven themselves for over 50 years all over the world. His designs for
Schleichers can be recognised by the K in the ASK designation. The designs that he did on his own
account have the designation Ka.
He was born in Coburg, Germany, and graduated in house construction in 1952. However at the same time
he took up gliding. He built a small single seater, the Ka 1 at his home in 1952 to perfect his design skills.
(He used it to get his 'Silver C' gliding badge.) His next glider, the two-seat Ka 2, was created for Alexander
Schleicher, the sailplane manufacturer in Poppenhausen. Rudolf Kaiser also worked for Egon Scheibe
designing the Ka 5 "Zugvogel" which was the best performing production sailplane in the world at the time.
To get his Gold C, he again built a sailplane for himself; the Ka 6. It won the OSTIV prize for the best new
design in 1958. After Schleicher put it into production, it became the most popular Standard Class
sailplane, winning two World Gliding Championships (1960 and 1963). 1368 Ka 6's were built and many are
still flying.
Kaiser then designed three more classic gliders:
• Ka 7 two-seat trainer (511 built),
• ASK 13 two-seat trainer (645 built)
• Ka 8. (over 1100 built)
The Ka 8 was a single seater with similar characteristics to the two-seaters and so it is still a popular glider
for early solo pilots who had trained on Kaiser's two seaters. 1212 Ka 8 were built.
Further designs followed: the ASK 18 single seater and two motorgliders, the ASK 14 and ASK 16. He then
designed two glass fibre gliders the two-seat ASK 21 trainer, which first flew in 1978, and the single-seat
ASK 23 which filled the role of the Ka 8. The ASK 23 first flew in 1983. When the certification process of the
ASK 23 was complete Rudolf Kaiser retired at the age of 61.”
Part of the club’s fleet at Booker. The nearest aircraft is a K18, and
beyond that one of the K13s, a Junior and in the middle of the
photograph, the K21.
The K7 and K13 have been the mainstays of many gliding clubs around the world. The K8, which first flew
in 1957 was widely used in Europe and elsewhere as a first solo machine both before and after the arrival
the fibreglass aircraft, such as the Junior.
The Ka 6CR which won the 1960 & 63 Standard class had a best glide ratio of 29 at 43 knots and it is
interesting to compare this with the Junior whose best glide ratio is 35 at 42 knots. This just goes to show
how much progress was made in the 20 years following the introduction of the Ka6.
We can say that Rudolf Kaiser was one of the unsung heroes of the gliding fraternity around the
Sources bibliographiques
Autres sources
Planeurs associés Kaiser Ka-01 Rhönlaus
Schleicher Ka-02 Rhönschwalbe
Schleicher Ka-04 Rhönlerche II
Kaiser Ka-03
Schleicher Ka-02b Rhönschwalbe
Schleicher Ka-06B Rhönsegler
Schleicher K-07 Rhönadler
Kaiser K-11
Schleicher ASK-14
Schleicher ASK-16
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Fiche n° 51 [Dernière mise à jour : 0000-00-00]