DFS Olympia Meise

DFS Olympia Meise
DFS Olympia Meise
Role Sailplane
Manufacturer DFS
Designer Hans Jacobs
Number built >952

The DFS Olympia Meise (German: "Olympic Tomtit") was a German sailplane designed by the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (DFS) for Olympic competition, based on the DFS Meise.


Design and development

After the Olympic games in Berlin in 1936 introduced gliding as an Olympic sport, plans were made to fly the 1940 Olympic championships with a standard design of sailplane to give each pilot the same chances. As a result of this, the Meise was redesigned to fit into the new Olympic class specifications. The new 'Olympia' Meise had the prescribed wingspan of 15 m (49 ft 2 in), spoilers, but no flaps, and an undercarriage consisting of a skid and a non-retractable wheel. The pilot sat all-enclosed in an aerodynamically clean fuselage made of laminated wood and topped by an acrylic glass hood. The plane could be launched by winch as well by airplane. Its wood-and-fabric construction made it easy for flying clubs to maintain, to repair and even to build the gliders from kits.

A design contest to select the single Olympic glider was run by testing the prototypes of the entered and accepted designs at Sezze airfield in Italy between 20–26 February 1939. There were six evaluation pilots of different nationalities[1]. They chose Hans Jacobs’ design, the DFS Meise.

Both the Meise as well as the Olympic class gained immediate enthusiastic support, and the 1940 Olympic gliding championship would probably have ended up as an all-Meise contest — if the Second World War had not intervened and the 1940 Olympics had not been cancelled. Nevertheless 626 Olympia Meises were built in Germany during the war by Flugzeugbau Ferdinand Schmetz Herzogenrath (601 built) and Flugzeugbau Schleicher (25). Most of the German production were among the 15,000 German gliders destroyed in 1945. 17 were also built at the time in Sweden.

The design of the Olympia Meise however survived the war and it was taken up by a British firm called Chilton Aircraft Ltd. The German drawings were not detailed and so entirely new drawings were made that retained the Meise Olympia's aerodynamic shape but otherwise it was a stronger and heavier aircraft. After building one prototype, which flew in 1946, the rights and drawings of the Chilton aircraft were taken up by Elliotts of Newbury (EoN) in the UK. Their first Olympia flew in 1947. Later variants by Elliotts continued to be produced as gliders suitable for the World Gliding Championships into the late 1950s. The Olympia was also built after the war in Germany, in France as the Nord 2000 (100 built), in the Netherlands, Switzerland (12), Hungary (35) with a further twenty modified as the Cinke, Australia (3), Austria and in Czechoslovakia as the Zlin 25 Sohaj, Brazil (07).

Aircraft on display

Specifications (Olympia Meise)

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Length: 7.27 m (23 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.00 m (49 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 15 m2 (161 ft2)
  • Aspect ratio: 15
  • Empty weight: 160 kg (353 lb)
  • Gross weight: 255 kg (562 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 220 km/h (136 mph)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 25.5
  • Rate of sink: 0.67 m/s (132 ft/min)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 7.27 m (23 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.00 m (49 ft 2 in)
  • Height: m ( ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 15 m² (161 ft²)
  • Aspect ratio: 15:1
  • Empty: 205 kg (452 lb)
  • Loaded: kg ( lb)
  • Maximum takeoff: 300 kg (661 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 200 km/h (125 mph)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 25
  • Rate of sink: m/min ( ft/min)
  • Wing loading: kg/m² (lb/ft²)

Related content

Related development:

Comparable aircraft:

Designation sequence: 108-66 - 108-68 - 108-70


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