Mark Drela's SuperGee
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Home > Articles & Tips Index > Mark Drela's SuperGee DLG

[Courtesy of Mark Drela, drela "at", October 2003 - web presentation by Tomer Jackman, jackman_tomer "at"]

Construction notes are included in the drawings, which you can download as Acrobat v6 PDF documents in the links below. If you need a copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it free from

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 See the SuperGee II !!! Many new photos!!


For some of you, Mark Drela needs no introduction...  For the others, Mark has held indoor HLG records and innovated in many aspects of HLG design for the indoor crowd. He is a well known aerodynamicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and who has won the world wide recognition for his DLG design in the soaring community.

The Supergee

The SuperGee, a descendent of the family that started with the Apogee, then later on turned into the Allegro, is a high performance Discus Launch Glider (also referred to “Side Arm Launch” – SAL gliders). Following this design came the Aegea 2M and Aegea 3M sailplanes. Some of the features that make this design so unique are Mark’s specifically design airfoils, full span aileron wings, and a careful attention to the discus motion forces that effect the launch characteristics.

Mark launching the SuperGee

Drawings and Construction Notes

The SuperGee is designed for 60” (1.5m) competition tasks. It uses a set of custom-designed airfoils, tuned for the airframe design parameters.  Detailed construction notes and target weights are provided in the plans - please pay close attention to these if you wish your SuperGee to have the strength it needs, and the performance it should have!

SuperGee Construction

SuperGee plan (Acrobat PDF)

SuperGee fuselage details (Acrobat PDF)

SuperGee tail shaping data and diagram (Acrobat PDF)

SuperGee spar slot details (Acrobat PDF)

Pod Molding details (Acrobat PDF)

Accurate tip sanding (Acrobat PDF)

Airfoil Coordinates and Polars



Compufoil COR files
















Related Construction Notes

The Wing

Thin airfoils and a long wide aileron on each wing give this wing it’s three main features:
Reflex – Setting the ailerons up will allow a thinner wing for launch purposes,
Under Camber – Restoring the “normal” position or cambering the bottom yields a wide range of speeds for the carefully designed airfoil,
Flaps – Generates enough drag to slow the plane for catching or spot landing.
The carbon fiber spars and Kevlar skins provide a strong frame that can take hard launches.

Tail Boom

As innocent as it may look, the boom has ‘an important role in avoiding the roll’: As stiff as the boom may be, it cannot prevent all of the launch moments from bending it. As a result, the tail surfaces will deflect, causing the plane to roll. However, Mark’s design suggests running the pushrod wires on the side of the boom, opposite the launch peg. Together with the elevator control horn being on the bottom and the rudder control horn being on the side opposite the launch peg, the surfaces deflect in the opposite direction, compensating for the launch moments, and launching the plane straight. Without this design tweak, launch presets will have had to be put into the transmitter.

Fuselage Pod

Important! The pod is carefully designed to accommodate the radio gear and battery. Any Ballast shuld be added externally (see below). It retains a streamline shape for reduced drag.


The location of the ballast is between the wing and the boom, seated on the two wing pylons. See plan for details.

Tail Surfaces

The elevator is mounted on it’s own pylon rather than an all-moving surface, so it can take the launch forces, A down facing airfoil stabilizes the pitch moment, and the control horn holds the pushrod in place against the boom, saving the weight of a retention mechanism. The rudder also has a side facing non-symmetrical airfoil for launching.

Best of luck, and please let us know how you're doing with your SuperGee !

Document Version History

October 26, 2003 - TJ
- Initial 

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