The first production aircraft, designated SZD-50-3 Puchacz (SP-3151 c/n B-903) followed on March 13, 1979, and had a larger horizontal tail situated 11.75 in (30 cm) higher on the fin, an enlarged rudder, and a fairing over the mainwheel. Inverted flight and extended aerobatic maneuvers became permissible in 1986. Although the Puchacz has a design life of 11,000 hrs, the actually approved operating time is 6,750 hrs. A total of 327 SZD-50-3s had been built by the time production was suspended, the type has been exported to many countries, including Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.
TYPE: Tandem two-seat high performance training sailplane.
AIRFRAME: Cantilever mid-wing monoplane, mainly of glass fiber sandwich construction. Wortmann wing sections. Plain ailerons. Upper/lower surface airbrakes. Glass fiber fuselage, supported in central portion by two wooden frames, with integral fin. Glass fiber sandwich cruciform tail unit, with fabric covered glass fiber rudder. Non-retractable semi-recessed nosewheel (size 255 x 110 mm) and sprung monowheel (size 350 x 135 mm, with disc brake), and tailskid. One-piece canopy opens sideways.
Span: 54 ft 8.75 in (16.67 m)
Length: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Height: 6 ft 8.25 in (2.04 m)
Wing area: 195.5 sq.ft (18.16 sq.m)
Wing aspect ratio: 15.3
Empty weight: 794 lb (360 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 1,256 lb (570 kg)
Wing loading: 6.43 lb/sq.ft (31.4 kg/sq.m)
Glide ratio at 53 mph (85 kmh): 30
Lowest sink rate at 47 mph (75 kmh): 2.3 ft (0.70 m)/sec
g limits: + 5.3/-2.65
Max speed (smooth air): 133 mph (215 kmh)
Max speed (rough air): 99 mph (160 kmh)
Max aero-tow speed: 93 mph (150 kmh)
Max winch-launching speed: 68 mph (110 kmh)
Stall speed: 38 mph (60 kmh)."