The FS17 was a research glider designed to instigate the technicalities of the prone piloting position.
The FS17 was designed to find out whether a lying pilot can fly with feeling and enough endurance. The arrangement with a lying pilot allows a smaller cross sectional area an thus less drag. In addition a lying pilot can better bear higher load factors. (The members of the Akaflieg couldn't find anything in the literature, and the opinions of the experts differed. Practical test haven't been done since the days of the Wright brothers).
The pilot's safety was emphasized in this project because the pilot appeared to be more endangered due to his arrangement. The aircraft was therefore designed as a low wing plane with an extra stiff fuselage. Stall safety and a good efficiency of the ailerons in low speed flight were also important design features.
Since the FS17 was a pure experiment aircraft, some other tests were included, because the constructors didn't want to test them on high performance planes.
- Build: 1937
- Maiden flight: 21. March 1938
- Construction method: Wood
- Max load factor: 14g