Aircraft Wiki

PIK-15 Hinu ("Tuggy") is a 1960s Finnish two-seat glider tug with a secondary (but rarely used) training role. The aircraft is entirely wooden.


In December 1958 the Polyteknikkojen Ilmailukerho (PIK, The aviation club of polytechnical students) noticed how the shortage of effective glider tugs was limiting gliding's increasing popularity in Finland. When Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft did not include suitable aircraft, PIK decided to create one. A design contest was launched in spring 1959, and won by Kai Mellén with his idea of an enlarged version of the Heinonen HK-2 with a more powerful 150 hp engine. The design work began in fall 1960 with Mellén, Ilkka Lounamaa and Jussi Rinta as the main designers. PIK-15's airfoil was taken from the earlier PIK-11.

After several delays, the prototype, OH-XHA, made its first flight on 29 August 1964, flown by Mellén. Due to its dangerous tendency to enter a flat spin, which almost led to a crash, the prototype was modified by extending the fuselage by 19 cm, enlargening the vertical stabiliser by 20% and moving the seats 15 cm forward. The original double control columns from Heinonen HK-2 were replaced with unusual Y-shaped columns. The issue vanished from OH-XHA, but resurfaced in other examples. The PIK-15 still remains relatively prone to flat spins, and hence aerobatic maneuvers are forbidden.

PIK believed the PIK-15 to have potential for export, and predicted at least 30 could be sold abroad. PIK negotiated the type's license production with a Finnish and a German company, but without success.

In addition to the prototype, nine PIK-15s have been built by Finnish flying clubs from 1968 onwards. The type attracted some interest in New Zealand, and two PIK-15s were to be built there, but this never happened.


Eight PIK-15s remain in service. They are coded OH-YHB, -YHD, -YHE, -YHF, -YHG, YHK, -YHP and -YHS.


  • The prototype, OH-YHA (previously OH-XHA) crashed in Nummela on 14 June 1972 due to engine malfunction, killing the pilot. Wings of the crashed prototype were later used in the construction of OH-YHD.
  • OH-YHC crashed in Vesivehmaa on 8 June 1989 due to a pilot error, killing the pilot and his passenger.

Specifications (prototype)[]

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Capacity: 1 passenger or instructor
  • Length: 6.30 m (20 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.00 m (32 ft 9½ in)
  • Height: 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 14.0 m2 (150.7 ft2)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.15:1
  • Wing profile: NACA 2415 at root, NACA 4409R at tip
  • Empty weight: 502 kg (1,107 lb)
  • Maximun take-off weight: 765 kg (1,687 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-320, 112 kW (150 hp)
  • Maximum speed: 230 km/h (143 mph)
  • Cruising speed: 205 km/h (127 mph)
  • Stall speed: 81 km/h (50 mph)
  • Rate of climb: 7.0 m/s (1380 ft/min)
  • Range: 750 km (466 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 8,600 m (28,215 ft)
  • g limits: 4.55 g to -2.21 g