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Glider – Sailplane

From the Collection of Australian Gliding Museum 20 Jensz Road Parwan Victoria

Aircraft of wood structure skinned with plywood and fabric – off-white colour scheme – crazed flaking paint on fuselage – nose of fuselage has been modified by addition of streamlining – damage includes impact holes to plywood, especially on starboard side – wings have been stripped of fabric covering and some ribs are missing – tailplane and rudder are in reasonable condition although, like wings, have been stripped of fabric. Overall, while the main elements of this aircraft are present, there are a number of missing fittings and will require extensive works to restore to a static display standard.
Object Registration
australian gliding, glider, sailplane, dunstable, kestrel, bill manuel, ric new, lake pinjar soaring club, lake pinjar, gliding club of western australia
Historical information
This Dunstable Kestrel glider (which originally was finished in silver paint) was built in 1939 by Ric New and members of the Lake Pinjar Soaring Club. It first flew on 26 December 1939 at Lake Pinjar. The first extensive flight was on 7 January 1940 when Ric New managed to stay aloft for 30 minutes and reach a height of 3000 metres. Unfortunately the Kestrel was badly damaged the same day when another club member Jim Brabazon stalled and spun in. The Kestrel was repaired by June 1940 and flown extensively at Lake Pinjar in 1940 and 1941 until Government authorities intervened and ploughed up Lake Pinjar as a wartime measure to prevent it being used as a landing field by the enemy [Allan Ash, Gliding in Australia, pp 92 – 94].

The Lake Pinjar Soaring club was reformed as the Perth Gliding Club after the end of the war and was joined by Ric New with his Kestrel [Allan Ash, Gliding in Australia, p 103].

The glider was held in storage at the Gliding Club of Western Australia prior to transfer to the Australia Gliding Museum.

The Deed of Gift indicates that it was formerly owned by Wally Williams, also from Western Australia.

When Made
Made By
Ric New and members of the Pinjar Soaring Club (Maker)
The aircraft is in poor condition and has some non-original elements. It is one of three that currently exist. Nevertheless it is considered to be an important exhibit for relating the history of gliding in Western Australia.
Last updated
11 Aug 2020 at 3:06PM