Historical information

The Schleicher K7 is a high wing tandem two-seat sailplane designed in the late 1950s by Rudolf Kaiser for the Alexander Schleicher company in Germany. The fuselage is built using steel tube framing covered with fabric. The swept-forward cantilever wing is of wood and fabric construction with a single spar and a plywood covered leading edge “D” box for strength. The wing is equipped with Schempp-Hirth airbrakes. The K7 first flew in 1959. It is a versatile design that can be used for both basic and more advanced training of pilots. Over 500 were built. VH-GNX was manufactured in Germany and imported into Australia by Edmund Schneider Limited. It was test flown by them at Parafield Aerodrome, Adelaide, South Australia in March 1964. The original owner of VH-GNX was the Adelaide Soaring Club and it was maintained by Edmund Schneider Limited until May 1971. It appears that about this time it was transferred to the Gold Coast Soaring Club. In July 1974, after it had flown for an aggregate 3075 hours from 13919 flights, it was purchased by the Bundaberg Soaring Club. About 10 years later, it was acquired by the Bendigo Gliding Club. At that stage it had recorded over 4600 hours flying time from 21546 launches. When it was retired from service by the Bendigo Gliding Club in June 2006 due to age related defects the hours flown had reached 7259 from 31820 flights. It appears that the airframe has had a relatively trouble free life with only minor damage from storage / ground handling incidents, a heavy landing (January 1987) and a bird strike (January 2002). It was donated to the Museum in April 2007.

Significance

This exhibit is an example of the Schleicher K7 two seat sailplane type.

Physical description

Two seat high wing glider sailplane finished in white with red detailing.

Inscriptions & markings

Serial Number 7134, registered as VH-GNX. The registration appears on each side of the Fin / Rudder in red lettering