The Let 13 Blanik was designed in 1956 by Karel Dlouhý of VZLÚ Letňany as a training glider. It filled that role very well and approximately 3000 have been built since production started in 1958.
However, following a fatal accident involving a Blanik in Austria in 2010 that raised concerns about main spar metal fatigue, the type was grounded in Europe and America. In Australia, the extension of the life of this type of glider beyond 5000 hours / 18000 launches is dependent on compliance with directives for the inspection and modification of fatigue critical components.
It is understood that VH-GAQ was built in 1971 and first registered on 14 August 1972.
It is a Blanik that has been retired from service because of the metal fatigue concerns that apply to the type generally and the expense involved in complying with the applicable directives for on-going airworthiness certification.
VH-GAQ was donated to the Australian Gliding Museum by the Australian Junior Gliding Club in 2010.
Popular mass produced, metal, two seat sailplane. Used by many clubs in Australia in the 1970s.
The Blanik VH-GAQ is a large two seat glider – sailplane of metal construction. It is finished in a white colour scheme with red detailing consisting of a red fuselage nose and adjoining red stripe along the fuselage sides to about midships. The control surfaces (ailerons, flaps, elevators and rudder) are covered with aircraft fabric and painted silver. The Perspex canopy fully encloses the cockpit which is fully equipped for dual flying.
Inscriptions & markings
Registration VH-GAQ in black on sides of fuselage to the rear