The Cherokee is a single seat wooden home built glider. The glider is constructed from wood, plywood, fabric and metal fittings, all commercial grade except for main wing fittings, pulleys, cables and bolts. The fuselage is simple with four main longerons and bulkheads with diagonal bracing. The wing has two identical solid spars which form a geodetic structure, hence the leading edge is non-structural.
The Hall Cherokee II glider is an American design for amateur construction from plans. The designer was Stan Hall (1915-2009), a professional engineer, who gained extensive experience in the United States aviation industry during World War 2 including the programs for military gliders. He continued to work as an engineer for aircraft manufacturers and as a consultant to the industry after the war. He was active in gliding and, in particular, the home built sailplane movement. The Cherokee II was one of about 10 glider designs that he produced: it came out in 1956. It is understood that over 100 Cherokee gliders have been built. In Australia the number is possibly 10 or 11.
The Hall Cherokee VH-GVO was built by R.D Meares of Caringbah, New South Wales, and was owned the R.D. Meares syndicate made up of A. Jamieson, M. Vitek, H. Whalen, A. Palmer and G. Dunlop, all from around Sydney. It apparently passed to a second syndicate [names not recorded] and then to Barry Leverton of Peat Ridge, New South Wales and Eric Oats of Wahroonga, New South Wales in succession. Eric donated the glider to the Australian Gliding Museum in December 2009. The glider was registered as VH-GVO on 11 October 1973 and given serial number “GFA-HB-82” by the Gliding Federation of Australia.
The Logbook for VH-GVO appears to be a complete record of the flying history; in aggregate 210 hours 40 minutes in the air from 331 flights.
The first test hop occurred on 29 July 1972 at Camden, where it was probably based for some time. It was also taken on excursion to Forbes (December 1972 / January 1973), Greenthorpe (April 1974), Narromine (December 1974). It is understood that VH-GVO was also flown at the Hunter Valley Gliding Club near Warkworth New South Wales.
VH-GVO was last flown on 22 July 1986. Many of the flights recorded are of one or two hours duration. A ‘Silver C’ flight of 5 hours 25 minutes was made at Narromine in VH-GVO on 14 January 1975 by Gordon [surname not recorded but possibly Dunlop].
The glider was inspected and certified as airworthy and in a reasonable condition by Dieter Hildenbrand at the Hunter Valley Gliding Club in July 1986.
Since that time, until transferred to the Australian Gliding Museum, the glider was in storage. Structural restoration work has been completed on the fuselage and one wing. However, inspection of the other wing revealed extensive rodent damage to the ribs and spars and consequently a decision was taken to make it a static exhibit.
The exhibit is an example of home built construction of a type that has proved popular amongst amateur glider builders.
Inscriptions & Markings
Registration VH-GVO – serial number GFA-HB-82