The Laister-Kauffman 10A (LK10A) is a 2 seat a military training glider developed from a successful Jack Laister single seat glider called Yankee Doodle that first flew in 1938 and was exhibited at the Paris Air Show of 1939. The two seater variation was ordered in 1941 by the US Army for training glider pilots of troop carrying gliders. The military designation was XTG-4.
The LK 10A glider was a simpler, more robust design than Yankee Doodle. A longer canopy enclosed both seating positions. The top of the fuselage formed a straight ridge from the top of the canopy to the point where the fin – rudder connected. Also, the design was simplified by adopting straight spar wings of 15.2 metres in place of gull wings of 14.170 metres. During the war years 156 LK10As were produced before the contracts to supply the US Army were terminated. Many of these were later sold as surplus.
The Museum’s exhibit (serial number 122) was built in 1943. It was imported into Australia in the 1950s by Ric New, a member of the Gliding Club of Western Australia. Ric New modified the glider by “flat topping” the fuselage and making other aerodynamic changes. This kind of modification of the LK10A was a well tried strategy in United States for extracting better performance from the glider. It is understood that the reduction in weight and cleaner aerodynamics from the changes could increase the glide ratio from 1:24 to something like 1:30.
The LK10A was located at the Gliding Club of Western Australia for many years. Records reveal that it was kept airworthy until about 1975.
The LK10A is an important acquisition in that it allows one to compare the state of two seat glider design in United States and the United Kingdom in the immediate post war period. It is interesting to note that at that time a number of clubs in Australia who acquired a two seat glider for training chose the United Kingdom open cockpit high strutted wing offerings from Slingsby (e.g. T31) instead of more innovative military surplus gliders from America.
Modified LK10A glider consisting of tubular steel fuselage with a combination of fabric and metal covering, fabric covered wooden wings and other flying surfaces.