Historical information

MOBA2 is a 15 metre sailplane designed by Gary Sunderland, who was an aeronautical engineer working for the Department of Civil Aviation (Australia) and a member of the Victorian Motorless Flight Group (VMFG). The design gave effect to ideas that he developed circa 1970 for an aircraft that he could build himself. He entered a 13 metre wingspan version of his MOBA design (MOBA2B) in an Australian Gliding sailplane design competition that was announced in 1970.

The competition called for sailplane designs with a maximum wingspan of 13 metres that could be built by amateurs in a small workshop with limited tools and facilities. In 1973, Gary’s MOBA was judged by the competition panel as equal best with the other outstanding submission, which were chosen from a field of 19 entrants. However, after gathering further information and deliberation by the competition panel neither of the two outstanding designs were chosen as the winner. Notwithstanding the outcome, in 1974 Gary proceeded built his glider to the original 15 metre design. The wing was equipped with camber changing flaps that were permitted under special standard class rules for the 1974 world championships. Changes were made along the way in the light of construction experience and the completed glider was given the designation MOBA2C.

The glider first flew on 12 December 1979. It was never flown in standard class competition as by the time the glider was built the special 1974 rules were revoked and wing flaps were no longer permitted in that class. However, Gary flew MOBA2C in the Australian national gliding competitions held at Benalla in the summer of 1979 / 1980 competing in the open class. After adjustment to the aileron gearing during initial trials MOBA2C was found to fly well and in competition produced performances believed to be better than contemporary standard class sailplanes but not as good as the open class machines.

The glider was later modified in a number of respects including amongst other things the installation of spoilers located just forward of the wing flaps and by increasing the chord marginally at the wing root. With these changes the glider type was given the designation MOBA2D. The last recorded flights occurred in February 1996 at which time MOBA2 had flown an aggregate of 401 hours and 59 minutes during its 297 launches. Its operational life was brought to an end due to expansion of the foam in the wings causing distortion of the wing surface.


The MOBA2 is a notable home built 1970s sailplane design that featured a number of innovative elements including composite construction without the need for expensive jigs, nose cone canopy and asymmetrical placement of control column.

Physical description

Composite single seat glider / sailplane finished in bright yellow

Inscriptions & markings

Registration "GVI" on fuselage; Kangaroo, Australian Flag and VMFG decals on vertical stabiliser