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Australian Gliding Museum Parwan, Victoria

The Australian Gliding Museum – Preserving Australia’s Gliding History

The Australian Gliding Museum first met as a committee on 26 February 1999. This brought together a number of kindred spirits interested in preserving older and historic gliders. The Museum membership now exceeds 140.

The Museum has since collected gliders from around Australia, many of which were facing neglect or destruction. The Museum’s collection includes over 40 historic gliders and other gliding archival material, including books, manuals, photographs, films, glider launching winches, aircraft plans, trophies and other memorabilia.
Restoration programs are in place (some completed) for many of the gliders collected. These programs are supplemented by research into, recording and display of, the history of gliding in Australia based substantially on the extensive archival material held by and available to the Museum.
Volunteers meet regularly at the Museum’s facilities at Bacchus Marsh airfield (which includes the Bruce Brockhoff Hangar (named after its patron) and Dave Darbyshire restoration workshop (named after one of its founders)). Visitors are welcome on open days or by appointment.
The Museum enjoys the support of the gliding clubs at Bacchus Marsh and the gliding movement in general through the Gliding Federation of Australia.

Contact Information

location
C/- G.Barton, Unit 48 2 Carramar Avenue Mount Waverley Victoria 3150
phone
+61 0407 773 872

Contact

Opening Hours

By appointment – contact President David Goldsmith 03 5428 3358 or Secretary Graeme Barton 0407 773 872

Entry Fee

None – donations accepted

Location

20 Jensz Road Parwan Victoria

This collection results from the special interests of a group which first met as a committee on February 26th 1999. The group, later constituted as The Australian Gliding Museum, shares an interest in researching and preserving older and historic gliders that are scattered all over Australia, with the aim to collect them in a safe place before they become destroyed or deteriorate beyond sensible refurbishment. By 2012, the collection included 14 heritage gliders: Coogee, ES 50 “Club Two Seater”, Flying Plank, Hutter H17, Lessing Glider, LO 150, Northrop Primary, Olympia, Rhon Ranger, Schreder HP-14T, Schweizer TG3a, Skylark 4, T31b “Tandem Tutor”, and a Slingsby T35 Austral, together with other gliding paraphernalia. During the period 2006-2010, the museum constructed three replicas of the biplane glider built by George Augustine Taylor and first flown 5 December 1909. One of these gliders was presented to the National Museum of Australia, for display in its entrance foyer.

Significance

The collection documents early developments in recreational gliding in Australia.

Max Speedy 30 April 2016 12:31 PM

Good morning, Gentlemen and Ladies, I am the president of South Gippsland Gliding Club. My question is that we have two Schleicher K7s whose canopies, front and rear, are in poor shape and in need of replacement. I notice you have in your collection a K7, (ex-VH-GNX). While I don't want its canopies, do you have or know the whereabouts of any canopy moulds so we can keep our K7s in the air? A very important question for us and your assistance would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Max Speedy 03 5668 1387

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Glider – sailplane – rudder – Harold Bradley’s ES 57 Kingfisher

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Rudder made of wood with fabric covering, painted light green, with registration lettering in white.

Historical information

The exhibit is from the Kingfisher glider (ES 57 - a Schneider design with a single piece high wing) redesigned and built by Harold Bradley about 1970. This is one of several unique gliders that Harold Bradley built or helped to build. With Harry Schneider’s support, Harold Bradley lowered the wing so that it joined the fuselage at the top longeron. The result was much improved visibility for the pilot without any measurable impact on performance. The wing was changed to two piece wing making for more convenient storage and transportation. The rudder is the only part of the glider that still exists.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration VH-GLQ

Glider – Sailplane – Schneider ES50 - ES50 Club – formerly registered as VH-GHP

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

This is a two seat high wing aircraft of mainly wood and fabric construction. The cockpit area of the fuselage is fabric over tubular steel framing. All exterior surfaces are pink doped only. Restoration is yet to be completed.

Historical information

ES50 was built in 1953 and is the only one of its type. It was designed by Schneider to comply with specifications laid down by the Gliding Federation of Australia for a basic two seat training glider*. It was first flown on 10 May 1953 and delivered to the Renmark Gliding Club. The log book shows that it later passed to other gliding clubs, namely Millicent Gliding Club, Corangamite Soaring Club, Sydney Technical College Gliding Club. Overall, as at September 1967, the glider had logged over 5000 flights and a total airtime of 388 hours. The Museum volunteers have partly refurbished the ES50 to static display standard – painting yet to be completed in addition to refitting of instruments. [*Plans were also prepared for a single seat version which never eventuated]

Significance

This glider is one of Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd earliest Australian designs. However, it was a later Schneider design, the ES 52 Kookaburra, which was accepted by many Australian gliding clubs for filling their need for a basic two seat training glider in the 1950s and 1960s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Given serial number 3 by manufacturer and registered as VH-GHP

Glider – Sailplane –EPB 1 Tailless

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat tailless glider with wing tip rudders. Canopy is missing. The glider is of wood / fabric construction and is unpainted except for primer.

Historical information

The aircraft was built in 1957 by Cliff Brown. It is an EPB 1, a 26 foot tailless sailplane designed in United States by Al Backstrom, Phil Easley and Jack Powell in 1954 as a simple, cheap, compact craft.

Significance

A small number of single seat gliders of this type were built in Australia in the 1950s. As far as is presently known, the only surviving substantially complete EPB 1s are Cliff Brown’s glider and another held by the RAAF Association at Bull Creek in Western Australia. Unfortunately, no trace exists of the Flying Plank built by Glidair Sailplanes in Sydney and test flown by Fred Hoinville at Moorabbin in 1957. In addition, a larger two seat derivative (known as the Twin Plank) designed and built by Glidair Sailplanes (completed 1958) is held at the Power House Museum, Castlehill, in Sydney.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider – Sailplane –Dunstable Kestrel - Dunstable Kestrel - often referred to as Percy Pratt’s “Red Kestrel”

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Wooden aircraft covered with plywood and fabric. Fuselage is presently unpainted and the wings and other surfaces are pink doped. Fully restored with the exception of painting.

Historical information

The Dunstable Kestrel was designed by W.L. (Bill) Manuel in 1935. It was the final development of the Wren series dating from 1931 by the same designer: in effect, a modified “Wren”. [Refer Martin Simons, Sailplanes 1920-1945, pp. 165 – 168]. Note, that a Wren was built in Australia in 1930s and flown at Kiama New South Wales. The original Kestrel was built by the Dunstable Sailplane Company established in the United Kingdom by Manuel and C.H. Latimer-Needham. It was destroyed in a crash in 1938. Manuel sold plans for the Kestrel and one was built by W.E. Godson in the United Kingdom. It is understood that the Godson Kestrel has not survived. Three were built in Australia by Rick New, Andrew Balsillie and Percy Pratt. The New and Pratt Kestrels are held by the Australian Gliding Museum. The Balsillie Kestrel is located in the Moorabbin Air Museum Victoria. One was built in the United States by Leslie Barton, Stanley Hrulinski and Thomas Nilon of Newark, New Jersey [refer Soaring, July 1937 p 6, including photograph pp 6, 12.] The fate of this aircraft is unknown. It is understood that the Pratt Kestrel was built in the (early 1930s??? or possibly about 1937???). It was flown regularly by Pratt at Geelong, Victoria. At the national rally organized by the Australian Gliding Association in December 1939 – January 1940 at the Belmont Common, Geelong, Victoria, Pratt, in his Kestrel, recorded an exceptional 13 kilometre cross country flight of one hour 43 minutes reaching a height of approximately 5500 metres [Allan Ash, Gliding in Australia, p 86].

Significance

The aircraft represents a fine example of the type. It is one of three that currently exist in Australia. The aircraft is also important for Australian gliding history because it was built, owned and flown by gliding pioneer Percy Pratt.

Glider – Sailplane – Slingsby Skylark 4 - Skylark 4

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Skylark 4 is high wing single seat sailplane of mainly wooden construction with plywood and fabric covering. However, the cockpit and forward part of the fuselage consists of glass reinforced plastic which was innovative at the time that the type was designed. The cockpit provides for a semi reclining position for the pilot protected with a full Perspex canopy. The wings are made up of a centre section with constant chord and tapered wing tips. The aircraft has a conventional arrangement for the tail stabiliser / control surfaces.

Historical information

The Skylark 4, the final in the Slingsby Skylark series, dates from 1961. The design heralded a trend towards the use of plastics in the construction of gliders. Slingsby incorporated GRP (glass reinforced plastic) panels to achieve a streamlined fuselage nose and cockpit area while retaining the more traditional wood techniques for the rest of the aircraft. Another notable feature was the smooth wing surface that was obtained using a Gaboon ply skin across the ribs. Best glide performance of 1:33 was found to be comparable with the early full GRP glider designs. The Museum’s example (VH-GTB – C/N 1382) was built in 1963 and originally owned by Chuck Bentson of the UK. It was brought to Australia in 1967 by Jeremy Picket-Heaps and flown at various places including Benalla, Cooma and Gundaroo. In 1970 the glider was transferred to the New England Soaring Club. Many flights were made from Armidale and Bellata in Northern New South Wales. On one occasion, the glider was kept aloft for 8 hours 45 minutes and on another the pilot took it around a 500 kilometre triangle in nearly 8 hours. In 1980 it was sold to Ralph (“Feathers”) Crompton and was flown extensively in South Australia until 1988. The final owner before the glider was given to the Museum in 2004 was Ross Dutton of Melbourne. The last recorded flight occurred in 1992. The glider at that point had logged over 2000 hours flying time from about 2000 launches. The airframe is currently being restored to flying condition under the expert supervision of Museum volunteer Bob Wyatt.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

The sailplane bears construction number 1382 and is registered in Australia as VH-GTB

Glider - Lessing

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Metal bird-like glider – without fabric coverings

Historical information

Kurt Lessing migrated from Dresden, Germany to Australia after World War 2. He was a very skilled machinist and proceeded to build this somewhat strange machine more or less in secret in his workshop at Woodend, Victoria. In addition, Kurt built a ramp 20 metres high, with winches and a 800 metre catapult for launching the glider, with the pilot lying in a prone position. However, he died before completing the project and the glider was never flown. The glider was acquired by the donor, Bill Riley, at an auction.

Significance

The exhibit it is unusual in the use of metal fabrication in the construction of this primitive type of glider. The workmanship is of a remarkable standard and the glider may be fairly described as a work of art.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider –Sailplane – FS-24 Phonix - Phonix

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Glassfibre single seat sailplane, finished white with blue stripes on fin and rudder.

Historical information

The FS-24 Phonix is the first sailplane design to be built using a moulded fiberglass sandwich technique. It was designed by Hermann Nagele and Richard Eppler leading a group setup for the purpose at Stuttgart Technical University in the early 1950s. Initial construction was undertaken at workshops of Wolf Hirth and the first prototype was completed at the Bolkow Aircraft Company where Nagele and another member of the group, Rudi Lindner, had gained employment. It flew on 27 November 1957. Two further prototypes were built incorporating a T-tail and other refinements. Eight in all were built before production was stopped in 1961. A number of gliding records were broken in Phonix sailplanes in Germany in 1962-1963. It was found to have a best glide ratio of 40:1. The Museum’s example, No. 403 is a prototype that was built on 25 May 1960 [Registration D-8354]. It was converted at Bolkow to a Phonix T in 1963 and sold to a private owner in Switzerland [Registration HB-746] and later then to gliding club Segelfluggruppe Solothurn in 1965. The glider returned to Germany in 1971 (Meersburg) and re-registered as D-0738. It moved to a new owner in Allershausen in 1976, and again to Lindhoft in 1982. In 1983 the glider was sold to owners at Hasselt, Belgium and given registration OO-ZQD. In 1989 a further change of ownership occurred and the glider went to Leusden in the Netherlands where it was registered as PH-949. In 2006 the Phonix No.403 was imported into Australia by John Ashford of the Geelong Gliding Club. On 30 January 2007, it was registered as VH-GRP. However, as at January 2016 it has not been flown in Australia. In the course of its flying history the glider was damaged several times and repaired. At one stage a larger rudder was fitted and later on this modification was reversed. With the original conversion to a Phonix T and subsequent repairs and changes to equipment the weight of the airframe increased from 182 kg to approximately 220 kg. Nevertheless, the wing loading is a modest 20kg/square metre. As at January 2016, minor repairs and airworthiness certification are required to return the glider to flying condition.

Significance

This exhibit is highly significant as it is one of only eight of this pioneering sailplane design. It is the only one in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Australian registration GRP on rudder; Serial Number 403 and Vintage glider club of Netherlands plaque in cockpit

Glider – Sailplane - Auto-Tug Engine - Ford Essex 3.8 litre V6 engine

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Ford auto engine mounted on mobile stand

Historical information

The 1982 Ford V6 engine, built at the Ford Essex Engine Plant at Windsor in Ontario Canada, was released by Ford for installation in a number of car and light truck models manufactured in Canada, United States, Mexico and Venezula. Production probably exceeded 7 million items. The Australian Gliding Museum’s exhibit was an engine converted for aircraft use that was bought for the Gliding Federation of Australia “Auto-Tug” program from Javelin Aircraft Company in Wichita in USA. “Auto-Tug” was an experimental program sponsored by the Gliding Federation of Australia to equip a glider – sailplane Piper Pawnee PA-25-150 tug with a water-cooled engine to alleviate the costs of running and maintaining the Lycoming engines fitted to Pawnee tugs in Australia. The program began in 1988 and was aimed at obtaining limited certification for converting dedicated glider – sailplane tow planes. The engine equipped with modified intake manifolds produced 198 hp for flight with the same propeller RPM for take-off as the original Lycoming 0-540 engine. However, fuel consumption was halved as the water cooling of the Ford engine enabled quicker descents with throttle closed following the release of the sailplane. Based on the results of GFA’s program, CASA concluded that engine was quite suitable for an aircraft installation and rated it more reliable than the equivalent Lycoming and Continental aircraft engine. The use of the 1982 Ford V6 engine type for Pawnee tug conversions was discontinued when the General Motors LS1 5.7 litre V8 became available. It is understood that a small number of conversions have been done using the LS1 engine. This brief history is based on information obtained from Mike Burns and David Sharples who were involved in the Auto-Tug program from 1988 to 1992. Technical information relating to the 1982 Ford V6 automotive engine is contained in a paper by D.L. Armstrong and G.F. Stirrat of the Engine Engineering Office at Ford.

Significance

To be assessed

Rudder from Geelong Gliding Club Primary Glider

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Fabric covered wooden framed primary glider rudder with metal levers decorated with silver and dark red checked design. The item has a cat logo on one side and markings on the other of places where the Geelong Gliding Club flew in its early years.

Historical information

The Geelong Gliding Club was formed in June 1929 at a meeting held at the Belmont Common hangar of Percy Pratt. The club built a Zogling (Primary Glider) based on plans obtained from Germany and flew it off nearby hills at Lovely Banks and other places in the Geelong region. The check rudder design (without logo and markings) is evident in a picture of a Geelong Gliding Club Zogling flying at Tower Hill near Warrambool, Victoria, at Easter 1931 and this lends support to assurances given by people at Geelong Gliding Club that the rudder was part of the Club’s first glider. The logo and markings appear to be a more recent elaboration to the design.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

On port side – Cat logo. On starboard side – Geelong Glider Club; and place names including Geelong Aerodrome, Batesford, Ceres, Lovely Banks, Tower Hill, Koroit, Mount Moriac; and years, 1929-1933

Glider – Sailplane – Schleicher K 7 “Rhonadler” - Schleicher K 7 Rhonadler – Registration Number VH-GNX

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Two seat high wing glider sailplane finished in white with red detailing. The flight instruments are absent from the cockpit.

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

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider – Sailplane – Auto tow launching cable laying and retrieval winch - Winch

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single drum and motorized drive mechanism mounted on a mobile steel frame.

Historical information

The auto tow launching mechanism was designed by Ray Jamieson of Cobram in the north of Victoria. The prototype was built the for the Corowa Gliding Club where it was used for some years. After Ray’s brother, Bert Jamieson, had witnessed the machine in use at Corowa, at Bert’s request, Ray built second one (the Museum’s exhibit) for use at Bacchus Marsh airfield. Bert lived in Melbourne at the time and was a member of the Victorian Motorless Flight Group (VMFG) which used Bacchus Marsh airfield. This occurred in the 1970s. The method of operation was to have the auto tow mechanism mounted in the back of a utility motor vehicle. The launching cable was attached to the glider. With the Volkswagen engine of the mechanism running, the tow vehicle would then drive along the runway to commence the launch. The mechanism would automatically apply brake pressure to the cable drum as the vehicle proceeded freely letting out the cable and then smoothly towing the glider into the air. When the launching cable reached a certain angle, the pilot would release the cable from the glider at which point the winching mechanism would automatically retrieve the cable in preparation for the next launch. This allowed quicker restarts and the flexibility of easily changing runways to suit the wind conditions. It made gliding a simple and cost-effective operation. Ray Jamieson and his son often used the prototype which they named “George” at Corowa in this way. With the exception of several demonstration launches, the Museum’s example of this type of device was not used by the VMFG at Bacchus Marsh due to rulings by the Department of Civil Aviation encouraging the use of aero tow launching at their site.

Significance

As far as is known this is the only device of its type in the world and is indicative of the ingenuity found amongst the Australian gliding fraternity.

Glider – Sailplane: Kaiser Ka 2B - Kaiser Ka 2B Rhonschwalbe

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Tandem two seat training glider / sailplane of wood and fabric construction

Historical information

The Ka 2, a tandem two seat training sailplane of 15 metre wing span, was designed by Rudolf Kaiser for Schleicher in 1953. It was a versatile craft due to its good cross country soaring capability. With the Ka 2B the design was improved in 1955 by lengthening the wing span to 16 metres and increasing the dihedral and tip washout. The fuselage was lengthened slightly as well. Schleicher built 42 Ka2s from 1953 to 1955 and 75 Ka 2Bs from 1955 to 1957. In addition Schleicher supplied kits for construction of the sailplane by independent builders. The Australian Gliding Museum’s example is the single Ka 2b built in Australia from plans and is designated as GFA-HB-47. The club concerned was the Illawarra Soaring Club of Sydney. The glider registered as VH-GHO and first flew in October 1960. However, within a short time it was badly damaged and needed major repairs which took over a year to complete. After lengthy service at Illawarra Soaring Club it was transferred to the Stirling Gliding Club in Western Australia in August 1976. Again it suffered damage in a landing accident in 1978. The damaged glider was put into storage at Northam where it remained for approximately 11 years. It was acquired by Mike Valentine in 1989 and brought back to flying condition at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. The last entry in the log book is dated January 1997 at which time it had accumulated 1170 hours from 2446 flights. The last owner prior to transfer to the Australian Gliding Museum was John Ashford of the Geelong Gliding Club.

Significance

The aircraft is the only Ka 2b built in Australia by an amateur group from plans

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration VH-GHO Serial number - GFA HB 47

Glider - Sailplane - MOBA2D

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Composite single seat glider / sailplane finished in bright yellow

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.

Significance

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.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider – Sailplane - Dunstable Kestrel - Dunstable Kestrel – commonly referred to as Ric New’s Kestrel

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Wood and fabric glider – off-white colour scheme – crazed flaking paint on fuselage – nose of fuselage has been modified by addition of streamlining – damage includes impact holes to plywood, especially on starboard side – wings have been stripped of fabric covering and some ribs are missing – tailplane and rudder are in reasonable condition although, like wings, have been stripped of fabric. Overall, while the main elements of this aircraft are present, there are many missing fittings and will require extensive works to restore to a static display standard approximating original condition, if that course is chosen.

Historical information

The Dunstable Kestrel was designed by W.L. (Bill) Manuel in 1935. It was the final development of the Wren series dating from 1931 by the same designer: in effect, a modified “Wren”. [Refer Martin Simons, Sailplanes 1920-1945, pp. 165 – 168] Note, a Wren was built in Australia in the 1930s and flown at Kiama in New South Wales. The original Kestrel was built by the Dunstable Sailplane Company established in the United Kingdom by Manuel and C.H. Latimer-Needham. It was destroyed in a crash in 1938. Manuel sold plans for the Kestrel and one was built by W.E. Godson in the United Kingdom. It is understood that the Godson Kestrel has not survived. Three were built in Australia by Rick New, Andrew Balsillie and Percy Pratt. The New and Pratt Kestrels are held by the Australian Gliding Museum. The Balsillie Kestrel is located in the Moorabbin Air Museum Victoria. One was built in the United States by Leslie Barton, Stanley Hrulinski and Thomas Nilon of Newark, New Jersey [refer Soaring, July 1937 p 6, including photograph pp 6, 12.] The fate of this aircraft is unknown. The New Kestrel (finished in silver paint) was built in 1939 by Ric New and members of the Lake Pinjar Soaring Club. It first flew on 26 December 1939 at Lake Pinjar. The first extensive flight was on 7 January 1940 when Ric New managed to stay aloft for 30 minutes and reach a height of 3000 metres. Unfortunately the Kestrel was badly damaged the same day when another club member Jim Brabazon stalled and spun in. The Kestrel was repaired by June 1940 and flown extensively at Lake Pinjar in 1940 and 1941 until Government authorities intervened and ploughed up Lake Pinjar as a wartime measure to prevent it being used as a landing field by the enemy [Allan Ash, Gliding in Australia, pp 92 – 94]. The Lake Pinjar Soaring club was reformed as the Perth Gliding Club after the end of the war and was joined by Ric New with his Kestrel [Allan Ash, Gliding in Australia, p 103]. The New Kestrel was held in storage at the Gliding Club of Western Australia prior to transfer to the Australia Gliding Museum. The Deed of Gift indicates that it was formerly owned by Wally Williams.

Significance

The aircraft is in poor condition and has some non-original elements. It is one of three that currently exist. Nevertheless it is considered to be an important exhibit for relating the history of gliding in Western Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider - Sailplane - Golden Eagle

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat wood and fabric sailplane finished with white wings, tailplane and rudder and yellow fuselage

Historical information

The Golden Eagle is an original design by Geoff Richardson. Geoff commenced gliding in the early days of the sport circa 1933 in Melbourne, flying at Coode Island and Mt Frazer. In 1934, he began construction of a secondary type glider but scrapped it upon realizing that a better design was needed. He conducted further research and came up with a sailplane of similar size and general arrangement to the Grunau Baby but with a “Gull” wing using a Gottingen 535 wing section (the same as for the Grunau Baby). Geoff did all the technical calculations himself and even made up and tested a Casein glue for the construction. Geoff competed construction of his new sailplane (which he called the “Golden Eagle”) in 1937 and it was test flown at Laverton at the western edge of Melbourne in September 1937. On the same day, at Laverton, the Gliding Club of Victoria flew its new Grunau Baby 2 sailplane which it had imported as a finished machine from Edmund Schneider in Germany. The Golden Eagle was found to fly well, having a similar performance to the Grunau Baby. In the 1950s, the Golden Eagle was modified by rebuilding the front of the fuselage to enclose the cockpit with a Perspex canopy. A landing wheel was incorporated behind the skid. Spoilers were added to the wings and a trim tab to the elevators. The Golden Eagle has been flown with the VMFG (Victorian Motorless Flight Group) for most of its long life. When donated to the Australian Gliding Museum in 2016 by Alan Patching it was probably the oldest, continuously airworthy glider in the world. Having regard to the historical significance of the Golden Eagle, the Museum has decided to not to fly it anymore to avoid risk of loss or damage.

Significance

The exhibit is of great significance for Australian gliding history – the Golden Eagle is a flyable 1930s aircraft in excellent condition that was designed and built by an Australian gliding pioneer.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration letters “FC” on fuselage nose port side, Australian flag, Vintage Gliders Australia and VMFG decals on rudder, “Golden Eagle” lettering in red on each side of the fuselage below the canopy, Aboriginal flag decal on port side of fuselage below the canopy.

Glider – Sailplane – Schneider Grunau Baby 3A - Grunau Baby Mark 3A – registration VH-GHV and originally referred to as the “Red Grunau”

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Glider of wood and fabric construction, with steel wing struts. Currently painted crème with yellow details. Underside of fuselage is painted orange.

Historical information

This aircraft, the first glider built by Schneiders after they immigrated to Australia, was test flown on 3 January 1953 by Dave Darbyshire and Owen Lewis. It is the only machine of its type. It is essentially a Grunau Baby 2B with a Perspex enclosed cockpit, wing airbrakes and a landing wheel. However, the wing design came from an existing Grunau 3 type that was being built in Germany. The glider has given extensive service for a number of owners – including the Gliding Club of Victoria, Sunraysia Gliding Club, Millicent Gliding Club, Max Bugler of Morwell and Garth Hudson of Brighton in Victoria. Prior to being donated to the Australian Gliding Museum in January 2001 the glider had logged over 2200 hours flying time from over 9000 flights.

Significance

The glider is an improved Grunau Baby design that Edmund Schneider built after coming to Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registered as VH-GHV

Glider – Sailplane – Bolkow Phoebus C - Bolkow Phoebus C – registration VH-GSW

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Museum’s Phoebus is a modern looking single seat glass fibre sailplane with a ‘T’ tailplane. It is finished in white with light red detailing including thin red stripe on wings and some red striping on fuselage sides from nose to underneath wings.

Historical information

The Phoebus is a fibreglass composite sailplane that was designed by H. Nagele, R. Linder and R. Eppler in the early 1960s for competition flying. It is a derivative from the Akaflieg Stuttart Phonix which was the first sailplane to be built of fibreglass. The first Phoebus, a Standard Class design with a 15 metre wingspan, flew in 1964. The Phoebus C is the open class version of the type that was introduced in 1967. It has a 17 metre wing span, retractable wheel and tail brake parachute. Several hundred Phoebus sailplanes (all versions) were made by the manufacturer Bolkow at Ottobrun in Germany before production ended in 1970. The Museum’s Phoebus C, serial number 866, was built in 1969. It was donated to the Museum by Ian Cohn in 2008.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial number 866 on plate affixed inside cockpit – registration VH-GSW which has been painted on the sides of the fuselage rear of the wings. A Freistaat Bayern crest has been applied to each side of the vertical stabilizer.

Glider – Sailplane - Coogee - “Coogee” – VH-GFP

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Wood and fabric single seat glider sailplane strutted wings and strutted tailplane – features metal framed perspex canopy, central fuselage skid and wheel, small tail skid, instruments include airspeed, turn and bank indicator; variometer and altimeter. Metal parts include struts and fairing covering wing joint. All surfaces are pink doped – awaiting painting.

Historical information

The “Coogee” is an intermediate single seat sailplane built by Tom Proctor in 1940. Only one was built. It was first flown at Stuart Hill near Bendigo Victoria in January 1941 and was maintained in flying condition until 1967. Log Book History (recorded in 1955): This Sailplane [VH-GFP] was designed and constructed by Mr T. Proctor (Present address Alexandra) in 1942. The machine was purchased by the Victorian Motorless Flight Group in 1945. See letter dated 21-12-44. There is no known record of flying to this date but it is believed to be about 200 flights. VMFG commenced flying operations 27-12-1947. This Log Book is opened at 1 May 1955 and commences with the Aircraft in serviceable condition, the total no. of flights and hours to date are entered in the flying record sheets. (Signed) H.G. Richardson, Tech Officer, VMFG 1-5-55. Ownership history per Log Book (1955 and subsequent): 1940 - Built by Tom Proctor; 1945 - Sold to Victorian Motorless Flight Group (at the time, Berwick, Victoria); 14/10/1956 – Sold to Geelong Gliding Club; 06/10/1963 – Sold to E.J. Williams and G. Wyer (Melbourne, Victoria); 19/07/1966 – Sold to Campbell Curtis, F. O’Connell and R. Harris (Merigur, Victoria); Part share given by Campbell Curtis to Gerry Downs in return for completion of restoration (probably not undertaken); 12/05/2002 – Transfer to Australian Gliding Museum. Operational history; The aircraft did approximately 200 flights (hours flown not available) prior to transfer to VMFG. While with the VMFG the aircraft logged 325 hours and 30 minutes from 3356 flights – presumably mainly at Berwick in Victoria. With the Geelong Gliding Club it recorded a further 14 hours and fifty seven minutes flying time from 142 flights. With Williams and Wyer it logged a further 24 hours and 59 minutes from 102 flights. Finally, with Curtis and Co it recorded a further 49 hours and 21 minutes from 152 flights. A cross country flight of 13 miles in 30 minutes at Renmark South Australia on 3 September 1966 is noted. The aircraft was apparently damaged in a collision on landing with a fence on 7 January 1967. It must have been repaired as a further 6 flights are recorded in the Log after that date.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

VH-GFP

Glider – Rhon Ranger Primary - “Rhon Ranger”

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The glider consists of a simple open wooden frame fuselage (painted red) with pink doped fabric covered section at rear, fabric covered wooden framed wing of constant cord (pink doped), fabric covered wooden framed tailplane, elevators and rudder (pink doped); plywood covered wooden framed floats (painted white) mounted on metal struts (painted white). Airframe, when assembled, is braced with tubular metal struts (painted white). In addition the wing root joint between the wings is covered by plywood panel fairings. The pilots seat and back rest cushion are covered with black vinyl upholstery.

Historical information

This “Rhon Ranger” glider was built by Hain (Jack) Friswell in 1948. The “Rhon Ranger” is a type of primary glider (or Zogling variant), designed in Europe, for which plans were published in America in the 1930s. It is understood that in America it is also called the “Mead” primary glider after the Chicago firm that marketed Rhon Ranger kits and plans there – for example see advertisement Popular Science July 1931 page 124. A “Mead Rhone Ranger” replica is held by the New England Air Museum, USA; see photograph at www.neam.org. A short video may also be viewed of another example under construction at the Owls Head Transportation Museum near Rockland, Maine, USA on www.youtube.com/1930 mead primary glider restoration. The history of the Australian Gliding Museum’s Friswell Rhon Ranger prior to 1970 is scant. It is understood that it was flown at Melbourne in the 1950s and probably not since then until the 1970s. The excellent structural condition of the glider suggests that it has had very little use. In 1970, or thereabouts, the glider was purchased by the Hearn family from Melbourne who equipped it with floats so that it could be launched by power boat tow at Lake Eildon in central Victoria. In March 2001 the glider was donated by Bruce Hearn to the Australian Gliding Museum.

Significance

To be assessed

Glider – Sailplane – EON Olympia Mark 2 - Olympia - Registered as VH-GHR

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Wooden glider with fabric covering

Historical information

Prior to World War II an international competition was held for design of a standard sailplane for use in Olympic competition in 1940 in Finland. The design chosen was the “Meise” from DFS in Germany and its designer Hans Jacob. The 1940 Olympics were cancelled due to the outbreak of war and post war international gliding competition has been organized as World Championships, not as an Olympic event. After the war the Meise was manufactured by firms in Europe and a few were built by amateurs from plans. In 1945, a United Kingdom firm, Chilton Aircraft Limited, revised the plans for the DFS Meise Olympia keeping its aerodynamic shape and prepared new technical drawings for the production of the Chilton Olympia. It engaged Elliotts of Newbury (a firm with aircraft production experience during the war) to built a set of wings for its prototype. The wings were made by Elliotts but it apparently refused to let Chiltons have the jigs required to build more wings. The matter was resolved by Chiltons transferring its production rights and equipment to Elliotts. Elliotts produced several batches of Olympias (the “EON Olympia”) – probably about 150 in total from 1947 including Marks 1, 2 and 3 versions (featuring some structural changes and design improvements). The Australian Gliding Museum’s Olympia is a Mark 2 (actually 2B according to the logbook) which can be distinguished by the built in main wheel and blown Perspex canopy. It was designated as serial number EON/O/34 by Elliotts. It was damaged badly at Bristol, UK, in 1949. The wreckage was acquired by a Melbourne based syndicate including Dave Darbyshire, and imported into Australia. Additional damage occurred in shipping due to the need to shorten the wings to fit them into a crate. The syndicate rebuilt the glider and re-launched it in 1956 (registration number VH-GHR). It was flown by the syndicate and several gliding clubs in Victoria and South Australia until about 1972.

Inscriptions & Markings

VH-GHR

Glider – Sailplane – Alexander Schleicher K4 - AS-K4 Rhonlerche II

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Tandem two seat high wing strutted glider consisting of wood with plywood and fabric wings, tailplane / elevators, fin / rudder, and tubular steel framed, fabric covered fuselage. The glider is finished in a white, green and yellow paint scheme.

Historical information

The Alexander Schleicher K4 was designed in the mid 1950s by Rudolf Kaiser as a club training glider and several hundred were built. The Australian Gliding Museum’s K4, VH-IKK, serial number 55, was built in 1957 and purchased by the RAF Air Training Corp. U.K. After some years it was sold to a New Zealand Gliding Club and in 1990 with over 4800 hours, number of launches unknown, it was purchased by the Brisbane Valley Soaring Club and in 1994 was transferred to the Far North Queensland Soaring Centre who operated it from the Mareeba airfield. On 9 January 2000 it was donated to Vintage Gliders Australia by Kevin Sedgman at a presentation ceremony with Alan Patching receiving the glider during the Rally at Lake Keepit. It has been flown regularly at vintage glider rallies and now is one of the flyable exhibits held by the Museum. VH-IKK is one of two K4s in Australia, the other being VH-XJP which is believed to be in storage in Queensland in a damaged condition.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

“Vintage Gliders Australia” name in white lettering on fuselage sides and registration VH-IKK in black lettering on rudder

Photograph – Gliding Club of Victoria primary glider - Fletcher Smith

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Photographic print -framed

Historical information

Fletcher Smith was a member of the Geelong Gliding Club. He is shown sitting on the Gliding Club of Victoria primary glider at Mordialloc, which was one of the places where that club flew in the 1940s.

Inscriptions & Markings

On rear – Born 17 January 1925 – Fletcher Smith in Gliding Club of Victoria Primary glider, Australia Day 1943 at Mordialloc Victoria – (Signed) F.D. Smith

Photograph – Framed - Geelong Gliding Club primary glider - Geelong Gliding Club primary glider flying at Tower Hill at Easter 1931

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Framed black and white photograph

Historical information

The photograph was taken at the first big inter-club gliding rally in Australia that was run by the Victorian Gliding Association at Tower Hill, Koroit, over the four day Easter holiday weekend in 1931. For more information about this event see Allan Ash, Gliding in Australia, Hudson, Hawthorn, 1990, pp 20-21. The glider shown is a Zogling that was built in 1929 by the Geelong Gliding Club under the supervision of Percy Pratt who had obtained the constructional plans from Germany. The glider was flown on this occasion by Tom Thompson, a founding member of the Geelong club.

Significance

This photograph is significant for the Geelong Gliding Club (as it shows its original primary glider in flight at this legendary event) and for Australian gliding in general as it captures the pioneering spirit of those times with the sight of a primary glider in flight off the edge of the Tower Hill volcanic crater and the interest it evidently generated amongst the local public as indicated by the many spectators.

Inscriptions & Markings

G.G.C. Primary Glider Tower Hill, Koroit – Easter 1931 Pilot T.W.Thompson (17/6/1908 – 13/6/1988)

Glider – Ultralight aircraft - Motorised - “Hi-Jack”

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

“Hi-Jack” is a powered ultralight aircraft (in effect a motorized primary glider) made mainly from aluminum tubing with the wings, tailplane / elevators and rudder covered with aircraft fabric. The aircraft relies heavily of wire bracing, internally and externally, for structural integrity. The single, wooden, fixed pitch propeller is driven by a horizontally opposed twin cylinder Skylark motor. The pilot’s seat is mounted on the open tubular framing under the wing and behind a curved Perspex windscreen. The undercarriage consists of two wheels mounted on each side of the fuselage and a tail skid. The wings have been built from two round aluminum spars (one forming the leading edge) with thin round aluminum ribs. The forward third of the cord are covered with thin plywood and the whole wing covered with aircraft fabric. Diagonal internal wire bracing has been used. The wings are finished with silver and blue paint (the blue being applied to the forward third of the chord). The tailplane /elevators are painted silver. The fin/rudder is painted white with red and blue markings.

Historical information

Hi-Jack is a powered ultralight recreational aircraft designed and built by Jack Hearn and his son Norm in the late 1970s. The airframe design was based on a Primary Glider with the addition of an engine. The engine is a horizonally opposed two cylinder type of unknown capacity or Hp, it was manufactured in the outer eastern suburb of Beaconsfield and was known as a Skylark. Hi -Jack has been flown from at least two sites being the Berwick airfield and the model aeroplane flying site at Boundary Rd Laverton North. The club that operates from this site is known as MARCS (model aircraft radio control society). Jack advises that the total flying time would possibly not exceed one hour.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

“Hi-Jack” in red lettering between diagonal blue stripes on each side of the rudder. Also on rudder in red lettering: “J.D. Hearn and Son Pty Ltd Aircraft Division”

Glider – Sailplane – Slingsby T49 - Slingsby T49-B Capstan 2 seat sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Sailplane of wood, plywood and fabric construction with some fibreglass elements.

Historical information

The T49 “Capstan” is a two seat trainer, developed by Slingsby in 1960-1961 from an earlier design, the T42 “Eagle”. A major difference was that the T49 cockpit was arranged with side by side seating instead of the tandem seats of the earlier design. The prototype T49 flew in 1961. The production version (T49-B) was slightly different to the prototype in that it was given a taller fin. Thirty two were built by Slingsby. The Australian Gliding Museum example of this type (Serial Number FMD86), designated T49-B, is one of a pair built in 1964 from kits by Fred M. Dunn (Sailplane Services Ltd (NZ)) at Christchurch, New Zealand. It was registered as ZK-GDU in July 1964 and was flown at Wigram Gliding Club and Canterbury Gliding Club. It had logged over 4000 hours as at December 1987. The glider was brought to Australia in 1988 and registered as VH-CQH by Allen Rundle of Maclean, near Grafton, New South Wales. The glider’s last New Zealand maintenance release expired in January 1988. It has not flown in Australia.

Significance

The exhibit is one of a relatively small number (probably about a dozen) of this Slingsby type that remain. It is the only T49B in Australia, as the other built by Fred Dunn in 1964 (and brought to Australia by Allen Rundle) was found to be beyond repair and has been broken up.

Inscriptions & Markings

Marked with NZ registration “DU”

Glider / Sailplane - ES 57 Kingfisher

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat wooden sailplane with fabric covering, in a partly restored condition.

Historical information

The exhibit is the prototype Kingfisher Mark 1 (serial number 23) built by Edmund Schneider Ltd and first flown on 8 July 1956. It was first registered as VH-GDH on 3 May 1957. The ES57 Kingfisher is a small to medium size single seat glider that was designed to have similar control responses to the successful two seat trainer, the ES 52 Kookaburra, thus providing for a smooth transition for solo rated pilots to advance to a single seat machine. Edmund Schneider Ltd built nine Kingfishers and supplied kits for two more for construction by others. Harold Bradley (South Australia) built a modified Kingfisher with shoulder mounted wings. Kingfisher serial number 23 was originally owned by the Waikerie Gliding Club (South Australia) (1956 – 1959). From 1959, it had a nomadic existence in the hands of a string of owners in New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and finally Queensland, again. In the early 1990s the glider was deregistered and flown as an ultralight sailplane. After a change in ownership, the glider was moved to Hervey Bay, Qld and re-registered as VH-GKN. After very limited use, the glider was sold again and placed in storage at Hervey Bay. In January 2004, the owner, who by then had moved overseas, entrusted the glider to Ian Patching and Geoff Hearn who moved it to Melbourne. Ian Patching returned the glider to flying condition in February 2004. Since then, it has been stripped and recovered with new aircraft fabric and requires finishing work. The logged hours flown for the Kingfisher total approximately 190 hours from 549 flights. The glider was donated to the Australian Gliding Museum on 3 June 2014.

Significance

The Exhibit is one of the Edmund Schneider Ltd gliders that was designed and built in Australia in the late 1950s. It is one of the four Kingfishers that are known to survive – the Bradley Kingfisher and two of the standard Kingfishers are known to have been destroyed – the fates of five are unknown.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider Sailplane - Scheibe Bergfalke II-55 - Scheibe Bergfalke II-55

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Sailplane of wood and tubular steel construction covered with plywood and fabric.

Historical information

The Scheibe Bergfalke II is a high performance (for its day) and relatively inexpensive two seat sailplane designed by Egon Scheibe. It appeared in 1953 as a derivative of the Scheibe Mu13 Bergfalke and incorporated design changes to resolve and simplify structural issues that affected the Mu13. The Bergfalke II-55 followed in 1955. About 300 of the Bergfalke II and II-55 types were built in Germany and Sweden. This aircraft of the Bergfalke II-55 type was built by Scheibe in 1961 (work number 339). After a long life at Fliegergruppe Leimen e.V. logging 6754 flights and 1588 hours in the air, the glider was imported into Australia from Germany in June 2004. The glider was registered as VH-GKZ in January 2005 by Thomas Dattler of Millumbindy and flown only a small number of occasions (probably at Byron Soaring Centre). The Mangalore Gliding Club appears to have taken an interest in the glider in 2006 and completed routine Form 2 inspections in 2006 and 2009. The amount of usage during this period is unclear as the logbook records held are incomplete. In January 2012 the glider was purchased by the Southern Riverina Gliding Club and flown at Tocumwal until it was damaged in 2013 due to being blown over while at rest on the airfield. The 10 year survey was due in March 2013 and a decision was made by the club to donate the glider to the Australian Gliding Museum instead of completing the necessary repairs for returning it to an airworthy condition. It is estimated that the glider was flown about 300 times and perhaps logged about 140 hours in the air in Australia.

Significance

Possibly the only example of this type in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration GKZ

Painting - Framed - “Final turn – Arrow landing at Benalla”

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Oil painting showing a yellow and white glider banking in distance over open country

Historical information

Painted in 1967

Inscriptions & Markings

Signed by artist On rear – “Final turn – Arrow landing at Benalla”

Glider – Sailplane – SZD Bocian 9B-1D - SZD Bocian (“Stork”) – formerly Registration Number VH-GNL

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

This exhibit is a large two seat glider /sailplane of wood and fabric construction. All components are present with the exception of instruments. However, at the time that the aircraft was transferred to the Museum it had been taken apart for major restoration work. As received it is stripped of the top coats of paint and a number of components (including, amongst others, tip fairings, nose cone and cockpit elements) that were removed for facilitating the repair process.

Historical information

The Bocian is a versatile training sailplane that first flew in 1952. The type has been modified in several respects over the course of production by SZD (tailplane and rudder in particular). About 600 have been built; many for export to 27 countries (including Australia). The aerobatic capability and fine performance (best glide ratio of 26) has enabled the Bocian to be used to train competition pilots as well as those of lesser experience. Many world gliding records were set in the 1950s and 1960s in Bocian gliders. The Museum’s example is a type D test flown in Poland on 3 and 4 April 1963. It was imported into Australia in September 1963 by Austerserve Pty Ltd. The first owner was the Alice Springs Gliding Club and the glider had name “Cumulus” painted on the side of the fuselage (since removed). The glider had recorded 726 hours 46 minutes flying time from 2138 launches as at July 1967 when it was transferred to the Darwin Gliding Club. It appears that the glider was damaged in June 1968. The substantial repairs to the fuselage, both wings and tailplane and other minor repairs were completed on 13 October 1968. The glider continued flying with the Darwin Gliding Club until August 1969 at which time the service to that club amounted to 59 hours 7 minutes flying time from 348 flights. Between August 1969 and August 1976 no flights are recorded in the logbook. It is understood that on its last flight at Bachelor, south of Darwin in the Northern Territory (August 1969) it was severely damaged when it crashed after spinning while being auto-tow launched (although this is not expressly mentioned in the logbook). Reg Hancock purchased the damaged glider and rebuilt the port wing and restored it to airworthy condition (September 1976). It was then transferred to Colac, Victoria, and used by the Colac Gliding Group at the Yeo airfield until February 1981, adding another 153 hours from 403 flights to the glider’s record. After airworthy inspection in September 1982 the glider was used by the Geelong Gliding Club until 1983 (logbook details not held). The 20 year survey was then due and the glider fell out of service. In the course of the most recent restoration attempt it was discovered that the glue used in construction had deteriorated and that it was no longer feasible to bring it back to an airworthy condition.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

The glider, serial number 803, was registered as VH-GNL

Glider – Sailplane – Hutter H17 - Hutter H17 – VH-GQM – once known as “Sweetwings”

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Small, wooden construction fabric covered sailplane. Fuselage and wing struts are painted yellow. Wings, rudder and tailplane / elevator are primed with pink dope. It has an open cockpit with small clear Perspex wind screen. Instruments include airspeed indicator and altimeter tucked neatly under front edge of the cockpit rim.

Historical information

The Hutter H17 is a small single seat glider with a wing span of 9.69 metres, designed in 1934 by Wolfgang Hutter, for flying in the Austrian Alps. Construction of the museum’s example, “Sweetwings” (now registered as VH-GQM), commenced in Perth in 1949. It is one of two Hutter H17 gliders built in Western Australia at the time – the other “Fleetwings” (formerly VH-HDQ and since re-registered as VH-GXV) is located at Millicent, South Australia. Ownership transferred to G.R. Reichelt of Tocumwal New South Wales and later to D.B. Hunt of Thornbury in Melbourne and later Mt Isa, Queensland. It was acquired by Bill Riley of Tocumwal who donated it to the Museum. No flight data is available for this glider for the period of 1949 until 1972. The Logbook held for this aircraft shows its flying record from 19 August 1972 when it was test flown by B. Perssons at Tocumwal following a rebuild and 20 year inspection. Several notable cross country flights are recorded, including - on 30 September 1972 it was flown from Tocumwal to Corowa (landed) and return, a distance of 150 kilometres and flying time of 5 hours 37 minutes; on 5 November 1972 it was flown from Tocumwal to Deniliquin and return, a distance of 120 kilometres and a flying time of 4 hours 46 minutes; on 19 November 1972 it was flown from Tocumwal to Benalla and nearly back to Tocumwal, a distance of 200 kilometres in a flying time of 4 hours 33 minutes; and on 17 February 1973 it was flown from Tocumwal to Jerilderie and almost back to Tocumwal, a distance of 100 kilometres in a flying time of 5 hours 15 minutes. It is assumed that these flights were by the owner at the time, namely G.R Reichelt. In April 1973 the glider was flown by Gilbert Simkins, John Kent, Rex Teakle, Ron Muir and Allan Lattermore at Surfers Paradise Gardens on the Gold Coast, Queensland and in October 1973 at Peak Downs (Charlie Russell’s Kerras Strip), Queensland. The Logbook indicates that it was operated in the Albury area, New South Wales, until 1977 (but no flight data is recorded). The last entry is for two flights on 25 October 1979 when an airworthy inspection was carried out at Tocumwal by G.R Reichelt. After this date, and prior to transfer to the Museum, the glider was displayed suspended in the main hangar at Tocumwal.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Registered as VH-GQM