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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 50 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 Bernard Duckworth (Archivist) 03 93914611 and 0434 816 937

Contact

Opening Hours

By appointment – contact President David Goldsmith 0428 450 475 or Archivist Bernard Duckworth 0434 816 937

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

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

This is a wood and fabric covered aircraft that is being rebuilt from the components of several aircraft as a non-flying exhibit.

Historical information

The ES52 Kookaburra is a two seat high wing glider – sailplane of wooden construction designed by Harry Schneider and built Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd. It was first flown on 26 June 1954 and became the glider of choice for training new pilots of many gliding clubs around Australia in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Several found there way to New Zealand. Further two kits were sent to Brazil and at least one of these was finished and flow successfully. The ES52 performed well with a glide ratio of about 22:1 and had soaring and cross-country capabilities. A notable feature of the ES52 design was the staggered side-by-side seating arrangement of the cockpit. This made for good in flight communication between instructor and trainee. Overall, thirty six were built by Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd. A longer wing version (the ES52B) was also introduced that had a better glide ratio (around 25:1). Five examples of this version were built. In Germany a modified ES52 was built incorporating a metal tube fuselage frame and with the addition of a engine driven propeller mounted on top of the wing which enabled the glider to be self launching. This museum collection item consists of the fuselage, tailplane, elevators, fin, rudder from the Mark I, ES 52 Kookaburra, formerly registered as VH-GFF and last owned by the Barcaldine and District Airsports Club of Queensland. The glider was in a damaged condition when it was acquired by the Museum. A decision was made by the Museum to repair the glider for display rather than endeavouring to restore it to an airworthy condition. The reconstruction of the wings is being undertaken by using parts of damaged ES 52 Kookaburra wings (as it happened from later ES 52 Marks). The Log Book for VH-GFF reveals operational life with a succession of gliding clubs around Australia.

Significance

This exhibit will be of interest to gliding enthusiasts wishing to inspect the popular two seat club trainer of a by-gone era.

Inscriptions & Markings

Fuselage marked with Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd Serial Number 9 and comes from the glider previously registered as VH-GFF.

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Wood and fabric single seat glider sailplane with 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 designed and 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. The aircraft was flown extensively by the Victorian Motorless Flight Group (now the Melbourne Gliding Club) and Geelong Gliding Club and several subsequent owners.

Significance

This exhibit is a "one off" Australian designed and built glider similar in some respects to the Hutter H17. Its usage is relevant to the history of gliding in Victoria in the post war years. Also the aircraft provides an insight into gliding technology in Australia in the 1940s.

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat sailplane made with a steel tube framed fuselage and wooden wings. A glass plastic moulding has been used to form the top of the fuselage forward of the cockpit. The structure is fabric covered.

Historical information

The Ka 8 was designed by Rudolf Kaiser in 1957 and built by Alexander Schleicher. It has been described as the single seat version of the Ka 7 Rhonadler. The Ka 8 proved popular with clubs in its role as a sailplane for early solo flying. Over 1100 were produced. The Museum’s example is a Ka 8B which is the second variant of the design, distinguishable by a larger blown Plexiglas canopy and improved ailerons. The particular glider was built by the RAAF Williamtown Gliding Club from kit supplied by Edmund Schneider Ltd of South Australia as agent for Alexander Schleicher. It was test flown on 8 July 1967. For a period from August 1994 it was owned by a syndicate at the Bendigo Gliding Club. The last entry in the log book is dated January 1995 at which time the glider had accumulated 1148 hours from 2303 flights. From 1967 to 1994, the glider was flown at numerous places including Williamtown, Bellata, Warkworth, Dubbo, Waikerie, Quirindi, Tamworth, Redding, Narromine, Leeton and Keepit. During 1994 and 1995 it was flown a small number of times at Bendigo. A notable flight recorded in the logbook is dated 31 October 1971 when W. Kenny reached 11,000 feet in height during a flight of 5 hours 10 minutes. The last owner prior to the transfer of the glider to the Australian Gliding Museum in 2015 was John Ashford of the Geelong Gliding Club. The glider carries Serial Number 8478-SH and appears to have been registered firstly as VH-GPA and secondly as VH-GMA. The last registration (VH-GMA) was cancelled in 2011.

Significance

This Kaiser Ka8B sailplane, when fully restored, will be an airworthy example of a popular 1960s German club sailplane type. It is a rarity in Australia as only 4 of the type have been registered and flown here.

Inscriptions & Markings

The glider serial number 8478-SH and the registration VH-GMA.

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

This Schneider ES59 Arrow is a single seat wooden sailplane with one piece wing. The instruments are not present except for altimeter. Fin and rudder are of swept back design. Colour scheme is white with lemon yellow fuselage underbelly. The aircraft came to the museum on an open trailer that had been designed to carry the one piece wing.

Historical information

This aircraft is one of 9 single seat ES 59 advanced club sailplanes manufactured by Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd in the 1960s. It was first flown in August 1963 and delivered to the Darling Downs Soaring Club at Toowoomba Queensland. At that Club it had 2603 flights and recorded a total airtime of 1475 hours. In addition to many local circuits and soaring and cross country flying, it was used at gliding competitions, including Nationals at Benalla in December 1964, State Championships at Oakey in April 1965, at Warwick in April 1966, and at (Inverell?) in March 1967. On at least 15 occasions flight times in excess of 5 hours duration were achieved. On 5 October 1970, the glider had a new life when it was relocated to Wollongong in New South Wales. It recorded 1927 flights with a total airtime of 1179 hours at the club between October 1970 and June 1988. Competition appearances included the State Championships held at Forbes in January 1972. Places away from Wollongong where the glider was launched include Cootamundra, Wagga, Temora, Marulon, Narromine, Leeton, Nowra, Goulburn, Horsham, Greenthorpe. On 15 June 1988 it was transferred to Ron Geake who transported it to Warrego in Northern Territory (flown once at Alice Springs), and then to Gympie in Queensland where it was flown about 20 times by the end of 1995. It was also flown on a small number of occasions at Forbes in New South Wales in 1996 and 1997. During 1998 and 1999 the glider was sparsely used (9 flights) at locations that have not been recorded. From May 1999 until transfer to the Australian Gliding Museum in May 2011 it apparently was not flown. Aggregate airtime hours for the glider stand at 2702 hours 53 minutes. It has been launched 4569 times.

Significance

A good example of a Schneider ES59 sailplane from the 1960s. This type is of note because it was the first Australian designed and built sailplane to be used in a world gliding competition (Jack Iggulden in Argentina in 1963).

Inscriptions & Markings

Plate in cockpit with details of manufacturer states; manufactured by E. Schneider Ltd, Adelaide SA; Type ES 59; Serial Number 62; Date August 1963.

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 checkered 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 Glider 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 checked rudder design (without logo and markings) is evident in a picture of a Geelong Glider Club Zogling flying at Tower Hill near Warrambool, Victoria, at Easter 1931 and this lends support to the conclusion 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

Exhibit is a historical link to the earliest gliding activities of the Geelong Glider Club.

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat sailplane of mainly wood construction (some plastic elements) finished in white with green detailing.

Historical information

The SZD-30 Pirat was designed by Jerzy Smielkiewicz and first flew in 1966. Over 700 have been produced. The example registered as VH-GYN which was donated to the Australian Gliding Museum by Alan McMaster is one of two that have come to Australia. It carries serial number B-333 and was imported as a new aircraft which was test flown on 29 August 1970. During its logged flying life (last entry 15 April 1990) it was operated in the Northern Territory and Queensland and passed through a number of owners before Alan McMaster at Rockhampton; initially the Alice Springs Gliding Club and then individuals at Charleville and Yeronga in South Brisbane. The aircraft flew 1909 hours from 2073 launches. The log discloses numerous silver distance and duration achievements.

Significance

The Museum's Pirat sailplane is an example of this popular Polish sailplane type and is indicative of the state of sailplane design in the 1960s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sailplane serial number B-333 and registration “YN”

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Slingsby T31b Tandem Tutor is an open cockpit, tandem, two-seater glider with high, pylon mounted two piece wing supported by double, wire braced, steel tube struts. The glider is fitted with a main wheel, rubber-block sprung, wooden nose skid and steel leaf sprung, brass shod tailskid. The basic controls of aileron, rudder and elevator are not supplemented with pitch trim. Wing lift spoilers and both aerotow and winch releases are fitted. The instrument panels in both cockpits are fitted with an airspeed indicator, cosim variometer and altimeter. This red and silver painted wood and fabric covered aircraft is in excellent condition having been restored to full airworthy status by the Australian Gliding Museum.

Historical information

The Slingsby T31 is a two seat training glider that came available in 1951. It is, in effect, a two seat version of the single seat Kirby Tutor. The T31 was marketed by Slingsby Sailplanes both as complete aircraft and kits of parts for assembly. The Australian Gliding Museum’s example (currently registered as VH-GDB) is one of five of this type to grace Australian skies. Three including GDB were assembled in Australia from kits supplied by Slingsby’s in England, the other two were delivered as completed airframes. To date only four remain of which two are airworthy. This aircraft began flying in at Caversham in Western Australia (the then home of the Gliding Club of Western Australia) in July 1956. It was badly damaged in a crash in June 1958. The wreckage was sent to Schneiders in Adelaide for repair. However, the Club decided against having the repairs done, opting instead to buy a new ES52 Kookaburra. After a couple of years, the wreck was purchased by a member of the Waikerie Gliding Club whereupon the glider was rebuilt with some modifications, including a more rounded and better streamlined fuselage nose. It returned to the air in October 1961 at Clare in South Australia. The ownership of VH-GDB passed through a number of clubs, including at Dubbo in New South Wales, Wimmera in Victoria and Pioneer Valley at Mackay in Queensland. Eventually, it came into the hands of Bill Riley of Tocumwal in New South Wales who held it in storage for many years. Riley donated the aircraft to the Museum. It has been restored to airworthiness and is flown at vintage glider rallies and on Museum open days.

Significance

This exhibit is an excellent example of a Slingsby T31 Tandem Tutor, a type of glider that was used by a number of clubs in the 1950s and 1960s for dual training of pilots to the solo capability.

Inscriptions & Markings

SLINGSBY – T31b (nose – both sides) DB Australian Gliding Museum (rudder – both sides) It has been given Serial Number GFA/HB/12 and is registered as VH-GDB

Glider – Sailplane

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.

Historical information

The Schneider ES50 Club 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. [*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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The glider consists of an open (uncovered) wooden framed fuselage (painted blue) with a brown vinyl covered seat, fabric covered wooden framed wings of constant chord (painted silver) with provision for attachment of semi-circular cane wing skids, and fabric covered wooden framed tailplane, elevators and rudder (painted silver). When assembled the airframe is wire braced.

Historical information

The “Northrop” is an American copy of the “Zogling” which was designed in Germany in the 1920s as a training glider. Apparently, the Northrop primary glider takes its name from a Marvin Northrop of Minneapolis who imported a Zogling from Germany and from that glider had plans drawn and published in a magazine called Modern Mechanics in 1930. The Australia Gliding Museum’s Northrop was built over the period of 1970 to 1974. The project was conceived by a pioneer of Australian gliding, Ken Davies, about 1969, as a hobby project and to experience afresh gliding flight of the early years. By that time, few primary gliders, which performed a fundamental role for gliding clubs in the 1930s and 1940s, remained in Australia. Ken began construction and was helped to finish the project by two old time Gliding Club of Victoria members, Dave Darbyshire and Rudi Feil. The glider was test flown on 8 March 1975 at Benalla. The glider was stored at the Gliding Club of Victoria and flown on special occasions in the 1980s. Later it was damaged at the 1996 vintage glider rally at Ararat as a result of a heavy landing. Storage was then provided for the glider by the Victorian Motorless Flight Group at Bacchus Marsh until it was returned to Dave Darbyshire for restoration in 1998. Fully restored, the glider was donated by Iris Davies and Dave Darbyshire to the Australian Gliding Museum in April 2001.

Significance

This exhibit is the type of machine that formed the basis of the sport of gliding from 1929 to about 1945.

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Small, light weight, sailplane of wooden construction with fabric covering on wings (strutted), elevator and rudder. Instruments have been removed and control column is not in place.

Historical information

The EP-1 "Spruce Goose" sailplane was designed and built by Ted Pascoe in 1955 as a smaller than average single seat sailplane that could be operated by two or three people. At times it was launched by auto-towing by Ted Pascoe and his wife without the aid of a third person at the wing tip. The glider exhibited good soaring capability and was used for some cross country flights. For instance, in 1956 Ted Pascoe succeeded in a 36 mile goal flight during which he attained a maximum height of 4500 feet. It was flown at the Mt Gambier Gliding Club from 1956 until about 1961. The Log Book shows that it was flown at Everard in 1961 and at Everard, Waikerie, Gawler and Keith in 1962. There is a gap in flying record for this aircraft from 1962 until 1967. From 1967 to 1972 it was flown regularly at various places in South Australia including Whitwarta, Stonefield, Renmark, and Gawler. For many years it was owned and flown by Mervyn Gill of the Balaklava Gliding Club.

Significance

The EP-1 glider is an example of a successful Australian home built design from the 1950s. It was one of a small number of notable locally designed gliders of less than the usual 15 metre wing span from the 1950s and 1960s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial Number GFA/HB/24

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Home built single seat sailplane of wooden construction finished in a light desert sand colour with aboriginal art theme markings.

Historical information

This glider type was designed by Jim Maupin in United States in the 1970s. The prototype first flew in 1978. It is a design intended as suitable for amateur construction using wood (principally Douglas Fir and Birch plywood). It is understood that hundreds of sets of plans have been sold. It is not known how many Woodstocks have been built but there are at least 3 flyable examples in existence in Australia. Over time the design has been altered increasing the wingspan from 11.9 metres to 12.6 metres and then to 13.1 metres for Types 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Some builders of Woodstock gliders have also made their own changes to the Jim Maupin design. The construction of the Museum’s Woodstock (a “Woodstock 1”) was commenced by Ken Davies who, due to age related health difficulties, was unable to finish the project. The project was taken over by James Garay and was completed in 2001. It is registered with the Gliding Federation of Australia as GFA/HB123 and allocated letters VH-IKL. It is practically a new aircraft with very few flying hours logged. VH-IKL differs from the original Woodstock 1 design in one respect in that the rear fuselage has been modified to enable the tailplane to be removed for de-rigging. The Museum holds technical drawings prepared by Ken Davies in relation to this feature of the glider. James Garay kindly donated VH-IKL to the Australian Gliding Museum in March 2013.

Significance

An example of a successful glider-sailplane design for amateur construction from the 1970s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Marked with registration – VH-IKL

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

All metal single seat glider sailplane

Historical information

The Schreder HP 14T is a variant of an all metal single seat sailplane designed by Richard Schreder of USA in the 1960s. The HP14T featured a ‘T’ tail in place of ‘V’ tail of the HP14V. The design was marketed to home builders in kit form. The Museum’s Schreder HP14T (VH-GIB) first flew on 31 August 1974. It has recorded 280 hours in the air from 239 launches to 28 January 1989, the date of its last flight. It is understood that VH-GIB was partly constructed in North America and completed in South Australia by C.G.M. Coxon. Ownership passed to the Georgeson Syndicate of Rockhamption, Queensland and later to Warren Mayfield of Victoria. Warren Mayfield donated the glider to the Museum in April 2002.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration lettering on rudder and fuselage sides

Glider –Sailplane

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 was originally a prototype 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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Wooden frame, wire braced and fabric covered biplane hang-glider

Historical information

The original “Taylor glider” was the aircraft used by George Taylor for the first heavier than air flight in Australia, which occurred on the 5 December 1909 on the beach at Narrabeen, New South Wales. On that historic day the glider was also flown by Edward Hallstrom, Charles Schultz, and Mrs Taylor and Mrs Schultz. The replicas were built by the Museum to celebrate the centenary of the first Australian heavier than air flight.

Significance

The glider is an accurate full size replica of George Taylor’s Glider.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The 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

Early fibreglass design that was manufactured in numbers.

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat competition sailplane of wood construction.

Historical information

The Vogt LO150 is a sailplane first produced in 1954. Designed in Germany by Alfred Vogt, the LO150 is of wood construction. It has a two piece wing of 15 metre (49 feet) span and a fuselage of monocoque design. The first of the type to be imported into Australia arrived in late 1955. In January 1956 this aircraft type was used to create a world speed record of just under 75 km/h for speed around a 300 km triangle and went on to win the Australian National Gliding Championships. The Museum’s LO150 (VH-GUC) – serial number EB71 was imported from Germany in 1971 by the late Frank Erdmann and an ownership syndicate formed. Following Erdmann it has had a number of owners. Much of its usage was at Bacchus Marsh and Horsham with excusions elsewhere for competition. This Vogt LO150 was last flown on 3 January 1988. Overall, since arriving in Australia, it has flown 315 hours from 273 launches, which is a commendable average performance of over an hour per flight. VH-GUC was donated to the Museum by Warren Mayfield in 2002. Substantial glue deterioration was discovered in one wing and, as a result, a decision has been made not to restore the glider to an airworthy condition. In due course the glider will be repainted and further prepared for display.

Significance

This exhibit is an example of the Vogt LO150 semi-aerobatic competition sailplane.

Inscriptions & Markings

Builder's serial number EB71

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Aircraft of wood structure skinned with plywood and fabric – 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 a number of missing fittings and will require extensive works to restore to a static display standard.

Historical information

This Dunstable Kestrel glider (which originally was 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 glider 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, also from Western Australia.

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.

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Slingsby 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.

Significance

Technically this aircraft represents the state of the art at the stage that sailplane design was changing from traditional wood construction to composites (GRP)

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Altair glider is a single place 18 metre span cantilever wing glider constructed from spruce and aircraft plywood. The laminar flow wing is completely covered in plywood with a ply balsa sandwich for the leading edge and the airbrakes are unique being located in the trailing edge of the wings. All these features were done in an effort to retain laminar flow over the wing and achieve a high performance. The wings, empennage and top of the fuselage are painted white with the rest of the fuselage red.

Historical information

The Altair was built between January 1956 and November 1958 with first flight on 20 December 1958. After a few flights the cockpit was lengthened and the glider flown by Cliff Gurr and Ron Adair to complete their FAI Gold C badges. Cliff set an unofficial Australian record for an out and return flight (between Gawler and Renmark) of 230 miles (368 km) in 1961. The glider was flown by only Ron and Cliff until Mervyn Waghorn joined Ron to fly it in the National Championships at Waikerie in 1967. For a period of time the glider was left in the care of some members of the Geelong Gliding Club. Doug Vanstan of the Geelong Gliding Club fitted a new canopy and rebuilt the aileron bellcranks to improve their operation. Subsequently the Altair was flown in competitions and at vintage rallies until the mid 1980s. On 31 March 1987 Alan Patching of the Victorian Motorless Flight Group purchased the glider from Ron for the sum of one shilling and named the owners as himself, Doug Vanstan and Ian Patching. It has been stored at Bacchus Marsh airfield since then.

Significance

The glider is the only 18 metre wing span machine to have been designed and built in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

The word ‘Altair’ appears on both sides at the top of the fin.

Auto-Tug 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

Indicative of technological experimentation in the sport of gliding

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat glider /sailplane of wooden construction with plywood and fabric covering.

Historical information

This Grunau Baby 2B glider, often referred to as the “Blue Grunau”, was built by Australian Sailplanes in 1946 and acquired by a syndicate consisting of Norm Hyde, Rob Dowling, Leo Dowling, Dick Duckworth and Ted Desmond of the Gliding Club of Victoria. Piloted by syndicate members and other GCV members the glider performed well in soaring and cross country flights at the various sites used by the GCV in 1947, 1948 and 1949. The glider went to Sydney for a while and then returned to be operated by another syndicate at the GCV. Pat Burke and Bob McAliece bought the glider in the 1950s and then sold it to Keith, Jack and Bruce Hearn of Melbourne. In 1957 the Blue Grunau moved to Western Australia and was added to the Glider Register as VH-GLC. Thereafter the glider had a series of owners. The glider has come to the Australian Gliding Museum via the RAAFA (WA) Division. The flying record of the Blue Grunau has been logged for the period of 28 December 1957 to 17 September 1975: Time in air – 559 hours 37 minutes from 1513 flights.

Winch - for auto tow launching cable laying and retrieval

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Tandem two seat sailplane of a wood and tubular steel construction covered with plywood and fabric. It has a fully enclosed cockpit under perspex (which is missing from this airframe). The wings which join the fuselage at shoulder height are swept forward such that the aircraft can be flown solo from the front seat and be properly balanced. The aircraft is in a damaged condition.

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

If restored this exhibit will be representative of the Scheibe Bergfalke II-55 sailplane type (a rarity in Australia).

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration "GKZ" on sides of fuselage

Glider – Hang Glider Type

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Hang glider made of wood with wire bracing – yet to be covered with authentic cotton fabric.

Historical information

Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) from Berlin, Germany, is widely credited as being the first person to make repeated successful gliding flights. He was known for adopting a thorough scientific approach founded on observations of the flight of birds in relation to the problem of inventing a man carrying heavier than air machine that would fly. He developed and tested bird-like gliders controlled by weight shift by the pilot (a similar method to modern hang gliders). The pilot held on to the glider with his forearms resting in hoops mounted on the main structural beam connecting the wings. The weight shift was achieved by the pilot swinging his trunk and legs. In contrast, the pilot of a modern hang glider is suspended below the glider and, with the use of an A-frame, allows the whole body to be moved around to achieve control. The Lilienthal design apparently had a tendency to pitch down and a tailplane was added to mitigate this problem. Lilienthal flew from hills in the Rhinow region and from a conical hill he built near Berlin. He made over 2000 flights. Importantly, for others seeking to progress manned flight at the time and also for the historical record, reports of Lilienthal’s flights (some with photographs) were published and Lilienthal detailed his experiences and corresponded with other flight pioneers. Lilienthal’s work became well known and influenced Orville and Wilbur Wright in their initial experiments with gliders in 1899 (although in their quest to design and fly an aeroplane they relied on new data created by wind tunnel testing). The replica built by Bruce Hearn is of the 1893 Lilienthal glider. It is very similar to the “Normal-Segalapparat” (Normal Glider) for which patent protection was later granted a few years later.

Significance

The Lilienthal replica glider is an important addition to the AGM collection as it represents the beginning of successful gliding flight.

Inscriptions & Markings

The glider has a small plate with identification details including name of builder (Bruce Hearn)

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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.

Historical information

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.

Significance

Popular mass produced, metal, two seat sailplane. Used by many clubs in Australia in the 1970s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration VH-GAQ in black on sides of fuselage to the rear

Glider / Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat high wing wooden sailplane with plywood and 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

Serial number 23

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat 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.

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Tandem two seat high wing strut braced glider-sailplane finished in silver grey colour scheme.

Historical information

The ES49 glider / sailplane was designed by Edmund Schneider in Germany before he migrated to Australia in the early 1950s. In Germany the ES49 was put into limited production by the Schleicher factory from 1951 to 1953 (8 produced). In Australia the ES49 is commonly referred to as the “Wallaby”; two were built by the Adelaide Soaring Club with assistance from Edmund Schneider Ltd and one independently from plans by Eric Hader and members of the Cooma Gliding Club. The Museum’s ES49 – serial number GFA-HB-36 - was built at Gawler from 1955 to 1958 and registered as VH-GLL on 15 January 1959. It was the second of the ES49s built by the Adelaide Soaring Club. Originally it had a rather distinctive appearance due to the use of a sleek P51 Mustang canopy to enclose the forward seating position of the cockpit. The glider, together with its sister VH-GDK, was used at the Gliding Federation of Australia National Gliding Schools at Gawler. In 1964 the glider was transferred to the Newcastle Gliding Club, Newcastle, in New South Wales and then in 1966 it went to the Albury and District Gliding Club, Albury, New South Wales. The Snowy Mountains Gliding Club, Khancoban, New South Wales acquired the glider in 1968 where it remained until 1974. In 1974 the glider transferred into private hands at Wodonga, Victoria, for two years and then to interests at Albury until 1985. At that stage the glider was acquired by a private owner at Bathurst, New South Wales, who undertook a restoration that included, amongst other work, the fitting of a more conventional cockpit canopy. The glider was at Warkworth, New South Wales in 1992 and became to be owned by Eric Oates who preserved it until he donated it to the Australian Gliding Museum. According to the logbook for VH-GLL held by the Museum, the glider was last flown in November 1990 and at that time had logged 2758 hours and 57 minutes from 15775 launches. The fuselage is currently under restoration at the Museum’s Dave Darbyshire workshop.

Significance

The ES49 – VH-GLL – is an example of the state of wood and fabric dual place sailplane design in the late 1940s. The glider served the Adelaide Soaring Club and subsequent owners well as a training and general purpose sailplane over many years. It is a rare example of the type (one of 4 existing in the world).

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat wooden sailplane, partly restored.

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.

Significance

A potentially airworthy example of a now rare sailplane of historical importance