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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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Painting - Framed - Restless for Flight

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Oil and ink painting – framed – that shows a glider wing hovering above ground in a lane in front of the open doorway of (presumably) a workshop.

Historical information

Possibly this painting is an artistic reference to the Grunau Baby glider constructed by Gliding and Soaring Club of South Australia members in 1947.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signed by artist On rear – ‘“Restless for Flight” Alan J Delaine August 1986’

Glider – Sailplane – Schweizer TG-3A - Schweizer TG-3A – Registration Number VH-GDI – called “Explorer”

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Tubular metal framed fuselage (without covering and fittings), wooden rudder (no covering) and in damaged condition, wooden fuselage component (formers for fuselage top), Parts of control mechanism, Wooden stringers, Wooden wings without fabric covering and in damaged condition, Ailerons, Tailplane /Elevator without fabric covering, Perspex bubble canopies.

Historical information

The Schweizer SGS 2-12 or TG-3A as officially certificated is a glider that was designed in 1941-1942 and produced in United States of America from 1942 for training of military glider pilots. The design was based on an earlier Schweizer two-seat training glider, the Schweizer SGS 2-8, which had a fabric covered steel framed fuselage and aluminum wings. The TG-3A was designed avoiding the use of aluminum which was a strategic material reserved for combat aircraft production. Consequently the wings of the TG-3A were constructed from wood covered with plywood and aircraft fabric (in the traditional manner) and, with other design changes to simplify production, the glider ended up bigger and heavier than the SGS 2-8. Performance did not suffer. In fact, the TG-3A may have had a slightly better glide ratio compared with the SGS 2-8. It is understood that over 100 TG-As were supplied to the USA military and at the end of the war many were sold off as surplus. Fred Hoinville imported the Museum’s TG-3A into Australia in August 1950 after negotiating the difficulties posed by currency restrictions. It is understood that it had been built in 1948 and given construction number G15. On arrival in Australia it was assembled at Bankstown aerodrome and delivered by aero-tow behind a DH Tiger Moth to Camden where Hoinville’s club, the Hinkler Soaring Club, was based. It was found from experimentation that it was preferable for the TG-3A to adopt a low-tow position behind the tug aircraft in stead of the usual high-tow position. This enabled the tug to hold a better attitude for climbing and an acceptable rate of climb. Hoinville’s TG-3A performed well at the Hinkler club in 1950-1951. Several altitude records (including a solo flight to 8000 feet by Grace Roberts – a national women’s record) were set and many soaring flight made over Camden. However, it was badly damaged in a crash landing on 15 April 1951. (See A. Ash, Gliding in Australia, pp 132-133) The glider was repaired after the crash at Camden. It is likely that modifications were made to the cockpit canopy at this time. There were three configuration tried at various times: the original dual cockpit canopy as was standard for TG3As; an unusual dual bubble canopy set up; and a single canopy over the forward seating position (in effect converting the glider to a single seat). When the glider was flown by Hoinville at the 1958 Australian Gliding Championships at Benalla, Victoria in January 1959 (refer The Age Newspaper, January 10, 1959 p.21) it had a single canopy so that it could be used in solo competition. No logbook record has been found by the Australian Gliding Museum for the glider while it was owned by Fred Hoinville and flown at the Hinkler Soaring Club. However, records show that the glider was entered on the Australian register as VH-GDI on 6 May 1957. And the Logbook commencing in 1959 shows that ownership passed to the Port Augusta Gliding Club in South Australia on 16 August 1959. Inspections were carried out at that club and airworthiness certificates renewed in 1965. The logbook record indicates that VH-GDI had 1191 flights with an aggregate time in the air of 197 hours at the Wilmington Road Airstrip used by the Port Augusta Club. The issue of this airworthiness certificate appears to have occurred at the time that glider was transferred to the Cooma Gliding Club, New South Wales. Flying at Cooma began in November 1966 and continued until August 1969: the glider was in the air a further 108 hours from 1067 flights. The last recorded technical inspection of the glider was conducted by Reg Pollard on 28 September 1968. The glider then passed on to Bill Riley. The certificate of registration for VH-GDI was reissued in the name of Riley Aeronautics Pty Ltd of Tocumwal, New South Wales, on 20 March 1980. Bill Riley stored the glider until March 2004 when it was collected by the Australian Gliding Museum. It is not clear whether the current poor state of the glider airframe is due to an accident when last flown in 1969 or the conditions under which it has been stored over many years or a combination of factors. The glider featured in Fred Hoinville’s book “Halfway to Heaven”.

Significance

To be assessed

Glider - Sailplane - LK10A - Laister-Kauffman 10A two seat sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Modified LK10A glider consisting of tubular steel fuselage with a combination of fabric and metal covering, fabric covered wooden wings and other flying surfaces.

Historical information

The Laister-Kauffman 10A (LK10A) is a 2 seat a military training glider developed from a successful Jack Laister single seat glider called Yankee Doodle that first flew in 1938 and was exhibited at the Paris Air Show of 1939. The two seater variation was ordered in 1941 by the US Army for training glider pilots of troop carrying gliders. The military designation was XTG-4. The LK 10A glider was a simpler, more robust design than Yankee Doodle. A longer canopy enclosed both seating positions. The top of the fuselage formed a straight ridge from the top of the canopy to the point where the fin – rudder connected. Also, the design was simplified by adopting straight spar wings of 15.2 metres in place of gull wings of 14.170 metres. During the war years 156 LK10As were produced before the contracts to supply the US Army were terminated. Many of these were later sold as surplus. The Museum’s exhibit (serial number 122) was built in 1943. It was imported into Australia in the 1950s by Ric New, a member of the Gliding Club of Western Australia. Ric New modified the glider by “flat topping” the fuselage and making other aerodynamic changes. This kind of modification of the LK10A was a well tried strategy in United States for extracting better performance from the glider. It is understood that the reduction in weight and cleaner aerodynamics from the changes could increase the glide ratio from 1:24 to something like 1:30. The LK10A was located at the Gliding Club of Western Australia for many years. Records reveal that it was kept airworthy until about 1975.

Significance

The LK10A is an important acquisition in that it allows one to compare the state of two seat glider design in United States and the United Kingdom in the immediate post war period. It is interesting to note that at that time a number of clubs in Australia who acquired a two seat glider for training chose the United Kingdom open cockpit high strutted wing offerings from Slingsby (e.g. T31) instead of more innovative military surplus gliders from America. In the immediate post war period difficulties in obtaining import licences for items priced in US dollars may have been a factor.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

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

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

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

Glider – Sailplane – Slingsby T53B - Slingsby T53B – registration VH-GUB

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

All metal twin seat glider / sailplane, painted white with red tips and markings.

Historical information

The Slingsby T53 glider was designed by J. Sellars in the 1960s as an easily maintained two seat trainer suitable for RAF Air Training Corp use and for sale in the USA and Australian markets where wooden gliders were becoming less popular. The Slingsby T53 prototype first flew in 1967. The T53B version has a conventional fixed tailplane with elevator instead of the all-moving tailplane of the original type. The “B” version also has ailerons of narrower chord and lacks wing flaps. Further changes were made to the fin (extended above the tailplane) for the final “C” version. Production of the T53 at Slingsby was disrupted by a fire at the factory in 1968. As a consequence the contract to supply 40 of the type to the RAF was cancelled and only a relatively small number (possibly 27) were made by Slingsby before the project was discontinued. The rights were later sold to Yorkshire Sailplanes. It designated the glider as the YS53 Sovereign – only a few were produced (possibly 3). The Australian Gliding Museum’s example is a type “B” model. It bears serial number 1686 and was manufactured in 1967. It was registered in Australia as VH-GUB in name of Boonah Gliding Club, Boonah, which is about 90 kilometres south west of Brisbane in Queensland. Locally it was called “the Bomber”! It is believed that it is the only one of its type to come to Australia.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

“Slingsby T53B” on each side of fuselage below cockpit opening; Registration VH-GUB on each side of fuselage at rear.

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 - 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 – 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 - Schneider ES 52 Kookaburra - ES 52 Kookaburra, Mark 1 - VH-GFF

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). For more convenient storage and handling the new wing consists of three pieces that can be disassembled as the need requires. Of course, originally VH-GFF had a one piece wing – as is the case for all Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd made ES 52s. With the exception of this modification and some necessary minor adjustments to the wing centre section to refit the perspex canopy, the end result is a Mark I replica that can be more easily transported to exhibitions. The Log Book for VH-GFF reveals operational life with a succession of gliding clubs around Australia: Victorian Motorless Flight Group - December 1954 to July 1959; Alice Springs Gliding Club - July 1959 to February 1963; RAAF Richmond - February 1963 to September 1964; RAAF Williamtown - September 1964 to August 1972; Gayndah Gliding Club - August 1972 to October 1976; Blackwater Gliding Club - August 1972 to October 1976?; Southern Downs Aero and Soaring Club - January 1978 to August 1980; Charleville Gliding Club - August1980 to date not disclosed; Barcaldine and District Airsports Club – dates not disclosed – who, after liaison with Ian Patching, donated it to the Australian Gliding Museum on 10th March 2002. For the museum, the glider was collected from Queensland by Ian Patching and Geoff Hearn.

Significance

VH-GFF was the third ES52 built and remains to date the oldest in existence. 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 – 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 – 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 – Sailplane – Slingsby T35 Austral - Slingsby T35 Austral – registration VH-GFX

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Two seat high wing wood and fabric glider – sailplane. The glider has been partly restored for display as a non-flying exhibit.

Historical information

The T35 Austral was developed by Slingsby Aviation from the Slingsby T31 with the wing span increased and a larger rudder to improve performance. This was done in response to an order from an Australian gliding club. The Museum’s glider was built from a Slingsby kit imported from the UK in 1952 and assembled by the Waikerie Gliding Club. The glider came on the Australian register as VH-GFX in May 1956. It was later transferred to the Renmark Gliding Club. In 1968 it was acquired by the RAAF Gliding Club at Laverton, Victoria. The existing log book records for the Museum’s T35 Austral are incomplete. Nevertheless the information at hand shows that it was launched over 17000 times and spent about 2400 hours in the air. It would appear that the glider has not been used for many years, the last flight recorded by the RAAF Gliding Club for this aircraft being in September 1971. As far as is known VH-GFX is the only example of the type to be built.

Significance

To be assessed.

Barograph

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Black metal box with viewing window containing aneroid barometer, clock and smoked metal disc with scribe for tracing altitude of aircraft.

Historical information

Imported barograph not available in Australia so Wally Burgess manufactured barograph himself. Subsequently, Winter barographs were imported from Germany.

Significance

Necessary for recording of heights flown in glider rated as being of high performance in the 1950's.

Inscriptions & Markings

On top of disc enclosing clock is very faint inscription "DO NOT ..AN OR USE SET ...B"

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

Painting - Landscape - The First Aerotow – Gawler – 5 March 1950

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Oil and Ink Painting - Framed

Historical information

Shows a DH Tiger Moth aeroplane towing an orange glider at take off. Glider appears to be a Grunau Baby II. The scene commemorates the first aero tow of a glider at a former RAAF airfield at Gawler, South Australia which was used by the Gliding and Soaring Club of South Australia in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Inscriptions & Markings

On painting – Signature of Artist On back of painting – “The First Aero Tow – Gawler – 5 March 1950” On back of painting – Small certificate signed by Barmera Show convenor, J. Agg – indicating that the painting won a prize at 1984 show

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 - 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 – Sailplane – Grunau Baby 2 - Silver - Grunau Baby 2B- formerly registered VH-GLW

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Wooden – fabric covered glider – missing canopy Perspex, Instrument panel has turn and bank only. Currently the glider features a predominately silver grey colour scheme.

Historical information

This exhibit is a home built glider of a Grunau Baby 2 design modified by the addition of a fully enclosing Perspex canopy, spoilers, and a landing wheel. It was built by Alex Mackie and was originally owned by the Southern Cross Gliding Club at Camden, New South Wales. The first flight was on 19 May 1956. After about 10 years service with that club it passed through a series of owners, including the Forbes Soaring Club, Beaudesert Gliding Club and private operators. The last major inspection and overhaul of the glider was April 1972. It passed a further airworthy inspection in April 1975. At that time, questions were raised about the weight of the glider (found to be 400 lbs empty). In 1976 it had fallen into a non-airworthy condition and has not flown since. By that time the glider had flown 1161 hrs 11 minutes from 5228 launches.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Formerly registered VH-GLW

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.

variometer

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Rate of climb indictor with red and green tubes

Historical information

The instrument was used in the Slingsby T31b glider during 1950s . It was a basic instrument to indicate rate of climb /descent of the glider during flight during 1940s and 1950s.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Cosim Variometer.rt/341 Cobb Slater. Made in England.

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 - SZD Pirat - Pirat

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat sailplane of predominately wood construction (some plastic elements)

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

It is an example of the state of sailplane design in the 1960s when construction methods were moving from wood to glassfibre / composites.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sailplane serial number B-333 and registration “YN”

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 – ES59 Arrow - ES 59 Arrow – registered as VH-GNH

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

This aircraft 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 creamy off white combined with merging yellow, orange and red elements (similar to Northern Territory logo colours) – a ‘sunset’ theme. The underside of the fuselage has the sunset colouring as does the wing tips and rudder. 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. Piloting the glider on some of these long flights were E Maiden, D McCaffrey, and L Richards. On 5 October 1970, the glider had a new life when it was transferred to D. B. Clark of Mangerton New South Wales and subsequently to the Wollongong Gliding Club 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. Notable long flights in this glider while it was with Wollongong Gliding Club includes; 5 hours 41 minutes by D. Illyes on 10 December 1972, Silver C flight of 5 hours 50 minutes by D. Chessor on 29 December 1972, Silver C flight of 5 hours 21 minutes by R. Roots on 28 December 1973, a 226 km flight of 6 hours 57 minutes by P. Riley on 5 January 1975, Silver C flight of 5 hours 16 minutes by R. Lewis on 7 January 1976, a 6 hour 20 minute 300 km triangle flight attempt by D. Illyes on 10 January 1976, a 6 hour 55 minute 300 km triangle attempt by P Rigby on 30 January 1977. In addition P Riley achieved a Gold C height on 2 January 1975 and two other 5 hour flights by unnamed pilots were made in this glider on 5 and 6 January 1977. 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. In addition to the numerous minor repairs, the glider has undergone some significant overhauls. In 1964 and 1968 it was damaged in heavy landings. On the latter occasion the fuselage was partially rebuilt with a number of new bulkheads supplied by Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd. In 1971, the major overhaul included the stripping and replacement of the fabric and a complete repainting. It had 20 and 30 year inspections in November 1982 and March 1994 respectively. On each occasion it was noted that the aircraft has not had any major accidents. After the 30 year inspection it was re-covered with “Stits” fabric and again repainted. An ES59 Arrow (not the Australian Gliding Museum’s example) was the first Australian designed sailplane to fly at a gliding world championship. It was flown by Jack Iggulden at Argentina in 1963.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Registered as VH-GHN Plate in cockpit with details of manufacturer states; manufactured by E. Schneider Ltd, Adelaide SA; Type ES 59; Serial Number 62; Date August 1963. Letters ‘NH’ in red on fuselage sides rear of wing, and on underside of port wing. Stickers of Northern Territory logo (silhouetted bird in flight on sunset) are located on each side of fin.

Glider – Sailplane - Hall Cherokee II - Hall Cherokee II

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Cherokee is a single seat wooden home built glider. The glider is constructed from wood, plywood, fabric and metal fittings, all commercial grade except for main wing fittings, pulleys, cables and bolts. The fuselage is simple with four main longerons and bulkheads with diagonal bracing. The wing has two identical solid spars which form a geodetic structure, hence the leading edge is non-structural.

Historical information

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

Significance

The exhibit is an example of home built construction of a type that has proved popular amongst amateur glider builders.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration VH-GVO – serial number GFA-HB-82

Plans – Larkin Aircraft Supply Co. Ltd ‘Lark’ glider -sailplane - Lark Glider Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The plans consists of technical drawings on blueprint paper of the glider sailplane designed William Shackleton and built by the Larkin Aircraft Supply Co of Melbourne in 1930.

Historical information

The Lark glider sailplane was designed by William Shackleton in 1930 to meet the perceived demand for a glider with better performance than primary gliders, in Australia. Shackleton came to work for the Larkin Aircraft Supply Co Ltd as its Chief Engineer and designer in 1929 having been with the Beardmore aircraft company in the United Kingdom. The Lark first flew in January 1931 at Coode Island (the site of the Larkin operations and airfield in Melbourne). It was flown at Tower Hill near Koroit in the Western district of Victoria by Raymond Garrett who made a record breaking soaring flight of 1 hour 54 minutes on 19 May 1931. It was later transferred to the local gliding club and flown successfully until it was damaged beyond repair in a crash in 1933. Plans were sold by Larkin Aircraft Co Ltd for home built construction. A second Lark glider was built from plans by Harold Bradley in South Australia. He modified the wing design by tapering the tips. A third Lark derivative was built in northern NSW and flown by Eric Avery and others at Lismore. It had a modified wing with double struts.

Significance

Although there were only three known gliders of this type made and flown, the plans are of historical significance because it was the first successful Australian designed and built utility glider. The associations with the Larkin Aircraft Supply Co Ltd, a pioneering aircraft manufacturer and the notable aircraft designer of the time William Shackleton are also add weight to significance.

Pitot tube

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

This is a metalic tube.

Historical information

The pitot is an instrument to measure airspeed. This Pitot was originally fitted to the Kite 1 sailplane, built in Sydney in 1935. Later the pitot was replaced by another. This pitot was kept by Jack Watt until about 1950 when it was given to Alan Ash for safekeeping

Significance

This item was manufactured specifically as a part of a significant Australian built sailplane. The sailplane was built in 1935 and totally destroyed in October 1944 at Waikerie SA.

Glider Fuselage – ES54 Gnome

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Tubular steel framed glider fuselage – partially covered with fabric

Historical information

In 1952 and the several years hence, there were repeated calls from some influential gliding people in Australia for small, simple and inexpensive gliders to encourage participation in the sport. A leading proponent, Fred Hoinville, obtained plans from the United States for a tailless glider for amateur construction, the EPB-1 “Plank”, and disseminated copies to interested glider builders. A firm in Sydney (Glidair Sailplanes) also expressed interest in building gliders of that type. Glidair Sailplanes later designed and built a 2 seat tailless version called the “Twin Plank” and built an EPB-1 Plank for Fred Hoinville. Edmund Schneider responded to the calls by designing and testing a small simple glider with a 25 foot wing span (7.57 metres), the same span as the EPB-1. The prototype (designated the ES54 Gnome) first flew on 1 May 1955. While the glider flew without serious vices, it had poor soaring capabilities – as the Schneiders had expected for such as small glider. Perhaps not surprisingly, there was a lack on interest from gliding clubs and private buyers and the project was dropped by Schneiders in May 1956. In 1955, the ES54 Gnome prototype passed to the Port Pirie Gliding Club in South Australia. Modifications were made to the “pod and boom” fuselage. [The history of the glider from 1955 to 1995 is yet to be ascertained] In 1995, the Gnome was found in a wrecked condition and its remains (essentially the fuselage) were recovered by Ray Ash and Cathy Conway and prepared for display in a South Australian museum. The remains were donated to the Australian Gliding Museum by Cathy Conway in September 2014.

Significance

The exhibit is the remains of a glider that was not successful but nonetheless it is of historical interest because it helped demonstrate that the midget gliders were not the answer for making the sport more attractive to potential gliding enthusiasts with limited wealth.

Inscriptions & Markings

None