Stories Organisations Projects About Login

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

Leave a comment

67 items

close
Show All Items Items with Images (67) Items with Audio Items with Video Items with Documents
View As Grid List

67 items

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Registered as VH-GHV

Glider – Sailplane - 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

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 – Woodstock 1 - “Woody-Roo” – Registration VH-IKL

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

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Marked with registration – VH-IKL

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

Possibly the only example of this type in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration GKZ

Glider – Lilienthal Replica - Lilienthal Maihohe Rhinow Glider 1893

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Marked with NZ registration “DU”

Glider – Sailplane – 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 – Taylor biplane hang glider replica (1) - The Taylor 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. It is one of three built by the Museum. The second is held by the National Museum of Australia, Canberra. The third is on loan to the Moorabbin Air Museum, Melbourne.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider – Sailplane – ES49b Kangaroo - ES49b - Kangaroo

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

This collection item consists of the airframe remnants of the second ES49b glider built by Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd. It was acquired new by the Toowoomba Gliding Club and later transferred to the Leichhardt Soaring Club (since disbanded) in Queensland circa 1953. It is understood that it was badly damaged in 1967. Remaining are parts of the fuselage, cockpit, canopy, control systems, wings, wing struts, tailplane, elevator and rudder, All of these parts have deteriorated greatly from ageing and weathering, even though they have been protected from direct exposure to the elements for much of the time. Nevertheless they show constructional detail and the colour scheme (predominantly white with dark green elements). The rudder, which is painted dark green and bears the name Leichhardt Soaring Club Mt Isa , helps identification and is witness to the glider’s past service in that area of central Queensland.

Historical information

The Kangaroo is a high wing metal strutted tandem two seater sailplane, constructed mainly from wood and covered in fabric. The design evolved out of the earlier ES49 Wallaby, but in fact was almost a new type. In appearance it was a more elegant type with better performance than its predecessor, the Wallaby. Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd built two ES 49b Kangaroo sailplanes and the Museum’s remains are of the second example. The first example no longer exists. The MUSEUM’S ES 49B , VH-GFL (its given registration), was sold new to the Toowoomba Gliding Club and after a number of years was sold to the newly established Leichhardt Soaring Club at Mount Isa. It was flown extensively from 1953 to 1967 at various Queensland locations until its ultimate demise at Longreach in Queensland. The wreckage was stored from 1967 to 1997 in a shed at Longreach until it was moved to Emerald in Queensland. In the year 2000 Australian Gliding Museum member Ron Geake travelled to Emerald and recovered the wreck to his property at Gympie in Queensland, and subsequently stored the airframe on behalf of the Museum until November 2011, when another Museum member Geoff Hearn travelled to Gympie and relocated the wreckage to the Bruce Brockhoff Annexe at Bacchus Marsh.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial serial number 4 by Edmund Schneider Pty Ltd. Formerly registered as VH-GFL

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

Glider – Sailplane –EPB 1 Tailless

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider – Sailplane – Schneider ES KA 6 - I - Schneider ES KA 6 – I; "Rhonsegler" Registered as VH-GRW

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Plywood, spruce and fabric covered high wing single seat sailplane. The airframe has been restored to the point of repainting. Currently the fuselage, rudder and the wings aft of the main spar are coated with pink dope. The tailplane retains the white gloss finish of the glider prior to the restoration work. The cockpit will need to be refitted (with instruments etc) to being the glider into the state that it was when flown.

Historical information

VH-GRW, serial number 55, was built under licence from Alexander Schleicher in 1962 by Edmund Schneider Limited. It was one of 12 Ka6s, with minor variations from the Schleicher product, built by Schneiders in Australia. It was test flown at Parafield Aerodrome, Adelaide, on 8th September 1962. By way of background, the Schleicher KA 6 series of sailplanes were designed by Rudolf Kaiser in Germany. They were quite successful in the Standard Class in the late 1950s and 1960s. Over 1400 were produced. The first owner of VH-GRW was the Victorian Motorless Flight Group which, at the time, was based at Berwick Airfield on the outskirts of Melbourne. On 22 April 1972, the ownership passed to a syndicate including T. R. B. Threlfall and some others from the VMFG (at which time the aircraft had recorded 1718 hours from 3284 flights). It again changed ownership in July 1974. The new owners were another syndicate headed by A. Jamieson of Campbelltown in New South Wales. The history showed that the aircraft had flown approximately 2264 hours from 3610 flights at that stage. The glider went to Tasmania in June 1976 into the ownership of G.D. and F.J. Martin of Sandy Bay and Lucaston respectively (near Hobart). The next owner was the Soaring Club of Tasmania. In total VH-GRW recorded 3369 hours in flight from 4952 launches. However, the glider was used very little after 1996. This is reflected neatly by the piece of logbook poetry “What tho’ my winged hours of joy have been like angels’ visits, few and far between” entered after 3 flights totaling 4 hours 20 minutes in December 1998. At that time the glider had been out of action for over 2 years and subsequently was flown for only about 9 more hours. In January 2001 airworthy inspection found more age related defects. Further the major 40 year survey was due in 2002 and the glider was retired. It came to the Australian Gliding Museum via Don Briggs of Tasmania. The glider was repaired many times over its active life. Most repairs were related to general wear and tear and periodic maintenance requirements. However, a significant accident must have occurred towards the end of 1968 as the glider was out of action for 3 months during which the port wing was rebuilt by Schneiders and other repairs made. Other exceptional incidents resulting in damage included a road accident (February 1966) and attack by an eagle while in flight (January 1997). At the Museum, the glider has been restored to the point that it is ready for painting.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial number 55 registered as VH-GRW. The manufacture details are displayed on a metal plate fixed to the main bulkhead.

Glider / Sailplane – Grunau Baby 2B - Grunau Baby 2B - “Blue Grunau” – formerly registered as VH-GLC

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat glider /sailplane of wood and fabric construction in the course of restoration as a non flying exhibit.

Historical information

This Grunau Baby 2B glider, often referred to by those who are familiar with it, 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. There were a series of owners, as follows: 12 December 1957: G.R Higginson of Bedford Park, W.A. 10 January 1958: C. Ludeman of Beechboro, W.A. and G. Brown of Belmont, W.A. 3 November 1959: G.H. Brown of Carlisle, W.A. 24 July 1961: D. Woodward of Karalee, W.A. 20 November 1963: G.H. Brown of Carlisle, W.A. 4 February 1964: Gliding Club of W.A. 30 November 1965: Narrogin Gliding Club, W.A. 1 June 1968: R.T. Brough and J.W. Dewhurst of Rossmoyne, W.A. 15 October 1972: V.G. Kolsky and partners of Medina, W.A. As at the 16 June 1985 the owners were J. Welsh of Huntingdale, and W.A. and A.H. Smith of Gosnells, W.A. 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. The glider suffered damage in a number of flying accidents: in particular from accidents on 4 November 1967 and 17 September 1975. It appears that, in the course of the major repairs that occurred, modifications were made to the airframe including fitting of spoilers to the wings and changing the profile of the fuselage nose. Also, at some stage, the cockpit was enclosed with a Schneider Kingfisher type Perspex canopy. The Australian Gliding Museum has repaired the airframe restoring the fuselage to its original shape.

Significance

To be assessed

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 - 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 - ES 57 Kingfisher

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider – Sailplane – 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 - 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

Journal – Gliding Club of Victoria - Ear Bash: The Journal of the Gliding Club of Victoria; Vol. 2, No. 6, 15 January 1949

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Newsletter of 26 pages

Historical information

This collection item contains reports of flying and social activities by Gliding Club of Victoria members who attended the Club’s 1948 Christmas Camp at Benalla airfield. Included is a lengthy report of the remarkable storm cloud flight by Keith Chamberlin in a Grunau Baby 2B glider –sailplane. Also, briefly records the crash of the Merlin two seat training glider.

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 – Morelli M-100S - Morelli M-100S – Registered as VH-GUD

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

The Morelli M-100S 15 metre Italian sailplane first flew in 1960 and over 220 were built in Italy and France. The design was a development of the M100 incorporating changes to fit the international rules for “Standard” class competition gliders: thus the designation “S”. The name applied to the M-100 gliders built in France was “Mesange” This example has undergone major restoration to display condition by Museum volunteers. In the main the airframe is made up of the glider serial number 69 formerly registered in Australia as VH-GUD. The restoration incorporated parts of another wrecked M100 (serial number 71). VH-GUD was previously owned by Darling Downs Soaring Club (from 28 October 1967) and Beaudesert Gliding Club (from 30 October 1971). It was test flown in Australia on 28 October 1967 and logged 1533 hours 41 minutes from 2731 launches until it crashed and was wrecked on 11 February 1978.

Significance

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial Number 69 - Registered as VH-GUD

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Ford auto engine mounted on mobile stand

Historical information

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

Significance

To be assessed

Glider – “Northrop” Zogling type primary - The “Davies, Darbyshire, Feil, Primary Glider”

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Davies, Darbyshire, Feil, Primary 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, known as the “Davies, Darbyshire, Feil, Primary Glider”, 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

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

None

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 – 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 – 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

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 – L13 Blanik - L13 Blanik – Registration VH-GAQ

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

To be assessed

Inscriptions & Markings

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

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.