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Australian Gliding Museum Parwan, Victoria

The Australian Gliding Museum – Preserving Australia’s Gliding History

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

The Museum has since collected gliders from around Australia, many of which were facing neglect or destruction. The Museum’s collection includes over 50 historic gliders and other gliding archival material, including books, manuals, photographs, films, glider launching winches, aircraft plans, trophies and other memorabilia.
Restoration programs are in place (some completed) for many of the gliders collected. These programs are supplemented by research into, recording and display of, the history of gliding in Australia based substantially on the extensive archival material held by and available to the Museum.
Volunteers meet regularly at the Museum’s facilities at Bacchus Marsh airfield (which includes the Bruce Brockhoff Hangar (named after its patron) and Dave Darbyshire restoration workshop (named after one of its founders)). Visitors are welcome on open days or by appointment.
The Museum enjoys the support of the gliding clubs at Bacchus Marsh and the gliding movement in general through the Gliding Federation of Australia.

Contact Information

location
C/- D. Goldsmith P.O. Box 577 Gisborne Victoria 3437
phone
+61 Bernard Duckworth (Archivist) 03 93914611 and 0434 816 937

Contact

Opening Hours

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

Entry Fee

None – donations accepted

Location

20 Jensz Road Parwan Victoria

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

Significance

The collection documents early developments in recreational gliding in Australia.

Max Speedy 30 April 2016 12:31 PM

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

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Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Sailplane serial number B-333 and registration “YN”

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

When restored, this exhibit will be representative example of the AS-K4 glider-sailplane type.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat tailless glider with wing tip rudders. The glider is of wood / fabric construction and has been restored for static display by recovering with new fabric and painting.

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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Nacelled solo training glider of traditional wood and fabric construction. Construction incomplete.

Historical information

The Salamandra is a Polish glider designed by Waclaw Czerwinski at the Military Glider Workshops in Krakow in 1936. This glider, designated “W.W.S.1”, was produced in substantial numbers prior to the second world war and used in Poland and some other eastern European countries for training pilots. Only one example survived the war, hidden away in the village of Goleszow in Silesia. In addition, no technical drawings could be found, so when the glider was discovered, the Gliding Institute being keen to re-establish gliding in Poland, used the glider to draw up new plans for construction. Five were built for the Institute in 1947 before production was resumed of the “Salamandra 48” at the SZD Jezow Workshops. Improvement were made by adding airbrakes and structural changes for the “Salamandra 49” and a windscreen and larger tailplane were changes adopted for the “Salamandra 53”. An export version designated “53A” was sold to and built under licence in China. Production of the Salamandra ceased in the early 1960s. Total production may have been in excess of 500. The glider was well regarded as a light weight trainer capable of soaring performance. The Museum’s replica was built by Ray Ash and may be may be classified as a “Salamandra 53”. However, he has added something of his own to the design by replacing the cable runs in the wings with control rods. The glider is substantially complete. The wings and tail / rudder surfaces have been covered with poly-fibre fabric. The fuselage woodwork is sealed with varnish. In addition to the finishing work (including painting) and rigging of the main components, the linkages for Ray’s control rod modification may need further engineering to make them operational.

Significance

The Ray Ash Salamandra is the first of the type to appear in Australia. The Salamandra did not play any role in the development of gliding in Australia in the early years. However, it is an important exhibit in that it shows in tangible form a nacelle fuselage training glider in configuration and construction detail. As such it revisits the pioneering era of the 1930s and 1940s in Australia when wood, wire and fabric were the rule and the nacelle primary glider was generally the first step up for pilots who had mastered the basics in an open primary.

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Hall Cherokee (formerly registered as VH-GVO) 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. 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, New South Wales. VH-GVO was last flown on 22 July 1986. Many of the flights recorded are of one or two hours duration. The glider was last inspected and certified as airworthy and in a reasonable condition 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 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

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

The “Coogee” is an intermediate single seat sailplane designed and built by Tom Proctor in 1940. Only one was built. It was first flown at Stuart Hill near Bendigo Victoria in January 1941 and was maintained in flying condition until 1967. The aircraft was flown extensively by the Victorian Motorless Flight Group (now the Melbourne Gliding Club) and Geelong Gliding Club and several subsequent owners.

Significance

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

Glider

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

None

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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.

Glider – Sailplane

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 to be refitted (with instruments etc).

Historical information

This ES Ka6 sailplane (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 of members from the VMFG. It again changed ownership in July 1974. The new owners were another syndicate based at Campbelltown in New South Wales. The glider went to a Tasmania syndicate in June 1976 and finally to the Soaring Club of Tasmania. In total VH-GRW recorded 3369 hours air time from 4952 launches. It was used very little after 1996.

Significance

This exhibit is an example of the Scheicher Ka6 sailplane type that were built by Edmund Schneider in Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial number 55. The manufacture details are displayed on a metal plate fixed to the main bulkhead.

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat wooden sailplane with fabric covering. Fully enclosed cockpit. The aircraft is white with Linden Green on the wing tips, tailplane and underside of the fuselage and also on the central wing cover.

Historical information

This aircraft was designed by Edmund Schneider as a single seat medium performance sailplane. Originally designated as the Grunau 3b but later named the Grunau 4. However, it was a new design with fully enclosed cockpit. The main point of difference to earlier Schneider Grunau designs was the tapered wings with the Gottingen 549 aerofoil. This design feature gave the Grunau 4 a better speed range compared to the Grunau Baby 2b or the Grunau 3. The prototype flew on 6 December 1953 and it went to the Waikerie Gliding Club. A second was delivered to the Dubbo Gliding Club in October of the next year and a third (the Australian Gliding Museum’s exhibit) built for the Adelaide Soaring Club in 1959 (registered as VH-GLX on 21 October 1959). Another was built by Josef Brabec from a Schneider supplied kit from 1954 to 1956. The log book indicates that the glider recorded 2362 flying hours over approximately 40 years of active service. There are many long flights recorded. The registration was cancelled on 30 July 2014 as a result of a decision by the Museum to withdraw the glider from service.

Significance

The exhibit represents the final development of the "Grunau" single seat type by Edmund Schneider Ltd in Australia. Viewed together with the Grunau Baby gliders in the ATO Collection (Two Grunau Baby 2, and a Grunau Baby 3A), the changes to this glider type over a 30 year period can be recognized.

Inscriptions & Markings

Identification Plate in cockpit showing that glider is serial number 37 built by Edmund Schneider Ltd in 1959

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

High wing two seat utility glider of metal construction with fabric covering.

Historical information

The aircraft (Serial Number 159 – registration VH-GNT) was assembled by RAAF Richmond Gliding Club from a kit manufactured by Schweizer Aircraft Corporation, Elmira, New York State, USA, in 1963. First flown 21 December 1963. Served at RAAF Base, Richmond, NSW, until December 1978 at which time it had recorded 1981 hours from 9870 flights. The aircraft was sold to Peter Fitzgerald and moved to Gosford and later on, to Queanbeyan where it was stored under cover until April 1983. It was not flown between 1978 and July 1983. In 1983 the glider was sold to Harold Walton. A Certificate of Airworthiness inspection was done by various members of the Canberra Gliding Club where minor repairs were made. On 24 July 1983, it first flew on the airworthiness certificate test flight at Bunyan, NSW, the home of the Canberra Gliding Club. In service at Bunyan until November 1986 the hours flown increased to 2078 from 10249 flights. A certificate of airworthiness inspection was completed on 11 April 1987 but the aircraft was apparently only recorded a few more hours by 9 January 1998 when it last took to the air. When donated to the Australian Gliding Museum in January 2020, the aircraft was in storage at premises of the donor, Harold Walton, at Walkerville, South Australia.

Significance

This aircraft is the only one of the 258 SGS 2.22s produced by Schweizer to come to Australia. It is a good representative example of the SGS 2.22 type which featured metal construction for production of a robust club trainer. The aircraft apparently played a useful role over many years at Richmond and Canberra.

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration letters ‘GNT’ on each side of vertical stabiliser

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Wooden airframe covered with plywood and fabric. In course of restoration.

Historical information

This Dunstable Kestrel glider, which came to be known as the "Red Kestrel" on account of its colour scheme, was built from plans by Percy Pratt between 1936 and 1938. It was first flown in 1938. Thereafter, it was flown regularly by Pratt at Geelong, Victoria. At the national rally organized by the Australian Gliding Association in December 1939 – January 1940 at the Belmont Common, Geelong, Victoria, Pratt, in his Kestrel, recorded an exceptional 13 kilometre cross country flight of one hour 43 minutes reaching a height of approximately 5500 metres [Allan Ash, Gliding in Australia, p 86].

Significance

This Dunstable Kestrel glider represents a good example of a 1930s era sailplane. It is one of three of the type that currently exist in Australia. The aircraft is also important for Australian gliding history because it was built, owned and flown by gliding pioneer Percy Pratt.

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

All metal single seat glider sailplane

Historical information

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration lettering on rudder and fuselage sides

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Two seat high wing glider sailplane finished in white with red detailing.

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

This exhibit is an example of the Schleicher K7 two seat sailplane type.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider – Sailplane

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

When completely restored to display standard this exhibit will be a representative example of the Morelli M100 sailplane type

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial Number 69

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Registration "GKZ" on sides of fuselage

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider - Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

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

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

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

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

The Slingsby T35 is an open cockpit, tandem, two-seater glider with high, pylon mounted two piece wing supported by double, wire braced, steel tube struts.

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

The Slingsby T35 is a modified Tandem Tutor two seat glider that had extensive service at a number of Australian gliding clubs over a period of approximately 15 years from the mid 1950s.

Glider – Sailplane

Australian Gliding Museum, Parwan

Single seat competition sailplane of wood construction.

Historical information

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

Significance

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

Inscriptions & Markings

Builder's serial number EB71