Gliding Gossip and News

Gliding Gossip and News


ON Sunday, the 16th of last month, the London Gliding Club carried out the first level ground tests with their two gliders at Stoke Park Farm, Guildford. The Committee was most anxious that these tests should be done with as little publicity as possible, but, in some way or another, the news leaked out, and long before the machines were finally checked over, a crowd of several hundred people had congregated in and around the testing ground. Owing to the heavy rain which had fallen prior to the trials, the ground was in a very soggy condition, which made matters rather difficult for the launching party.

The first test was carried out by Mr. Marcus D. Manton, the veteran pilot, in whose hands the machine behaved very well. The glider, which is of the American " Zogling " type and built by the R.F.D. Co., was then tried by a number of other pilots, including C. L. Startup, Douglas Culver, Ashwell-Cooke, Lowe Wylde, G. G. 0. Manton, Clarkson, and Flying Officer Needham. Later on in the afternoon, Col. The Master of Sempill and Mr. Gordon England arrived with Flying Officer Atcherley, and all three were invited to try the machines. Mr. Culver also flew the German " Zogling," but it appears that the rigging was not quite correct, as the pilot found the machine a little tricky to handle. As a result of these tests, and after a conference of those who piloted them, one or two minor alterations have been carried out to both machines in order to improve their performance. Both machines are now installed at the club's gliding ground at Pitstone Hill, Ivinghoe, and the club is quickly getting into its stride. PREVIOUS to the London Gliding Club's initial tests, the Kent Gliding Club carried out what was described as a public demonstration with their machines at the old Detling Aerodrome, close to the Maidstone Sittingbourne road. The fact that the flights made with the machine were done over level ground and therefore of only very brief duration, and that onlookers were charged admission to the aerodrome, called forth a certain amount of adverse criticism in various quarters,

as it was considered that such a demonstration might result in a wrong impression being formed regarding the sport of gliding and soaring. However, the Kent Gliding Club have now found a suitable site, and they will shortly be operating from it. GLIDING is now becoming extremely popular in the Antipodes, and in Australia a number of clubs have

recently come into being. The principal one is the Gliding Club of Australia, and some time ago they held their opening meeting at Para Hills, near Adelaide, where flights were made with machines of the" Zogling " class. THAT gliding and soaring is now regarded as a pastime with a definite future and with commercial possibilities in this country, is instanced by the fact that recently a number of business developments associated with the sport have materialised. For example, Messrs. S. T. Lea, Ltd., the Klemm concessionaires, of 140, New Bond Street, W.1, inform us that they have now been appointed English agents for the Kegel Co., and that they will shortly be giving demonstration flights,

not only on the simple " Zogling " machine, but on the more elaborate type of machine such as the Kegel III.

and the "Professor." It is understood, also, that a company is now in process of formation for the manufacture of sailplanes in this country, while it seems probable that at least two firms will establish schools of instruction for gliding and soaring flights in the near future.

THE LANCASHIRE Aero Club have formed a gliding section, and have placed an order for a Kegel " Prufling," the secondary training type of glider. Members are eagerly awaiting the arrival of this craft from Germany.

ACCORDING to a report, so great has become the demand for gliders in America, that the Detroit Aircraft Co. have now increased their initial factory order from 100 to 200 machines. These will be of the " Gull " primary type.

ONE of the largest orders so far received by this concern is that from the Philadelphia Airways Corp., who are now awaiting a consignment of fifty " Gull " machines. The St. Louis Glider Club have also ordered five.

A LECTURE on gliding was delivered by Mr. Gosling last month before the Aircraft Club, at Harrogate. The audience displayed great interest in the subject, and at the conclusion, a number of questions were put to the speaker regarding different aspects of the sport.

MEMBERS of the Sydney University have formed a gliding a sailplane club, and a novel plan has been arranged for the operation of their machines. The scheme is that about twelve members will each form a group, and these will be responsible for the building, flying and repairing of their particular machines. By this means, keenness should be sustained within the club.

NUMBER One of the Journal of the British Gliding Association has just made its appearance, under the editorship of Mr. Howard Flanders, A.F.R.Ae.S., M.I.Ae.E., A.M.I. Mech.E., the Hon. Secretary of the Association. It contains a considerable amount of useful informationi of a technical and sem i-technical nature of interest to all gliding club members, prospective members and others. Copies may be obtained from the B.G.A. offices at 44a, Dover Street, London, W.1. , price -2s. 6d.

AN INTERESTING type of motorised glider has been undergoing tests lately in Germany. It is a tailless, strut-braced monoplane pusher, with a flat-twin 7 h.p. engine. It has a span of 40 feet 7 inches, and a wing area of 199 square feet. It is supposed to be capable of 90 m.p.h.

EARLY last month, the Midland Gliding Club got their first machine into the air. The launching of the craft (which was built by Mr. Rushton, the Club's Secretary) was done by means of shock-absorber cord and towing by cars—a hazardous procedure, not to be recommended. COLONEL Lamplugh, of the British Aviation Insurance:Group:has been working on a third-party insurance scheme for gliders, and it was announced recently that

he has kindly offered one year's free policy to the B.G.A. for their first glider.

IN ADDITION to the munificent gift of £1,000 which he has made to the British Gliding Association, Lord Wakefield has now presented a cup, which is to be competed for annually, as an inter-club trophy. The rules and conditions will be announced later.

SOME interesting facts were revealed in a discussion which followed an informal dinner held in London by the Royal Aeronautical Society some time ago, on occasion of the visit of Dr. Georgii and Herr Starner, the German glider experts. In answer to a query put forward regarding the " cockpitless " and cockpit type of machine, Herr Starner said that he considered the closed type of craft (such as the " Prufling ") more suitable for the trained aeroplane pilot to learn on than one in which the pilot is exposed, and added that the idea of the open seat on the " Zogling "type was that the handling of the controls by the pupil could be more easily observed by the instructor. It was also stated that gliders can be spun and that machines had inadvertently been spun while being flown in clouds.

THE Royal Aero Club has appointed a special subcommittee to confer with the British Gliding Association on matters pertaining to the sport. The committee comprises the following :—Lieut.-Colonel M. O'Gorman, C.B., Captain H. S. Broad, A.F.C., and Major H. A. Petre, D.S.O., M.C.