Gliding Gossip and News

Gliding Gossip and News

THERE has been plenty doing in. the London Gliding Club at Tottenhoe during the last few weeks, and the performances of both pupils and the more experienced members of the Club have proved conclusively that gliding is a sport which can be carried on equally well in the winter period as in the summertime.

Some months ago wiseacres expressed the view that the site from which the L.G.C. operates, and other spots in the neighbourhood, were not really suitable for soaring purposes. That they were wrong is now made evident by the fact that Mr. C. H. Latimer Needham (who seems to have emerged from his hibernation) has been keeping upstairs over the aforesaid site for so long as to cause other members to call out "Come down, greedy ! " and similar terse remarks. To be precise, Needham soared on the Club's " Prufling " for very nearly three hours, making a course up and down, over a short strip of the Downs. He thus holds the unofficial British duration record.

Previous to Needham's effort, Mr. F. Buxton cruised round on the same machine for 21 hours. No doubt, both pilots will now be anxious to try for real crosscountry flights, the goal of all sail-plane enthusiasts.

ANOTHER interesting event at Tottenhoe has been the appearance of a new machine—the "Scud." Of very unusual design, this craft has been built by the Brant Aircraft Co., of Croydon. It has a span of only 28 feet, and it weighs no more than 103 lbs. The wing, which has a loading of 3 lbs. per square foot, is attached to the fuselage by steel-tube struts, and the fuselage is peculiar in being diamond-shaped in section. The whole machine is extremely clean in outline.

Preliminary test flights have been carried out by Mr. Marcus D. Manton, who reports that the " Scud " is a very promising machine with an excellent gliding angle. The controls appear to be rather too sensitive, however, and consequently, certain modifications are to be made.

KEEN interest is being taken in the progress of the various clubs as several of them are now in fairly close competition for the prize, which has been put up by Mr. Dagnall (of the R.F.D. Co.) for the club obtaining the largest number of " A " certificates. As matters are at present it looks as if the London Club will carry it off, since they have the very respectable total to date of 17 "A "s. A statement issued by this club announces that their "advanced group" arrangement is working very well, while there are vacancies in their " instructional groups" also. Prospective members are advised to write to the hon. secretary, Empire House, St. Martin's le Grand, E.C.1. A DANCE is to be held by the Sail-Plane Club on Saturday, 7th March. This event will take place at the Suffolk Galleries, and those interested in gliding and

aeronautics generally are cordially invited to attend Tickets, at 2s. 6d. are obtainable from the honorary secretary of the club, the address being 2, Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, London, E.C.4.

ARRANGEMENTS have been made between the Stockport Gliding Club and the Manchester Aeronautical Society whereby the former will have the use of the Society's glider. Mr. B. A. Meads, of the Lancashire Aero Club, has promised to act as instructor, and as soon as a likely site has been found, this recently-formed body will commence its operations.

A DICKSON glider has been lately purchased by the Southampton Gliding Club, and the initial tests of this machine were carried out early last month by the Club's instructors.

The Southampton Club has its ground situated at Red Lodge Farm, Bassett, where tuition is being given to members every week-end. The hon. secretary's address is :-18, Cumberland Place, Southampton.

DEMONSTRATIONS of " auto-towing " have been. carried out recently at Hanworth aerodrome by Mr. C. H. Lowe-Wylde, of the British Aircraft Co., Maidstone. The aircraft was connected to the car by a light steel cable of about 200 yards in length, and after a run. of some 60 yds. the glider rose and continued to climb steadily for several hundred feet. The pilot then freed the machine from the cable, by means of a quick-release arrangement, and circled over the ground. Mr. Lowe Wylde intends to develop this method of launching, as he maintains that it is not necessarily hazardous, while it offers possibilities for gliding practice in places where the sport could not be indulged in otherwise.