With Autumn now well and truly upon us, the rain is hammering down outside as I write, we are looking towards our quiet flying and busy workshop and maintenance season.
We have planned a series of winter talks in the GHC workshop over the next few months with a number of speakers lined up and some fascinating topics on the list including a talk by David Williams the VGC archive lead, on the Slinsgby T42 Eagle, a talk by Robin Birch on glues for wooden gliders, a talk by Howard Torode on the Sigma project from the 1970's, Gary Pullen talking about the restoration of the Spalinger S21, with more to be announced.
These talks will be about an 45 minutes long and will take place on Sunday afternoons. The talks schedule has now been published and sent out to all members on the mailing list so check your inbox for the email and book your place.
The first talk (David Williams and the T42 Eagle) is on November 19th at 16:00 hrs in the Gliding Heritage Workshop.
This is a great time to have a bit of a clean up in the hangars. Although it's difficult to get all the gliders out onto the meadow at this time of year it is still possible to give them a clean and spruce up in situ. The static display gliders do get very dusty and need to be washed fairly frequently. Please feel free to come over and wash one or two on a non flying day, we do have everything you'll need in the hangars to give them a clean and your volunteer work will be greatly appreciated.
We have bought a 20ft shipping container and placed it alongside the workshop. The plan is to fit the container out with shelving and use it as a store, the workshop itself is getting rather full.
A further plan is to catalogue and label all the Slingsby's spares that were donated by Colin Street's estate and keep them in the container ready for use by the GHC or sold to anyone who might need something with the money of course going to the GHC coffers.
Inevitably at this time of year the organised group visits tend to become less frequent but our Sunday 2pm visits continue every weekend and particularly when the weather is good are still popular and busy.
We really need more guides to help us with all the visitors that we get. We have a straight forward training package for anyone who would like to help, an in depth prior knowledge of Vintage gliders and gliding is not necessary.
All that is needed is a willingness to observe a couple of tours or so with an experienced guide and a printout of the gliders history's in hand, (or the website open on your phone) as an aide memoir and you are good to go. It really doesn't take long to build confidence and the tours are very rewarding to undertake.
Please do consider joining our list of GHC guides, the more guides we have the less work for all!
What's going on in the workshop
With the 2023 season now pretty much over we are looking forward to our glider maintenance season and planning which aircraft we will be flying next season.
With that in mind Gary Pullen pulled the Bergfalk 2 into the workshop at the end of October to give it a tidy up and complete it's ARC ready for being on the flying list for next year.
Other gliders earmarked for an ARC renewal for next season's flying are, The Bocian, very popular this year, the MU13, Foka 4, Pirat, the prototype Prefect and very excitingly our Warbird, the TG3a glider.
Geoff Clarke continues to make steady progress on the restoration of our first 'glass' glider the Bolkow Phoebus. we hope that it might be flying again by the middle of 2024.
This glider was built in 1969 and by 1970 was flying at Lasham as the top cross country glider of the Surrey and Hants Gliding club fleet with the comp number 265, it was joined by a second Phoebus comp number 266 and in 1976 both were sold into private syndicates. Our Phoebus last flew in 2001 and when completed will I'm certain be a poplar glider to fly with our members.
Steve Pullen and his small team continue with the restoration of the EoN Eton Primary glider, the plan is to full flying status.
This glider was built in 1951 and had always been owned by the RAF. It was used extensively for flying training at various airfields around the country and was on display in various museums after that until coming into GHC ownership in 2016. It last flew we believe in 1962 so more that 60 years ago!