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2014 Gliding Heritage Centre News..

6 Dec 2014 - The Prefect Flies!

I'm happy to report that after a lay off of several years, the Prefect has made its first flights for the Gliding Heritage Centre.

Gary Pullen and Howard Torode took her up for a winch launch each, on a calm clear crisp December day.

Both pilots report that she flies very nicely indeed!

The Prefect was very kindly donated to us by Sir John Allison, who wanted to the see the glider he first flew solo in 1958 continue to be flown.
19 Nov 2014 - Prefect Update.

The Prefect has moved a step closer to flight.

C of A work on Sir John Allison's Prefect has now been completed with the glider rigged, weighed and taking up residence in the GHC hangar.

Gary and Glyn have been working hard to get the Prefect ready for flight since it arrived at the GHC a couple of weeks back and we thank them for their efforts. At present the paperwork is with Richard Moyse who is checking over the C of G figures, if all is well the glider will be back in the air very soon and we are all really looking forward to flying it.
04 Nov 2014 - New Addition to GHC Fleet.

Today Gary Pullen and Glyn Bradney travelled up to Bicester Gliding Club, where they met Sir John Allison.

Sir John has very kindly agreed to donate his beloved Slingsby Prefect, the actual glider that he first flew solo back in 1958, before he began his illustrious RAF career as a Cranwell cadet in 1961, finally retiring as Air Chief Marshal in 1999.

The Gliding Heritage Centre would like to express its heartfelt thanks to Sir John, and we would like to assure him that this glider will be a much prized and popular member of the GHC flying fleet. We are sure that it will give great pleasure to all those pilots who will have the privilege of flying her in the future.
01 Nov 2014 - Crested Wren Complete.

We are happy to announce that the Manuel Crested Wren cosmetic restoration is now complete.

This morning Gary Pullen, assisted by Rob Macevoy and Ray Whittaker hung the glider up in place inside the GHC hangar.

A big thanks to Gary and John Herring who have been working tirelessly over the last couple of months to bring the glider back to display condition.
26 Oct 2014 - Crested Wren Progress.

The rapid progress on the Manuel Crested Wren continues...

The glider has been rigged in the hangar for the first time, the major structure now being complete though still awaiting the ailerons which will be completed soon.

The tops of the wings have been completed and covered, but a decision has been made not to cover the inboard sections of the wing undersides. This will enable visitors to see the construction details of the wings.

Hardpoints have been fitted to the wing spars to allow the attachement of cables that will allow the glider to be hoisted into the hangar roof, this should happen within the coming week or two.
19 Oct 2014 - New Olympia 2b.

The Gliding Heritage Centre would like to express its sincere thanks to Mr Mike Gagg of the Wrekin Gliding Club Cosford for his kind donation of his Olympia 2b.

This weekend we rigged the glider for the first time and looking at it we think that it might become a popular member of the GHC flying fleet.

This Oly was one of the later ones, built by Elliots of Newbury in 1958 and registered as BGA 962, trigraph BGR.

An initial inspection reveals that although the glider has not flown for 10 years, it has been stored carefully and should be fairly easy to return to flying condition.

Here are a couple of photos of the glider, firstly outside the hangar after being rigged and secondly inside with the other resident Oly 2b 127.

14 Oct 2014 - New Article - British Military Gliders.
The military glider had a short but very active career taking part in many historic actions, beginning with the German assault on Fort Eben - Emael in 1940.
In a new guide, Glyn Bradney documents the history of British military gliders; including their role in the D-Day landings, now available in the Articles section.

27 Sep 2014 - New Article - The BAC Gliders Guide.
The British Aircraft Company was the third largest manufacturer of gliders in Great Britain,
Glyn Bradney documents their interesting and varied aircraft in a new guide available in the Articles section.

20 Sep 2014 - Visit from the MG Car Club.

The Gliding Heritage Centre has played host to possibly its largest visiting group so far.

On Saturday 20th September, 44 members of the MG Car Club came to visit the GHC in a mix of 22 MGF & MGTF sports cars, spending an hour looking around our hangar having neatly parked their cars infront of it for photographs.

The layout of the area outside lends itself well to this use as the curve of the concrete path allowed the owners to position their vehicles in a graceful arc in front of the hangar.

A few of our guests were astonished when they saw the T38 Grasshopper Primary, even more so when they watched the film of Gary Pullen flying it at the Long Mynd, expressing amazement that anyone would want to fly it at all!

If you are part of a special interest group who likes to organise days out for your members, then why not consider a visit to the GHC. Take a look at our visits page to find out how to contact us to arrange your day out.
13 Sep 2014 - Crested Wren Progress.

In the Gliding Heritage Centre rapid progress is sometimes made on projects.

Here we see the starboard wing of the Manuel Crested Wren; after only two weeks of work it is almost ready for recovering, now with a brand new wingtip and repairs to the root.

The second picture shows the condition of the port wing, although the root is in very good condition the outer two metres of wing is completely missing and will require a complete build. The plan is to use the starboard wing as a template so we end up with a matching pair.

Since these photos where taken on Friday morning the starboard aileron has been re-glued, with the broken cross bracing replaced and re-fixed. This will be fitted back on the wing once both items have been recovered.

08 Sep 2014 - New Article - Abbott Baynes Guide.
The Scud gliders built by Abbott Baynes of Farnham,
a new guide to the history and development of the Scud 1, 2, and 3 gliders, written by Glyn Bradney; is now available in the Articles section.

07 Sep 2014 - GHC Flying Day.

Despite the rather lacklustre flying weather, there was no shortage of activity at the Gliding Heritage Centre during the September flying day.

Andy Jarvis, the newly elected Vice President of the International Vintage Glider Club came to visit us and flew our Mu 13d, taking an aerotow behind one of the quietest tugs I have ever heard. Literally, the loudest sound to be heard at the launch point was that of the Mu's tail skid on the runway during the ground run.

It was great to see Peter and David Underwood, who came down for the day, spending some time inspecting our hangar and taking photos. They also bought with them some original drawings of the Slingsby Petrel, which demonstrate the challenges VGC archivists will be facing in the future preserving such documents.

Work on the cosmetic restoration of the Manuel Crested Wren is proceeding apace, Gary has already completed the fuselage, which is now in the hangar being displayed below the Willow Wren. Work has begun on the Starboard wing, Gary and Paul have been rebuilding ribs, with Gary fabricating a new wing tip, whilst John Herring is reconstructing the root section.

Eventually, 3 GHC gliders flew: The Capstan, Mu 13d and the Skylark 4, though the visibility was not great and the thermals rather weak.

01 Sep 2014 - New Article - The Ladislav Marmol Story.
The amazing life and times of this record breaking Czech pilot,
a short guide complied by GHC member Tony Fendall is now available in the Articles section.

26 August 2014 - Manuel Crested Wren.

Gary Pullen and Colin Simpson collected the latest addition to the GHC collection on the 26th August, from a barn near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.

The Crested Wren, which was built by the original designer Bill Manuel in 1986, only came to our attention by pure chance. David Prophet, who lives nearby and has stored cars in the same barn, noticed a rather dusty old glider languishing in a dark corner. David contacted the Vintage Glider Club who then got in touch with the Gliding Heritage Centre!

After some frantic investigation, during which for one short moment, it was thought that this could be the original from 1931, it was confirmed to be the 1986 rebuild that Bill made for Barbara Reed.

The fuselage and tailplane are in remarkably good condition - the wings will require a little restoration effort which will take place over the winter.

From the photos it's clear to see that after a little bit of cleaning the fuselage now looks superb, showing the same signature lettering that Bill put on his Hawk glider that is displayed on the back wall of our hangar.

The intention is to bring the glider up to display condition, in which it will make a great companion to the Willow Wren from Brooklands.

We are eternally grateful to Barbara Reed for allowing the GHC to take ownership of the Crested Wren and to the owners of the barn who did not destroy the glider and allowed us access to take it away.

19 Aug 2014 - First Landout of GHC Glider

Well, it was bound to happen!

With the large amount of GHC gliding that has been taking place during the Vintage Task Week the first ever landout of a GHC glider has occurred.

Gary Pullen landed the GHC Skylark 3b in a nice field a few kilometers short of Lasham after a great afternoon out at the seaside.

His was not the only glider that landed out though, as showers came in from the north and cut off the route back to Lasham.

The Vintage Task Week continues through to Sunday when at the end of the day a special barbecue will be held to celebrate 25 years of vintage gliding at Lasham.
17 Aug 2014 - Olympia 463 Adopted

The Gliding Heritage Centre would like to express its thanks to Mr. Phil Hawkey, who on the first of June agreed to adopt our Olympia 463 "BZV". Phil has had a long association with the glider as he explains, "I have many hours logged in BZV, dating back to the Cornish Gliding Club at Perranporth in the 1970's, and also the 'Southern' Wills Swallow, the sister to the 'Northern', one now in the GHC collection."

If you have a special connection with any of the gliders in the GHC collection, or you just would like to contribute to the running costs of one of them, you too could adopt one of our gliders. Please contactand we'd be delighted to provide you with more information on how you could do this.

14 August 2014 - Elliots Guide Updated!

The third version of the “Elliots of Newbury Gliders (EoN)" document by Glyn Bradney has been added to the Articles section. We would like to thank EoN test pilot David Ince for his massive and invaluable contribution to this guide, plus Wally Kahn for his fascinating insight into the Kendall Crabpot project.

6 July 2014 - GHC Flying Day.

What a busy flying day for the Gliding Heritage Centre that was!

July 6th was the first Sunday of the month so the hangar doors were thrust open and a range of vintage gliders were taken out to fly, so many in fact that Lasham had to provide a second winch to cope with the extra demand.

The two Swallows, the Skylark 3b and 4, Grunau Baby, Mu 13d, Kite 2b, T31 and the Steinadler all came out to enjoy an interesting and varied day of conditions. Some gliders seemed unable to escape the circuit from the winch, whilst others enjoyed strong climbs to great heights amongst spectacular cloudscapes.

We all had a great time and a large number of flights were completed racking up a good number of soaring hours.

The next GHC soaring day will be run by Dave Hopgood as Gary will be in Denmark with his Grunau at the International Rally.

Click any of the photos left to see more pictures of the day.

14 Jun 2014 - Zlin 24 Krajanek

The Gliding Heritage Centre would like to thank Mr John Dredge for his kind and very generous donation of his Zlin 24 Krajanek glider to the GHC. John has owned this glider for 12 years and both he and the glider have been seen at very many vintage rallys. The picture shows Tom Edwards flying the Zlin at the National Vintage Rally at Challock in 2005. This glider is in super condition and we anticipate that the aircraft will be an active, flying member of the GHC fleet in the very near future.
7 June 2014 - Droxford Flypast.

Two gliders from the Gliding Heritage Centre had the privilege to take part in a special flypast over the Hampshire village of Droxford to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

Ex Lasham CFI Gordon MacDonald, flew his Eagle '45' with Martin Hollowell in the back, whilst Colin Simpson flew his Bocian 'Bertie' with Paul Haliday as radio operator.

Gary Pullen in the Lasham Super Cub towed Colin, whilst Brian Smith flew one of the Lasham Robins towing the Eagle.

The village of Droxford, which is 15 nautical miles south west of Lasham is significant because it is where Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaul and General Eisenhower met to discuss last minute plans for the invasion of Normandy.

The meeting took place in a railway carriage at Droxford Station 70 years ago.

Whilst flying back from Droxford the formation flew over the farm strip at West Tistead where they where holding their D-Day fly-in. This gave Gary the idea of returning in the Steinadler, so after a rest and a cup of tea Brian and Colin hopped into the Super Cub and Gary and John Herring got themselves into the Steinadler and flew to West Tistead where both aircraft landed and received a very warm welcome from the locals. They saw some very interesting aircraft.

3 Jun 2014 - New Reference Guide.
A new Reference Guide
by Glyn Bradney on gliders built and designed by Bill Manuel has been published in the Articles section.

10 May 2014 - New Reference Guide.
A new Reference Guide
by Glyn Bradney on the Viking gliders built by Scott Aviation Ltd. has been published in the Articles section. - New Version 3 June 2014

20 April 2014 - New Reference Guide.
A new Reference Guide
by Glyn Bradney on gliders built by Elliotts Of Newbury has been published in the Articles section.

19 April 2014 - Flight of the T45 Swallow.

This was the first flight of this glider in over 10 years, following  complete restoration by Gary Pullen. The Swallow was generously donated to the GHC by Francis Webster from Arbroath and adds yet another airworthy glider of historical significance to the GHC collection.

 28 March 2014 - SZD 24-C Foka 4 joins the collection!

Very generously donated by Leslie Nicholson and Gwyneth Sutton , the glider first flew in 1963 before moving to Denmark where it completed some notable flights, including a 500k. Leslie Nicholson purchased the glider in 1970 and brought it back to Sutton Bank where it has remained until earlier this week.

The glider was last flown in June 2000 and its now our priority to get it flying again.

The GHC is hugely grateful to Leslie and Gwyneth. Not only did they prepare and present all the paperwork to an immaculate standard, but Leslie also put two new tyres on a fully roadworthy trailer. If all this wasn't enough, they then also made a donation of £500 to the GHC!

1 March 2014 - GHC at the BGA Conference

The theme of the BGA Conference 2014 was Vintage Revival and GHC Chairman Tony Newbery gave an inspiring presentation about the Gliding Heritage Centre - tracing its recent history, current status and our vision for the future.

Download Tony's presentation.

23 February 2014 - Two New Arrivals!

These two new additions to the GHC collection found their way into the hangar earlier today. Kindly donated by Bruce Cooper, the Olympia 463 was the first of its kind to be saved from spar corrosion that plagued the type. The Swallow was that donated by WD & HO Wills as the Northern prize to find the two best trained early solo glider pilots in the country - back in 1967.

23 February 2014 - Slingsby Guide Updated!

The second version of the “Wooden gliders built by Slingsbys” document by Glyn Bradney has been added to the Articles section. As well as new information this revision includes a number of new pictures plus links to other interesting articles and a few video clips.

11 January 2014 - GHC enjoying the sunshine!

Thanks to Paul Haliday for this great aerial shot of the GHC Hangar basking in the winter sunshine. Snapped from the T21, you can see the Mg19a Steinadler and the Slingsby Eagle basking in the sun with the Capstan not quite sure if its warm enough to venture out to play just yet!


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