When I visited Lasham Gliding Club I asked for a tour round the Gliding Heritage Centre, which has a stunning collection of historical and older gliders, many of which have been beautifully restore to flying condition. This glider wing was stored upright rather than rigged on the glider.
The Slingsby T31 is an old training glider, build (mostly) of wood and canvas. This example is part of the Portmoak collection, and this particular image was used in the 2011 Kadet Calendar which we produced to raise funds for cadet flying – that’s 14-18 year olds.As you can see, snow persisted at Portmoak – a few days later the airfield was shut because of too much snow! (it’s a hazard to landing gliders as they stop too quickly in it) If you think it looks cold in this picture, you are right.
The first snow fell before Christmas, and I arrived at the airfield to discover a wonderful light – everything glowed very slightly. The weak links are used to protect a glider from being overstressed when we are winch-launching them, and they come in different strengths each denoted by a particular colour.
Amazingly people used to start learning to glide on one of these machines! They would do ground slides graduating to low hops, and then switch to something more obviously like a glider to progress. All flights on this were solo – the instructor stayed safely on the ground. 😮