|Année du premier vol
(ou de design, si seul projet)
|Designer(s)||Slingsby Sailplanes Ltd|
|Premier constructeur||Slingsby Sailplanes Ltd, Kirkbymoorside (York, UK) & Waikerie Gliding Club (Victoria, Australia)|
|Masse à vide||--|
|Taux de chute mini||--|
|Structure||Bois et toile|
|Infos techniques||Type 31 dont l'emvergure a été augmentée de 1,22 mètres de chaque côté. Les autres specs sont celles du T-31.|
|Histoire résumée||In late 1951, John Wotherspoon, while on a “globe-trotting tour to England and America”, arranged with Slingsby of|
Kirkbymoorside, England, for them to build a modified version of the Slingsby T-31 for the Waikerie Gliding Club. The new machine was to be called the “Austral” in honour of Australia 1, and, as it was developed after the design of the
Slingsby T-34 Sky, it had the Slingsby design number of T-35, or Type 35 alloted to it. John had a complete kit of parts to construct the fuselage (a standard T-31B fuselage kit, minus rudder but complete with tailplane and elevators parts) immediately sent by sea to Port Adelaide.
The wings for the new machine were to have an increased span over the standard T-31B span of 13.2m to 15.64m. To allow for the extra aileron drag expected of the increased span and aileron length, an enlarged, taller rudder was designed. The wings and rudder were to be constructed by Slingsby and sent by sea to Port Adelaide when completed. The fuselage kit arrived in Port Adelaide early in 1952 and was reported in Australian Gliding as suffering a “customary delay” 2. The Customs Department had difficulty deciding whether it was aircraft parts, or parts of an aircraft! “Evidently there is a difference” reported Waikerie G.C. Secretary Bob Rowe. The fuselage, tailplane and elevators were very smartly constructed from the kit in Adelaide by a team of Waikerie G.C. members called the “Adelaide Branch”, presumably because they lived there. The kit was described as “being very well planned as far as assembly is concerned, being cut to shape and numbered, even down to the screws and washers.”
By April 1952 the completed fuselage, tailplane and elevators were ready and with the wings and rudder expected to arrive a fortnight before Easter, the Waikerie G.C. eagerly expected that they might have it flying for that holiday break. Sadly, they were disappointed. Bob Rowe reported in A.G. a rather dismal Easter for the club with poor flying conditions and the non arrival of the much anticipated Austral wings and rudder.
The delay was not long however, the first flight of the Slingsby T-35 Austral took place on the 4th of May, 1952. Training in the machine began shortly thereafter at a feverish pace, with the whole club operation centering around the two seater. For a while, the club’s comprehensive single seater fleet of Olympia (Yellow Witch), Kite II, Grunau Baby and H17 was largely sidelined in the effort to train new pilots.
Over the next 8 weeks, 400 flights were flown by the club, all but 20 of them in the Austral. For two of those weekends the Austral was out of the air having a fully enclosed canopy fitted, as it was decided early on that the open cockpit was “too bloody windy”. Fitting the canopy resulted in the glide angle improving “substantially” according to a report
in A.G. On Sunday, July 13, Romily Barratt, son of CFI “Jock” Barratt went solo in the Austral. At 15 years old, he was believed to be Australia’s youngest pilot at that time.
The glider came on the Australian register as VH-GFX in May 1956. It was later transferred to the Renmark Gliding Club. In 1968 it was acquired by the RAAF Gliding Club at Laverton, Victoria. The existing log book records for the Museum’s T35 Austral are incomplete. Nevertheless the information at hand shows that it was launched over 17000 times and spent about 2400 hours in the air. It would appear that the glider has not been used for many years, the last flight recorded by the RAAF Gliding Club for this aircraft being in September 1971. As far as is known VH-GFX is the only example of the type to be built.
|Liens personnalités||Pas de personnalité associée.|
|Liens WEB||Site : Australian Gliding Museum . Note + 2 photos. (2010-01-20 CL)|
Site : Victorian Collections . Texte + 7 photos + specs. (2014-01-09 CL)
Site : Australian Gliding Museum . Affiche de présentation. Note + 5 photos.. (2014-01-09 CL)
|Livres||British Gliders and Sailplanes 1922-1970|
par ELLISON, Norman (1971) [p. 202, 263. Note].
par SIMONS, Martin (1996) [p. 151. Note].
|Autres sources||Australian Gliding Museum Newsletter n° 28, juin 2013. Histoire + 6 photos.|
Australian Gliding Museum Newsletter n° 20, mai 2008. Photo (fuselage prêt à peindre).
Australian Gliding Museum Newsletter n° 21, janvier 2009. Photo (ca. 1955).
Team J2mcL © 2003 -
- Pages optimisées pour Mozilla Firefox