2018 projects


During 2017 the museum’s workshop resembled ‘mens’ shed’ activity with group working days. The emphasis was to both repair and refurbish the 2 seat ES52 Kookaburra VH-GHN. Works included plywood, dacron, instruments, control runs and painting. Toward the end of the year the completed airframe was assembled (above).

An externally fabricated new acrylic formed cockpit canopy is yet to be made, to complete the work prior to airframe weighing and certification.

For 2018 the same work team has swung into the counterpart single seat ES57 Kingfisher VH-GRH, with similar repair and refurbishment tasks planned. The early work is on individual parts, to be mated together on the boards shown above later in the year.



Integral to collecting the ‘fleet’ are on-going tasks in servicing, maintenance and repair of individual airframes. The airframes cross the spectrum from aluminium alloy construction, glass fibre resin mould constructed airframes, and the traditional ‘stick&string’ build in Sitka spruce.


Collected together in the shed in this photograph are from rear forward: the aluminium alloy L-13, an ES57 wing in timber construction, the moulds for the DM-12M; and the fuselage of the Es-52 being worked on by owners Ted, Noel, Beverley and Emilis.

Beverley Matthews

A contributor routinely noted in the texts below is Beverley. She instigated the South Australian Gliding History Trust from which arose the concept for this museum, and to which she provides artefacts and content.

Beverley is seen below in company with Simon Hackett, to which her artefacts from her early (1960s onward) IT work are now transferring to his computer hardware archive collection. Simon & Beverley share receipt of the GFA Muller Award for their publishing/promotion of the sport of gliding in the virtual world.


Beverley previously received a Merit Award through Sport SA for her contributions to gliding. Husband Noel Matthews was a long term editor of the sport’s national ‘Australian Gliding’ magazine while it operated with an independent committee in the 1980s. They have extensive archives about the sport.

Through such private collections, the sport’s evolution is collected and preserved as well as being integrated with museums such as this one.

cross media

After reading through the offerings on this site, you are also welcome to visit this sister site:


where you can get a feel for other things we do in other parts of our lives.

marske pioneer

Project 32

The late John Lynch built and flew what is now the only ‘flying wing’ form sailplane in Australia.


This ‘tailless’ layout for sailplanes has been promoted by a succession of people over many decades as potentially offering lower drag configuration and hence higher performance than the conventional ‘crucifix’ layout with a long fuselage and tailplane, elevator and rudder at the rear. The ‘flying wing’ has controls on the wing trailing edge plus either fin and rudder behind the cockpit or rudder drag controls near the wingtips. The debit is that a more stable ‘reflex’ form wing section is used with its inherently higher drag and the CG range is very narrow.

Early exponents included the Horten brothers in Germany before 1945, Fauvel in France and Backstrom in the USA in the 1950s (see photos at end of this section). At that time a number of Backstrom EPB-1a ‘Flying Plank’ were built in Australia including the Fred Hoinville supported one now with the Australian Gliding Museum at Bacchus Marsh. A local Glideair design evolved from that – the Twin Plank – is in the Sydney Powerhouse museum. A number of Fauvel AV-36 were homebuilt in Australia in the 1950s as well. In more recent years Jim Marske in the USA has evolved sailplane and ultralight designs to the ‘flying wing’ layout, including ‘Pioneer’ in a number of variants.


The well known global aviator Jon Johansen and his family have taken on John Lynch’s ‘Pioneer’ airframe, which is at present with the Monarto museum.



compare to (below) EPB-1a Flying Plank


and (below) AV-36


Project 31

When the sailplane manufacturer E.Schneider Ltd (see note 20 below) shut up shop, a spread of gliding enthusiasts collected diverse components already fabricated, intended for future factory builds, but unused. The purpose was to be helpful in future servicing of ES type sailplanes, by being able to use ‘factory fresh’ components rather than making look-alike pieces based on old worn parts.

The museum catalogues and retains these components for use. There are other operators in other places around Australia with similar servicing opportunities. Vintage Gliders Australia is a helpful information point in sharing awareness of these depots.

03 control rods medium

05 control rod ends


David Munn

Project 30

We thank the consideration by David Lawley, Michelle Bell and others. In December 2014 the airframe below was received from David Munn’s estate. This was strengthened in May 2015 through the visit by family to the museum; when drawings and information on a number of airframe projects were delivered. The decision there was that the family supported this museum holding all these artefacts. Further details are being progressively collated.

The male and female moulds and part airframe are stored with the museum.

munn 02

munn 01

These photographs provided by David’s family give overview about the intended airframe:


photo 1 (3)

and David:

Dad with his plane


In June 2015 the available materials were reviewed. The drawings were segregated to reflect the interpreted succession of design studies which led to the as-built and model. This succession does not reflect a timeline, rather a dozen iterations are identifiable with distinct inclusions which provide a trail to the as built.

Included in these iterations are design studies for individual cockpit pod, tubular and formed tail boom, wing location at high, mid and under pilot thigh positions, forward canard control as well as tail with elevators at top, mid and low trailing positions. And a variety of engine proposals as tractor propellor, pusher jet and propellor including one rotating around the tail boom tube; and the wing mounted pusher propellors shown on the model.

A nomenclature convention has been chosen where this last iteration is DM-12-M