Hangar 2 door - Historic renovation!
Massive congratulations and thanks are due to the team who - under Nigel Walklett's leadership, have spent the last two months refurbishing the door to Hangar 2. The door had - after several decades of service developed a significant bow and needed to be repaired before the start of the season. Fantastic job, team. Well done!!!
It is worth mentioning that this door was built to the same design as our original door on Hangar 1. Having already outlived their initially envisaged life of ten years by a factor of six, here's hoping that they now continue to function so well for many more years to come.
Details of how this'ground breaking design was built in the 1950's are included on Keith Nurcombe's history pages which make fascinating reading . Quoted here from Keith's pages are the words of Michael Stather Hunt.
"....... The best option was a low cost agricultural building with an open front, which could be bought and erected for about £2000. This we managed but it more or less emptied the kitty for us and there was then no more money to be raised anywhere.
We had one small advantage in that the dispersal area on the peri-track at the northern edge of our piece of land was a large concreted expanse, where the Wellington bombers had once been parked, and we could use this area as our flooring, saving a lot of expense on that side. On the other hand the concrete stand was not absolutely horizontal, since it hadn't needed to be. This meant that when we started to investigate some sliding doors for the front of our 'hangar' we realised that a horizontal ramp would have to be used, since sliding doors always run on horizontal tracks. A bigger blow still was when we found that the doors alone would cost us another £2000.
It was at this point that I came up with my idea about a sixty-foot up-over wooden door. I was very happy with the one I had designed for my garage and had even taken out a provisional patent and tried unsuccessfully to sell it to some of the local firms making prefabricated garages. Now I saw that my design approach could also be used for the much larger door required for the hangar. This time it would have to be sixty feet wide and after I had done some calculations I reckoned it would need to be a box sixteen inches deep. I proposed to the committee that we should make the door ourselves.
John Large, the club Secretary did even better. He contacted one of the major local suppliers of timber and plywood and suggested that they might like to join in our revolutionary new use of their material and gain a lot of advertising publicity from the exercise. I take my hat off to him for whatever arguments he used because he came and told me - I was in hospital at the time with an acute chest infection - that the company he had seen agreed to supply all the material free of charge.
The other partner in our Skylark 4 syndicate, Doug Cunningham, who was the chief draughtsman for a local motorcycle company, (ed - BSA Motorcycles) agreed to draw up the designs of a large linkage system based on my Hilaldam commercial garage one, taking into account the fact that the door would be weighing about a ton. We were still based at Baginton where we had our small Nissen hut workshop for glider repairs, and gangs of us spent our evenings there gluing together the longitudinal spars and making up the sections of the door. It was built in sections so that we could transport these out to our new site and do the final assembly there. The completed door would have been far too big for us to transport anywhere as a finished assembly. Lou Glover took over the responsibility of taking charge of the door building operation to my designs.
There were of course quite a few members who considered the exercise a futile one and said that we were making something which wouldn't work. Several people were even worried it might fall on their heads. In a way I couldn't blame them, they didn't know what I knew about the stress levels in the wood. I knew I would have to do something to raise their confidence, so once the door was fully assembled and lying flat in the hangar I had it supported at each end and then asked twenty-four club members to stand on top of it, distributed along the length, as a proof test. I had even calculated how much it should deflect under this load and I checked that this was the case in practice. There were no more unfavourable comments about the strength of the door.
In the meantime, Doug had done a good job of designing the left and right hand linkage systems and once again old man Smith stepped in and offered to have them made in his factory, at no charge. One of the club members actually took an 8mm cine film of the huge crowd of members organised to lift the door into place. It worked!
We had put in a lot of voluntary work but it had cost us nothing in the way of hard cash. There was an immediate bit of spin off from having the up-over door. Its bottom edge could be given a fairing that just matched the sloping ground level. There was no need for any horizontal ramp under the door, which would always have been a hindrance when pulling gliders in and out through the doorway. We just cut a shallow groove in the hard standing so that rain water would not run into the hangar from outside.
We reckoned that if the door would last for ten years we would have done well. When many years later, in 2002, Bertille and I attended the banquet celebrating the 50th anniversary of the club's founding there were three hangars at the club, all with my design of up-over door, which had been copied as the club grew. The comment was made to me that the original door was still the best one of the three.
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Come and join us on Bonfire Night! We've got a great fireworks display, burgers and a bar and we'd love to see you!
Challenge Cup / Inter Services Cup 2016
We had a hugely successful Challenge Cup / Inter Services Cup. With six competition days between July 30th and August 7th we were blessed with the best weather of any UK competition this year!
Full report from our Competition Director - Ron Bridges will follow shortly, but in the meantime, many congratulations to our very own Dave Booth, for his first place in the Challenge Cup.
We now look forward to the club task week which runs from August 13th until August 21st with a currently very optimistic weather forecast!
Inter Club League Update
We're off to a good start again in the 2016 Inter Cub League.
Round one was held at The Gliding Centre where we were joined by the team from Lyveden. After the weekend where we managed to complete tasks on each of the three days, we finished up in the lead.
In the second round, at Dunstable, the weather was against us and the weekend ended up being scrubbed - thankfully before everyone travelled south!
Round 3 was at Gransden Lodge (Cambridge) and we got two days of tasks in. Excellent performances were put in by all, but notably Russell, who won both days as a pundit and Paul Shout who did very well on Day 2, coming second in the novice class in his Std Cirrus, competing against glass ships in quite difficult conditions.
The final scores are HUS 30, DUN 26, GRL 24, and LYV 14, which means HUS will go through to the final in late August. Edgehill is the likely venue.
Will The Gliding Centre hold the cup for a third year in a row??
If you"re interesting in joining in the fun, contact Chris Luton. You won't regret it!
Sport England grant for new fleet radios
The Gliding Centre took delivery this week of new 8.33mhz radios for its glider and motor glider fleet in line with forthcoming legal changes that require all aircraft to be fitted with this new technology.
This was made possible by a grant gratefully received from Sport England. Massive thanks to Sport England for their support, and to Jonathan Walker for making the successful application.
Sailplane Grand Prix - 10th to 17th July
Congratulations to Russel Cheetham and Rory Ellis who both came in the top 10 at the SGP in Bicester last week. Well done!!
Fixed Price to Solo Packages
In addition to our existing one and five day courses, we are now able to offer fixed price to solo packages for both winch and aerotow, in response to new starters who prefer to budget their training costs in advance. See Fixed Price to Solo for details.
The new website is now up and running!
Please let us know what you think? We'll be continually adding to the site, and we'd love to hear your feedback.