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riggerrob

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Over on another thread (cargo gliders) we got distracted by discussing military training gliders.
This new thread focuses on 2 or 3 seat gliders specifically built for training military glider pilots, especially those who flew assault gliders into WW2 battles.
So far, we have only found two generations of TGs built in the USA, with perhaps a third prototype built by Auster/Taylorcraft in the UK.

Once Germany had demonstrated the value of assault gliders and paratroopers - during the invasions of the Low Countries, Denmark and Norway, others rushed to copy this new weapon of war.
But it seems that only the USA built gliders specifically as trainers.
The first generation were built in small numbers by Laister-Kauffman, Pratt-Read and the Schweitzer Brothers.
The second generation were built - in large numbers - by Aeronca, Interstate and Piper.
 
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robunos

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British military glider pilots trained on the GAL Hotspur II, originally designed to transport commandos, but re-purposed as a trainer. However, in 1943, General aircraft produced the GAL.55 to specification TX3/43. See here, from Wiki :-


and a snippet from Aeroplane Monthly May 1978 page 261

" [in 1947] In the front of the hangar, shared with “B” Flight, was the prototype of the G.A.L.55, always known as “Trixie”, presumably from the Specification number, TX 3/43. This was awaiting disposal. The results of the trials of this rather short and fat side-by-side two-seater had not been too enthusiastically received, and no production ensued. To give some idea
of the proportions of this glider one should turn to The Aeroplane Spotter of January 24, 1946, where one keen reader reports the sighting of a Wildcat being towed by a Halifax! This was refuted by a Flt Sgt in a subsequent issue, but presumably mention of “Trixie” would have infringed the Official Secrets Act."

General aircraft GAL.55 TX3-43.jpg GAL_55_3-view_Les_Ailes_January_4,_1947.png



cheers,
Robin.
 

riggerrob

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First-generation American training gliders included:
Leister-Kaufman LK-10/TG-4A
Pratt-Read XLNE-1/TG-32
Schweitzer SGS 2-8
Schweitzer S 2-12/TG-3

Schweitzer was already building two-seater, training gliders, for civilian soaring clubs before WW2. Most of their SGS 2-8 gliders were impressed into military service where they trained USAAF, USMC and USN Pilots. SGS 2-8 had steel tube fuselages and cantilever, monoplane aluminum wing structure all covered in fabric. Two pilots sat in tandem under a Perspex canopy.
Later, the military requested a simplified version requiring less metal, so the Schweitzer Brothers redesigned the wing in wood, still covered in fabric. They built 114 S 2-12/TG-3 gliders for the USAAF.
 
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robunos

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A better 3 view of the G.A.L. 55, plus a brief description, dimensions, etc., from 'British Gliders and Sailplanes', page 127.

"A two-seat training glider designed and built by General Aircraft Ltd. to
AM. Spec. TX.3/43 to train transport glider pilots. Wings were built from
spruce and plywood, the fuselage being made out of steel tubes faired with
wooden formers and fabric covered. Side by side searing in a cockpit fitted
with amber panels for daytime night flying. -
Wing span: 10.71 m., 35' 1 1/2". Length: '7.79 m., 25’ 6 1/2".
Wing area: 16.74 sq.m., 182 sq.ft. Aspect ratio: 6.8.
Dive brakes fitted, also bellows-operated split trailing edge flaps.
Undercarriage type: Tricycle, of fixed centres, plus tail bumper.
Weights: Tare 7474 kg., 1650 lbs. A.U.W. 1066 kg., 2350 lbs.
Speeds: Max. 362 km./h., 225 m.p.h. Max. tow 282 km./h., 175 rn.p.h.
Stall (flaps up) 100 km./h., 62 m.p.h. Flaps down 87 km./h., 54 m.p.h.
First flights were around the end of 1943, a Westland Lysander being used
for towing."

gal 55.jpg

cheers,
Robin.
 

nuuumannn

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So far, we have only found two generations of TGs built in the USA, with perhaps a third prototype built by Auster/Taylorcraft in the UK.

General Aircraft Hotspur? Perhaps the most well known British military training glider, although it was conceived as an assault craft.
 

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riggerrob

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Jos Heyman's book "United States Military Aircraft" lists all the gliders used by the US armed forces during WW2. They also "impressed" plenty of civilian gliders at the start of the war.
Unfortunately, Mr. Heyman died in 2016, so the last update was 1 February 2015.
www.usmilitaryaircraft.files.wordpress.com
 

tab28682

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Piper TG-8, based on the Piper Cub. Everything aft of the landing gear attach fittings on the fuse was said to be unmodified Piper Cub.
 

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