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Transport gliders

Jemiba

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During WW II the idea of the transport glider was "en vogue", so several countries
developed and built such types.
One of them was Sweden. The AB Flygindustri of Halmstad designed a glider with the
designation Fi 3 of wooden construction, intended for 11 troops plus pilot.
Much better known for this type of aircraft was Germany. The Gothaer Waggon Fabrik
began development of a small 10-seat assault glider in 1944. Much of the work was
sourced out to the french Bureau d'Études d'Avions Gourdou. Just one prototype of the
transport B-version was completed.
After the war, France itself became interested in transport gliders for a short time.
Does anybody know, if this design was proceeded with during that time?
 

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richard

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Hello
The only french transport glider I know is the Fouga CM 100 built in the late 40' ,motorised as CM 101
Who knoiw wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwother (s) ?
 

Jemiba

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Yes, who knows ? ;)
Some years after the war, the concept of the assault glider was more or less dead.
But immediately in the early post-war time, some concepts still were developed,
although quite rarely realised. The Fouga CM.10 was designed for an official request,
so maybe other designs were tendered uninvited. And the Go 345 would have been
a good starting point ...
 

hesham

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Dear Jemiba,

the FMA I.Ae.25 was also transport glider.
 

Jemiba

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"e FMA I.Ae.25 was also transport glider."

Yes, it's mentioned in J.E. Mrazek "Kampfsegler im 2.Wk" and is described as
very similar to the US CG-4A.
 

Antonio

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I have discovered a color profile from french CM.10 "planeur" at Aviation Magazine 575 (Décembre 1971).

It is refered as Castel-Mauboussin CM.10 because it was built "chez" Fouga but designed by Pierre Mauboussin. First flight was 5-June -1947. Anybody know if it was series produced?

In the article I have drawings and info about the following types:

DFS230
DFS230V7
DFS331
Gotha Go242
Gotha Go345
Gotha-Kalkert KA430
Junkers Ju322 Mamut
Messerschmitt Me321 Gigant
De Havilland G2 (from Australia)
Castel-Mauboussin CM10
IAe.25 Manque
Airspeed Horsa
General Aircraft GAL 49 Hamilcar
General Aircraft GAL 48 Hotspur I
General Aircraft Hotspur II and III
General Aircraft Twin Hotspur
Slingsby Hengist
Waco CG-4A
Waco CG-13A
Mitsubishi Gander
Antonov A-7
Laister-Kauffman CG-10A
Kugisho MXY-5
 

Jemiba

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"Anybody know if it was series produced?"

Depends on the definition for series production, I think .. ;)

6 examples were built, two of them were later modified to the powered
versions CM.100 and CM.101.
The listing of 3-views correspond quite well to the book I've mentioned.
Is J.E.Mrazek mentioned in the resources ?
 

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AB Flygindustri at Halmstad, manufacturer of sailplanes, got the commission to design a glider - Fi-2 - with a capacity of six persons. But this project was cancelled. Instead a larger glider - Fi-3 - was designed by the company. Info of Fi-2?
 

Apophenia

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Not much extra info but, FWIW, Sailplane and Glider 1951 had this to say about the Fi-2/Fi-3:

"The 'Fi-2' was a project for a 6-seat high-wing transport glider with a single-strut wing bracing. It was never built but developed into the larger 'Fi-3' with accommodation for two pilots and ten other troops or 1,000-1,100 kg. military load. The front fuselage is again [like the Fi-1 aerobatic glider] of welded steel tubes with moulded wooden covering, and the rear part of stress-skin wooden construction."

Presumably, construction detail applying to both the built Fi-1 and Fi-3 would be similar for the unbuilt Fi-2. The article continues with some details on the Fi-3:

"There is a knock-out panel with four portholes on each side of the fuselage. The wings and tail are of wooden construction and all control surfaces are fabric covered, the ailerons being aerodynamically balanced.

Dive brakes are fitted to upper and lower surfaces of the wings. Owing to its clean design the 'Fi-3' has a better performance than most cargo gliders, having a best gliding angle of 1:15. It was designed by J. Weibull with T. Lidmalm [the Fi-1 designer] as project engineer. Five were built to the the order of the Royal Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) in 1944 [as the Lg 105] but the contract was cancelled at the end of the war.

There was talk of adapting them to civilian use but nothing came of it. During a recent vistit to the works at Bulltokta, they could be seen in a hangar with wings removed. Beneath the dust, their Flygvapnet camouflage could be plainly seen."

And some specifications for the Fi-1 and Fi-3:

DATA: ' Fi-l.' Span 46 ft.; wing area 156 sq. ft.; aspect ratio 13.9; wing loading 3.68 Ibs./sq. ft.; wt. empty 397 Ibs.; wt. loaded 574 lbs.; min. rate of sink 2.33 ft./sec; best gliding angle 1:24; stalling speed 32.3 m.p.h.; dihedral 2.5° .

'Fi-3.' Span 16.5 m.; length 9.7 m.; height 3.3 m.; wing area 32 sq. m.; aspect ratio 8.5; wt. empty 790 kg.; AUW 1800 kg.; max. towing speed 250 km./h.; max. diving speed 350 km./h.; best gliding angle 1:15 @ 175 km./h.; landing speed 80 km./h. Gross wt. can be increased to 2100 kg. if towing speed is reduced to 200 km./h.

Sailplane and Glider Volume 19, No. 8, August 1951, pp 174-175
KOCKUMS FLYGINDUSTRI (SWEDEN) by R. A. G. STUART, M.A. (Cantab.)
 

famvburg

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I have this book in my stash, tho I can't put my hands on it. I bought it over 30 years ago and it's full of WWII glider info. "Fighting Gliders of World War II" James Mrazek - 1977
 

Jemiba

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famvburg said:
I have this book in my stash, tho I can't put my hands on it. I bought it over 30 years ago and it's full of WWII glider info. "Fighting Gliders of World War II" James Mrazek - 1977

It gives data for the FI-3 (slightly different, than those posted by Apophenia, e.g. length as 9.4m) and a photo (see below),
but unfortunately nothing about the FI-2.
 

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Grey Havoc

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On a somewhat related note: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/9541566/Massive-Luftwaffe-plane-wreck-found-off-Sardinian-coast.html
 

Jemiba

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Interesting news indeed ! Although to me, the report of the discovery sounds a little bit strange,
when they found "pieces of sheet metal..." and then ".. the plane appeared in all its beauty", because
the Me 323 was built from steel tubing covered by plywood and canvas, so I would expect just a
skeleton. But it really wood be great, to see it on the surface again, The German Airforce Museum
at Berlin Gatow still holds a mainspar of it, a part displayed in the open, without proper description
and mistaken by many for a part of a girder bridge.
 

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Apophenia

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Good find Hesham. Wikipedia has garbled things ... conflating descriptions of the 1940 FAL Teichfuss Borea BP (Borea Biposto) sailplane and the larger 1942 LT.35 Borea (the designation being for 'Luigi Teichfuss'). The LT.35 was conceived as an assault transport glider for attacks on the British base at Gibratar.

Two versions were initially envisioned. One was a torpedo bomber (the centre fuselage being fitted with bomb bay doors and the torpedo mounted to the wing spars). The second was a cargo/troop carrying assault glider. The latter would have 16 folding seats (although j2mcl-planeurs says only 12 fully-equipped troops would be carried ... suggesting 12 assault troops or 16 for the regular transport role).

Later a civilian version of the LT.35 Borea was conceived although it is not clear what exact role was envisioned in the civil sector. The LT.35 would have either a fixed- or a manually-retracted main undercarriage. Basic specs are given below (to contrast with those in the Wikipedia entry):

Wing span - 21.70 m
Length - 11.58 m
Total weight - 2,000 kg
Payload - 1,100 kg
 

hesham

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From, Ed Heinemann Combat Aircraft Designer,

the Douglas CG-7 & CG-8.
 

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avion ancien

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I appreciate that it's stretching a point to call a three seater a 'transport' glider, but that is what was the British Taylorcraft H, supposedly based on the American Taylorcraft TG-6 glider. Some sources say that the British Taylorcraft H was constructed using the fuselage of an imported Taylorcraft B (G-AFKO) whereas others say that it was based on an Auster III fuselage. What I don't know is what was the seating arrangement in the Taylorcraft H, bearing in mind that it was based upon an airframe which had side-by-side (whether it employed a Taylorcraft B or an Auster III fuselage). My understanding is that the Taylorcraft TG-6 had three tandem seats. If so, if the Taylorcraft H was based on the Taylorcraft TG-6 then one assumes that the basis was the concept rather than the design.

Addendum: I've now found a photograph of the Taylorcraft H which appears to have its seating arranged in a triangle, i.e. the two original side-by-side seats and, ahead of those, a single seat where the engine would have been. Where the instructor and students respectively sat, in that arrangement, is not apparent to me.
 
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Maveric

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I believe that the pictures hesham is showing here are not Douglas constructions, but come from Bowlus.
 

robunos

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From 'Combat Aircraft Designer', pp. -89-94.

"In early I941 the army air corps was examining methods of delivering large numbers of paratroops behind enemy lines. The DC-3s were far and away the most suitable vehicle for this purpose. Demand for the transport exceeded supply, however, despite the collective production efforts of all Douglas divisions.
A proposal for gliders was developed and entailed towing them, two and three at a time, with a single DC-3. Army Air Corps officials at Wright Field went out to industry soliciting competition. Among those who went ahead and conceived glider configurations was Hawley Bowlus, an ardent glider enthusiast who also built streamlined aluminum house trailers before the war. He headed Bowlus Sailplanes, Inc. in San Fernando, received a contract, and drew up basic plans for two gliders, the XCG-7 and the XCG-8. Because his shop proved to be too small to handle the project properly, Bowlus asked Donald Douglas, through Dwight Whiting, a member of the board of directors, if his company could take on the job. Doug was plenty busy at Santa Monica but agreed anyway.
Can you build them?" he asked me one day, referring to the gliders and knowing that I had some experience with wood construction. I really couldn't say no, even though, deep down, I had serious reservations about the glider concept from the beginning. But I said El Segundo would do the job.
I got hold of Clinton Stevenson and briefed him on the situation. Steve headed the structures section and was an engineer of solid reputation. In addi tion to me he was also the only other guy in the 500-strong engineering group who had considerable experience with wood. Using the basic Bowlus design, we made detail drawings of the gliders, both of which featured spruce wood construction with a few steel parts, such as control cable hinges and the like. Another competitor, the Waco Company, got approval to stick with their concept of an economical, tubular-steel framework with fabric covering, but we were forced
to stick with wood which was thought to be more available. Laminated wood, blended in the semimonocoque structure called for, was quite foreign to most of our El Segundo engineers, but with Steve running the project, work began in August 1941.
It took a year and a half, long after the war started, to get the two gliders in the air. (There were also two static gliders located at Wright Field.) Although there were numerous problems associated with the XCG-7 and XCG-8 along the way, they did successfully fly in tow with DC-3s. I never flew in them myself but was told that, odd as it may seem, the gliders were extremely noisy. Apparently, the wind rushing over the windshield and other surfaces sounded like a gale-force storm as you rode along.
In the long run, this glider program proved unwieldy. Other companies built models for the services after receiving production contracts. Douglas, however, dropped out of the glider picture, an event which I considered fortunate."
(My bold.)

Basically, Bowlus designed the general shape of the aircraft, while Heineman's team at Douglas El Segundo Division did the detail design . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

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Sovjetiske svævefly:
- Antonov A-7;
- Gribovsky G-11;
- svævefly AM-14 (modifikation a-7).
Alle svævefly blev masseproduceret.
 

riggerrob

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Cher avion ancien,
The USAAF bought at least 5 distinct batches of training gliders during WW2. The first two batches were built by Schweitzer (TG-3A) along with Pratt-Read (TG-32). The Schweitzer had conventional tandem seats for two, while the Pratt-Read had rare (for a sport glider) side-by-side seats for 2. The first generation of TGs were conventional, wood, steel tube and fabric two-seater sport gliders designed during the late 1930s. Unfortunately they glided too flat, too efficiently to be relevant for training assault glider pilots.
Then Aeronca, Interstate and Piper built three similar training gliders, all based upon their two-seater, tandem, light liaison/artillery spotter airplanes. Engines were removed and a third seat installed in its place along with shorter main landing gear legs. Post-war, hundreds of TGs and L-birds were sold at military-surplus auctions, converted to powered sport planes and carried fun flyers for many more years. Since 80 percent of parts were identical to L-birds, TGs were easy to re-certify as civilian power planes.


 
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avion ancien

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Then Aeronca, Interstate and Piper built three similar training gliders, all based upon their two-seater, tandem, light liaison/artillery spotted airplanes. Engines were removed and a third seat installed in its place along with shorter main landing gear legs.
Presumably each of these three designs incorporated tandem - or should I say tridem - seating. Was the British Taylorcraft company alone in incorporating triangular seating in its design?
 

riggerrob

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Oui, Cher avian ancien,
All of the American training gliders seated 2 (e.g. Schweitzer) or 3 Pilots in tandem/tri-dem.
The British Auster/Taylor is the only training glider with triangular seating. Just as the British Auster/Taylorcraft was one of the few L-class, artillery-spotting airplanes with side-by-side seating.

As an aside, some military helicopter basic trainers (e.g. US Navy) have three seats in a triangular configuration. Often the second student is purely an observer, but he/she does get to experience the sensations of flight, learn by observing the “hands on” student pilot’s maneuvers and maybe practice map-reading and navigation.
 

riggerrob

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During WW2, Chase Aircraft Company (USA) started developing a series of cargo gliders. The first wooden CG-14A only flew in January 1945, so missed the (cancelled) invasion of Japan. But Chase continued developing all metal CG-18 and CG-20 prototypes. Chase never got a production contract, but eventually the line was enlarged to become the Chase/Fairchild C-123 transport that hauled “ash and trash” during the Vietnam War. C-123 also gained infamy for spraying Agent Orange defoliant.
C-123 is unique in being the only airframe to fly as a: glider, piston propeller, piston plus jet, pure jet and Taiwan even converted a C-123 to turboprop power!
 

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The Ku-7 Manazuru which was later developed into the twin engine Ki-105 Ohtori (Phoenix).
 

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nuuumannn

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Here is the surviving fuselage section of a Gotha Go 242 at the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin and an Airspeed Horsa reproduction at Pegasus Bridge in France. The Horsa is bigger than I thought it would be.
 

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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, including more than a dozen civilian gliders "impressed" at the start of the war. The book contains a photo or drawing of most types of gliders.
Unfortunately Mr. Heyman died in 2016, so the last update was 1 February 2015.
Heyman lists training gliders (TG) separate from cargo gliders (CG), separate from fuel gliders (FG), separate from bomb gliders, etc.

Only Cornelius designed FG and they only built two prototypes, but they never got beyond test flights.

www.usmilitaryaircraft.files.wordpress.com
 

riggerrob

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Here is the surviving fuselage section of a Gotha Go 242 at the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin and an Airspeed Horsa reproduction at Pegasus Bridge in France. The Horsa is bigger than I thought it would be.

Airspeed Horsa could carry up to 30 soldiers, but the fuselage cross section was barely wide enough to hold a Jeep. It hold hold a pair of Jeeps or a single Jeep towing a light-weight, 105 mm howitzer, M3. That made Horsa about twice as heavy (15,000 pounds gross weight) as Waco CG-4 (7,500 pounds gross weight) which only carried 13 soldiers.
 

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