Raul's Glider Collection

I have a modest collection of gliders. Actually, I only own one by myself, I am the co-owner of the others. You may find these of interest.

The List

Briegleb BG-12B.

Click here for a view of my BG-12B

Wm. Gus Briegleb's 12th design, this L/D 31:1 wooden sailplane was built in 1968 by Mike Adams (Pik Pacific) and Jim Burk and was featured in the June 1970 Soaring magazine article "Polars of Eight."

The prototype BG-12 flew in 1956 with an enlongated BG-6 fuselage and the BG-12 wing. With it own fuselage, for its time, the BG-12 was quite a high performance and popular homebuilt glider. It came too late to make a lot of an impact because the Phoenix, the first fiberglass sailplane also first flew in 1956.

Click here for another view of my BG-12B

I bought this sailplane in 1985. It is currently having a fiberglass covering applied over the plywood skins.

Bowlus-duPont Albatross II.

Click here for a view of the Albatross I, Don Stevens, Hawley Bowlus, and Dick duPont

Designed by Hawley Bowlus, with the assistance of Martin Schempp (later of Schempp-Hirth Sportflugzeugbau), this is the first true US sailplane. Number 4 of the 4 sailplane Bowlus-duPont "Senior Albatross" Series, the Albatross II was built in 1934 at the Bowlus ranch/factory in San Fernando, California, for Dupont Chemical scion Richard (Dick) duPont.

This (claimed) L/D 30:1 sailplane was used by duPont in the 5th (1934) US Nationals to set the World Distance Record by flying from Harris Hill, in Elmira, New York to within sight of New York City, a distance of 121.6 miles. Also flying it in the 5th Nationals, Lewin Barringer came in 2nd place, behind duPont who flew the remainder of the meet in the Albatross I. In 1935, Barringer set the World Ridge Soaring Record in the Albatross II by flying along the Alleganies for 155.5 miles (coming within a half mile of duPont's 1935 World Distance Record of 156 miles).

Click here for another view of my Albatross

In 1936, the damaged glider was sold to another soaring legend, John K. (Jack) O'Meara, who returned the glider to Bowlus to repair. Repairs done with the fuselage painted blue and the rudder "candy stripped," the Albatross II last flew at the 1939 Western Soaring Championships by Bowlus himself. It remained in his shop until about 1952, when it was sold to Stuart Baxter, who kept it in his garage. In October 1990, Baxter, Steve Lowry, and I made an agreement to own and restore the Albatross II. It is currently undergoing restoration.

Frankfort Cinema IIb, also known as the US Army Air Corps TG-1A.

Click here for a view of my Cinema before restoration

This two-place training glider was built in Joliet, Illinois, and grew out of Stan Corcoran's single-seat Cinema. It was used by the US Army to train glider pilots to fly CG-4s into combat during World War II. This particular glider spent the war at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio.

Harry Irvine and I bought this glider from Shy Smith in 1992. Prior to that, it has spent the post-war years in the Santa Barbara, California area. Bought surplus by Vern Atkins of Santa Barbara, who bought a total of 10 surplus gliders. It was later sold to a local school teacher who had his high school students restore the glider as a class project in 1974.

Click here for another view of my Cinema

It is currently undergoing a more complete restoration.

Slingsby Type 31 Kirby Cadet Mk. III, also known as the Tandem Tutor.

Click here for a view of my T-31

This ex-RAF glider was built in 1960 by the Slingsby Sailplanes, Ltd., of Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire, England. While flying under the Royal Air Force livery, this glider had 28,000 winch launched 3 minute flights (over 2000 hours).

Click here for another view of my T-31

Purchased by Mike Beach when it was surplused in 1980, it spent the next 14 years continuing to train Air Cadets. In 1994, it was bought by a group of Dutch glider pilots who refirbished it to bring to the International Vintage Sailplane Meet (IVSM) which was being held in 1995 at Harris Hill in Elmira, New York. They wanted to attend the IVSM and have a glider to fly, but the only way they could afford to do it was to sell the glider after the meet. I bought it from them at the IVSM and it currently flies over Southern California.

Click here for a view of my T-31 taking off from Harris Hill

"Soaring flight is the realm of the true birdman, the greatest sport to be found in the air. Here the pilot pits his skill and experience against and with the forces of nature, exulting in triumph if he guesses right, returning shamefully to earth and being forced to start all over again if his guess is wrong." -- C.B. Allen & Lauren D. Lyman, The Wonderful Book of the Air, 1939

Raul Blacksten
PO Box 307
Maywood, CA 90270 USA


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