Northumbria Gliding Club has one of the most modern fleets for a gliding club of its size anywhere in the UK. We have three SZD Puchacz two-seater composite training gliders for instructional and early solo flying and a Grob Astir CS77 composite single seat glider for solo flights and cross-counties. For Navigational flying and simulated field landings the club has the use of a syndicate owned Grob 109B motor glider. Members can also train in the motor glider for their National Private Pilots License (NPPL) with our qualified instructors.
Above: Club aircraft at the launch point. The Tug about to launch the Astir and in the background the clubs three Puchacz can clearly be seen.
For launching purposes we have the option of two methods. These are the winch launch using our Skylaunch winching machine or the Aerotow using our powerful Piper Pawnee 235 C tug plane. For more information on launching methods please go to the visitor guide or for more pictures of the club fleet and other gliders etc on the airfield then please go to the gallery.
Northumbria Gliding Club uses three PUCHACZ two seater gliders, FEN, GBD and GEL. The pupil flies from the front seat and the instructor flies from the rear seat and both have exactly the same controls and instruments so that the instructor can offer assistance where ever needed. Puchacz are renowned for their good handling characteristics and cope well with all aspects of training from initial flights to advanced maneuvers and cross country. They also have been well proven aerobatic gliders as they can perform many of the most difficult of aerobatic maneuvers and are tested to +7g/-5g. They are constructed in Poland out of composite materials and the name Puchacz is Polish for male owl.
SZD Puchacz Technical Data.
|Wing Area||18.16 m˛|
|Empty Glider Mass||365 kg|
|All Up Mass||570 kg|
|Max L/D (45 knots)||30:1|
|Stall Speed||36 kt|
|VNE (Velocity Never Exceed)||116 kt|
Club Single Seater.
The Grob Astir CS77 is the clubs single seat glider and features a large wing area, which improves handling at low speeds, a T-tail, the ability to carry water ballast and a retractable main wheel. The CS77 is an improved version of the Astir and has a different rudder profile and a more angular nose. The Astir CS77 has good performance and enables long distances to be flown in it. Club members progress to this glider after about 20 solo flights in the Puchacz.
|Wing Area||12.40 m|
|Empty Glider Mass||255 kg|
|All Up Mass||450 kg|
|Max L/D (at 56 knots)||38:1|
|Stall Speed||36 kt|
|VNE (Velocity Never Exceed)||132 kt|
The Piper Pawnee PA-25 235 C is used as the clubs tug plane. Originally designed as a crop spraying aircraft, the Piper Pawnee’s excellent climb rate and general ability has made it one of the best all round tug aircraft in the world.
|Horse Power||235 hp|
|Top Speed||108 kt|
|Cruise Speed||99 kt|
|Stall Speed||56 kt|
|Empty Mass||714 kg|
|All Up Mass||1315 kg|
|Rate of Climb||700 fpm|
The Winch and ground equipment.
The club owns a Skylaunch Winch which has two drums and is powered by a 7.4 liter General Motors V8 engine. This produces 340 horse power and with its variable control throttle, it allows the winch driver to consistently launch all gliders to 1000-1500 ft in all acceptable wind conditions. The winch runs on LPG so is very efficient and good to the environment.
For cable retrieves and ground based jobs the club has two tractors and a Land Rover Discovery which can be used for cable retrieves and as a emergency vehicle in the event of an accident during Aerotow operations.
Copyright © 2003 by [Craig Storey - Northumbria Gliding Club Ltd]. All rights reserved.