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Primary glider

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
DFS SG 38 Schulgleiter primary glider

Primary gliders are a category of aircraft that enjoyed worldwide popularity during the 1920s and 1930s as people strove for simple and inexpensive ways to learn to fly.[1]

Constructed of wood, metal cables and cloth, primary gliders were very light and easy to fly. They generally had no cockpit and no instruments.[1]


Primary gliders were generally launched by bungee cord, whereby a rubber rope was arranged in a "V" with the glider at the apex. The ends of the rope were pulled by hand to launch the glider from a slope. Primaries were also launched by auto-tow and auto-bungee tow. Ramp launching from cliffs was also attempted successfully.[1]

Modern primaries[edit]

Modern versions of primary gliders are still built, but, while they are much like the originals in appearance, they are usually constructed with composites and safety enhancements.


Examples include:


  1. ^ a b c Schweizer, Paul A: Wings Like Eagles, The Story of Soaring in the United States, pages 14-22. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988. ISBN 0-87474-828-3
  2. ^ Description of RFD/Slingsby T3 Dagling Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Description of the Zögling Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine