1st East Grinstead Scout Group
Centenary 1908 - 2008
The First Attempt in 1910 destined for firewood
V Hounsome, T Beard, Evershed and pilot George Smith
The Spring of 1912 saw Glider No. 2 well in hand. This machine had a wingspan of 22 feet by 5 feet rear-outriggers to tail plane and elevators but no rudder as we did not anticipate lengthy flights, which would necessitate turns. The weight of the machine was about 100 lbs. Space was left in the centre of the bottom wing for the passenger or pilot. No undercarriage and wheels were fixed, the idea being for the passenger to stand in the space in the lower wing and to pick the machine up in his hands by two bars. When lifted by the passenger this raised the front of the machine about two feet off the ground. Launching ropes were attached to the tips of the wings, and four or five boys on each rope comprised the launching team. When we were all ready the passenger shouted out, " Ready, run," and off we went, the two teams with the passenger running inside the machine. It was anticipated that when towed like this into a fairly strong wind from the top of a hill, the glider would rise to such height as allowed by the two ropes. The towing teams would keep on the move down the hill, and finally, having lost the wind, the machine would gracefully glide to earth; the landing shock being taken up by the pilot's feet.