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Author Topic: A Very Special Glider  (Read 4601 times)

Offline Nouj

  • Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Registration number: G-XVII
  • Call sign: 40
  • Stationned at airfield: Nympsfield UK
A Very Special Glider
« on: 23 July 2013, 12:32 »
ASW 17 Comp No 40
 S/N 17012 Reg G-XVII

When I was 15 I took up gliding, it was 1976, the soaring weather in England was unsurpassed; my first flight in a glider was in a K13 with a winch launch to 1200 feet and an immediate climb in a thermal to 7,200 feet. I was hooked, the world of flying would be my vocation and gliding was the beginning.
I was blessed with 2 friends, we flew, we built models, we learned to drink, we learned about girls and as we grew all 3 of us bought MGB roadsters and subsequently joined the RAF. In 1976 George Lee won the world Open Class flying an ASW 17.
 
The glider was a spaceship that cost more than a nice house in Oxfordshire. My new brothers and I never even dreamt that we would even see one, then one day Bernie Fitchett arrived at our gliding club with his 17. I pushed to the front and asked if I could help him rig, some older wiser folk looked at me quizzically, every one said that the ASW17 was really heavy, but I did not notice. I marveled at the thin tail boom and at the wings which stretched on forever; 20 metres was massive in those days. Just to touch this beautiful glider was a thrill for a 16 year old such as I.
After some time I crewed for Bernie and came to know “40” well, even travelling down to Kent on the sad day when she was  to be sold. The sale was the end of a great teenage crush, I left gliding to be an RAF pilot and subsequently an Airline pilot. Gliding would wait for over 25 years.
In 2009 I was scanning the adverts and was amazed to see ASW 17 17012 for sale. I had to buy her and soon enough she was mine having had a 3000 hour extension. I couldn’t believe it. I called Bernie and he allowed me to reinstate her original Comp Number 40.
 
Since 2009 work and appalling weather has prevented me from flying 40 very much, but since that time I have slowly tried to reinstate and upgrade the 17 and this year I plan to have the glider refinished and buy a new trailer. The plan is to restore the glider to as close to as new that I can, but I will use up to date equipment if it’s safer or sensible..
So far I have rebuilt the instrument panel in ply as the original was a non standard dural that would have sliced your legs off in the event of a landing accident. I have built 3 iterations to date since I have bought an LX V7 vario, a new ASI and a Red Box Flarm. I put in my Sage Vario and Attitude indicator at version 2. Version 4 will be another panel rebuild which will probably include a second attitude reference and will be narrower around the knees.
If anyone is interested I can post more information as I go and of course any ASW 17 data is very much appreciated.












 

Offline Adam Howell

  • Diamond Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 60
  • Registration number: VH-GXW
  • Call sign: XW
  • Stationned at airfield: Beverley
Re: A Very Special Glider
« Reply #1 on: 24 July 2013, 02:52 »
Hi, I would be interested in so more info on the 17 as the only to I have seen are the 21meter VH-GWN and the 19m 17X VH-IZG.
if you need diagrams or any info on the 17 you could try Rolf Schulze at the AS factory I have found him to be very helpful his email is rolf.schulze@alexander-schleicher.de


Thanks
Adam

Offline Nouj

  • Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Registration number: G-XVII
  • Call sign: 40
  • Stationned at airfield: Nympsfield UK
Re: A Very Special Glider
« Reply #2 on: 24 July 2013, 07:23 »
Thanks Adam That's a really useful contact. Does Rolf speak English?

Offline Adam Howell

  • Diamond Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 60
  • Registration number: VH-GXW
  • Call sign: XW
  • Stationned at airfield: Beverley
Re: A Very Special Glider
« Reply #3 on: 24 July 2013, 11:32 »
Hi,
As I am In Australia I use email and there all in English not sure if he speaks English though.

Regards
Adam

Offline Nouj

  • Bronze Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Registration number: G-XVII
  • Call sign: 40
  • Stationned at airfield: Nympsfield UK
Re: A Very Special Glider
« Reply #4 on: 24 July 2013, 14:09 »
Great I will give it a go then
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