View Full Version : Anyone recognize this glider?

2nd Dec 2007, 11:33
A colleague of mine was recently given this picture of this aircraft by a friend who couldn't remember anything about the glider (in fact, I don't think he could even remember where he had taken it!)

My colleague, although a glider pilot of many years, hasn't the faintest idea what it is and has asked me to find out. I've run out of ideas so am throwing it open to the assembled wisdom on this forum safe in the knowledge that someone, somewhere, will be able to give me chapter and verse.

Is that someone reading this thread?

In hope,


2nd Dec 2007, 13:15
It almost reminds me of both the Manuel Condor and the Fauvels - yet is clearly neither. Looks very much an amateur one-off flying wing perhaps with wingtip mounted vertical tails? I've a vague recollection of a glider called the Bat but googling hasn't led me anywhere. Ring any bells elsewhere?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
2nd Dec 2007, 13:21
Isn't it a Fauvel? I dimly remember seeing one in the hangar at Derby & Lancs Gliding Club at Great Hucklow in the mid '70s. I don't think even back then it was in flying condition.

2nd Dec 2007, 14:09
Doesn't look quite right for a Fauvel, unless perhaps it's a really early one.


More here (http://www.nurflugel.com/Nurflugel/Fauvel/e_machines.htm)...

2nd Dec 2007, 17:49
Groundgripper's mystery glider appears similar to this tail-less glider, the American amateur-designed Marske XM-1 Flying Plank. The XM-1 is shown here flying under auto tow in 1957.


Shaggy Sheep Driver
2nd Dec 2007, 17:55
Think you're right, Tredders. None of the Fauvels seem to have wing-tip mounted fins.

evansb's pic looks like it could be it.


2nd Dec 2007, 18:47
Perhaps a little earlier in the pedigree , possibly one of the early Backstrom "Flying Plank"(EPB-1A et al) family of which some were plan built?
(Try looking up Backstrom EPB-1A on Google and check out the drawing. I'd never heard of it - but it looks a candidate!)

2nd Dec 2007, 19:27
I would say that evansb has identified the identity correctly

2nd Dec 2007, 22:04
Certainly looks like authentic to me - I think Mel's pic is the Super Plank also mentioned on the page.

And here's the Bat (http://www.nurflugel.com/Nurflugel/Fauvel/e_minibat.htm)I was thinking of, though not quite as I remembered it! Quite a good site!

2nd Dec 2007, 22:09
Thank you all for your suggestions, especially evansb; as MReyn says, I think that he has the answer which I shall pass on to my friend.
It never fails to amaze me how much information we have access to in the collective intelligence of PPRuNe!

3rd Dec 2007, 06:57

On the photo in question , do look carefully at the cockpit position in the fuselage , i.e behind the wing l/e and also with a high and level sill line. Then note also the shoulder wing position , all significantly different from the Marskes illustrated in the subsequent photos. Marske has its cockpit (with a sloping sill line) , positioned in front of a rather more mid-set wing,
Then check out the early Backstrom flying plank drawing above. I think you might agree this could be a distinct hint of the mystery glider's origin.
A picture of a similar type from the Backstrom family is illustrated below:


3rd Dec 2007, 09:12
Hmmm..see what you mean.

Also, if you look at my original photo there appears to be the tip of a fuselage-mounted fin showing through the larger hole in the port wing - I don't think it's the roof truss, it doesn't quite line up with the rest of it, and the colour matches that of the lower rear fuselage. It also sort of lines up with the line of the forward fuselage.Similarly the hole in the starboard wing could show the blue painted tip mounted fin (darker blue as it is in deeper shadow).

The rear of the fuselage seems to be raked forward as per evansb's picture whereas MReyn's shows apparently the same aircraft (N5823N) but with the rear edge raked back. However, the 'fin tip', if that is what it is, is behind this line.

Of course, it could be something quite different!

Curiously, in 1984 N5823N was registered by the FAA as an Ahearn Francis Volksplane VP-2.


3rd Dec 2007, 09:22
I'd been looking at that blue bit as well! I thought it could be a central (swept?) fin since the original beast seems to have been a bit unstable in yaw. However as you point out, it also appears possibly to have the wing tip fins and I cannot find any evidence of one with all three.
My bet is that it is one of the plan-built early Backstroms with some local modifications. This was the start point for the more refined (I've just noticed , also with apparent dihedral) Marske family of "Planks" in any event, so we're all in the ball park.

6th Dec 2007, 21:06
Here is the Brochocki BKB-1, soaring over Ontario in the 1950s.
Another variation on a theme.

13th Dec 2007, 15:24
I've given a copy of the contents of this thread on to the chap who gave me the photo originally, he asked me to pass on his thanks to you all.

Apparently the picture was, he believes, taken somewhere in Oz.

That probably explains the tin shed:}

(Ducks for cover.)


Feather #3
13th Dec 2007, 21:35
Hey, GG, no worries!

All Australian boys need a shed!!:)

G'day ;)

7th Jan 2008, 21:39
Hi there

Doing some researches, I found this thread.

The first photo, is 100% a EPB-1C "Backstrom" Flying Plank :)


And more :

http://www.retroplane.net/soaring_museum/backstrom_epb-1c/accueil.htm (http://www.retroplane.net/soaring_museum/backstrom_epb-1c/accueil.htm)

Shame to leave this machine like that in a hangar...:=