View Full Version : T31b Tandem Tutor

Neander T31b
13th Oct 2002, 20:58
In March 2001 I bought a Slingsby T31b Tandem Tutor. It had been in a shed in England for 15 years after the owner bought it on Syerston from the ATC. The T31b was registered XE790. I rebuilt the complete glider and it is now almost ready to fly, we are awaiting for the paperwork of the BGA.
Who knows more of the history of our glider and does somebody know what the biggest distance is ever flown in a T31b?

14th Oct 2002, 05:25
I am 99.9% certain that I have flown this aircraft but will need to consult an old log book to confirm. Cannot do this until thursday but will get back here after checking.

If confirmed then it was at 635 GS located at Burtonwood in Lancashire. I also think that I may have photos of her at this time in the red & white colour scheme.

Her "sister" aircraft at the time was XA 282 which is now preserved at Carnarvon aircraft museum and Sedburgh XN 185 which the ATC still own (airworthy??).

A flight time of 3,1/2 mins after a 1000`agl launch on a typical day, she wasnt exactly built for thermal soaring, though I suppose Derek Piggott may argue that point.


Neander T31b
14th Oct 2002, 20:19
Hi Tiger_Mate,

It would be nice if you really got some old pictures of this T31b!
The glider had on the rudder a typical bird painted, which I repainted on the rudder. We still have the red-white colour scheme and the roundles and old registration on it. Perhaps you already looked at my homepage where you can see some pictures of her?! if you have some pics please send them to me!


14th Oct 2002, 21:32

This is the best colour scheme. Overall silver with dayglo bits here and there.

15th Oct 2002, 21:14
Ah! The old Mk 3. I knew it well!

I first met XE790 when I was on the staff of No 2 Gliding Centre at RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire. My first flight in it was on 24 February, 1959. The Centre's main purpose was to train and re-categorise instructors of Air Cadet weekend schools but the secondary role was ab initio training of cadets on week long courses so we did a lot of circuit bashing in Mk3s.

The unit moved to Kirton Lindsey (N Lincs) in September 59 and XE790 appears many times in my log book until 10 August 1961. Presumably it then moved away to one of the weekend schools.

As to the longest flight in a T-31, I can't help. My own highlight is 1 hr 10 mins climbing to 4,600' in the sea breeze front near Sunderland. I suspect we came down deliberately because of the cold. The front cockpit is relatively draught-free, but the instructor in the rear suffers.

Any soaring flight in a T-31 is noteworthy. I racked up 13,500 launches and the average flight time was 3mins 44secs. Being positive, I suppose the Mk 3 gave more landing practice per flying hour than most other trainers.

Spot 4
17th Oct 2002, 15:27
Apologies; it was XE 791 that I flew and have photos of. I will ask the military forum if anyone knows who put a vulture on their gliders.

Neander T31b
17th Oct 2002, 19:24
As I heard from the guys I bought this T31b, the vulture was used by American air cadets based in England? I hope someone can help me with it. If someone has some pics of it please give me a call! Or knows more about the history of this glider, where it had been based?

Spot 4
19th Oct 2002, 16:19
From the military forum:

614 VGS now residing at MDP Wethersfield. currently operating the Grob 103 Acro, or Viking as the Space Cadets call them. Prior to this 614 operated from Debden.

Which would tie in with being used by American cadets perhaps as Wethersfield was a US base.