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Slingsby Type 31/ Cadet TX Mk.3

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Slingsby Type 31/ Cadet TX Mk.3

Old 9th Jan 2019, 09:51
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Slingsby Type 31/ Cadet TX Mk.3

In the current issue of Pilot magazine I postulate that "it is quite possible that the T-31 (known within the Services as the Cadet TX Mk.3 or Tandem Tutor, has introduced more people to flight – and certainly solo flight -than any other British-built aircraft." So my question is, how many of you did go solo (or take your first ever flight where you handled the controls) in a -31?
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 10:14
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Sedbergh TX.1 for me. (Slingsby T.21)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingsby_T.21
Number built ca. 226

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingsby_Tandem_Tutor
Number built ca. 230

Surely can't have been much in it in terms of first solos?
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 10:39
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Hi

The T21 was my first ride and Solo. Under the guise of Daisy the Air Scouts Glider at Lasham. Solo on the 8th Sept 1963!!

Mike
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 10:54
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Originally Posted by jimjim1 View Post
Sedbergh TX.1 for me. (Slingsby T.21)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingsby_T.21
Number built ca. 226

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingsby_Tandem_Tutor
Number built ca. 230

Surely can't have been much in it in terms of first solos?
The vast majority of first solos were done on the T 31 (Mk3). Only those too large for the Mk3 were trained on the T21. Some sites only used T21s because of their small size. Obviously they sent all their cadets solo in the Barge.

The T21s main role was Air experience flying.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 10:56
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Slingsby T21 in 1958
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 10:58
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Thanks All. I thought the T.21 would run the -31 a close second! My reasoning for the -31 is based on the fact the RAF had more 31s than 21s. It took delivery of 126 Cadet TX Mk.3s between 1951 and 1959, and operated them up to around 1986, and as most of those flew well in excess of 25,000 flights each (of which the vast majority were air experience flights) I think that just the Air Cadets’ TX Mk.3s flew in excess of three million launches! There were also quite a few civilian ones. Impressively, an ATC Mk.3 is on record as having logged a staggering 120,000 launches!
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:00
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First flight at age 15 on 19.8.72 in T21 WB924 RAF Ternhill.First flight in T31 XA292 on 16/9/72.First solo 24.6.73 in T31 XN242. Just 9 days after my 16th birthday.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:11
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Cadet Mk. 3, No. 1 Gliding Centre, Hawkinge. Age 15.9
1st dual winch 14 Aug 61
1st solo winch 18 Aug 61

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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:12
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Originally Posted by DaveUnwin View Post
Thanks All. I thought the T.21 would run the -31 a close second! !
In terms of sending cadets solo the T21 was nowhere near a close second! I sent many hundreds of cadets sold on the T 31 but only a handful on the T21.

The other reason was that we had retrieve trolleys for the T31 which was a much smaller glider. Although we could just about
get a T 21 on the thing the process was frowned upon and often did damage to the trailer because of the extra weight.

So the T 31 won hands down. At least where I instructed it did!
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:21
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Thanks 3wheels, all interesting stuff. I did actually write "or take your first ever flight where you handled the controls" (my first ever flight was in a -21) but it does certainly look like the 31 wins the 'First Solo' prize!
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:27
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Soloed on the T31 at Spitalgate, around 1973 I think it was.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:29
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1960-61, did all my dual in a T 21, but was sent solo in a Tutor Mk II. At that time the T21 was only normally flown with two up, and only later was it modified to have a ballast block fitted in the nose, so that it could be used solo.. Having said "normally flown two up", I do recall it being flown once with one pilot and a tea urn strapped into the other seat. No doubt highly illegal.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:47
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First solo

T31 for me in1960 ISTR that the official nose ballast bomb for solo flight did not come in for a couple of years after that.I never liked it much the glider felt too light and seemed to float around not fly as nicely as when two up
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 11:57
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Did my A&Bs as an ATC cadet on both T21s and T31s at Tangmere in the mid 70s (solo'd in both). Put down for a soaring course but never managed to get one (places on the soaring courses were like hens's teeth). Then went on to do a flying scholarship on Beagle Pups at Biggen, which I extended to get my PPL a few weeks later.

PDR
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 12:14
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Cadet Mk3 at RM Condor, Arbroath. Interestingly (or not!) it was the convention then to address the pilot (even a 16yr old Air Cadet) as “Sir” -a form of address which almost never comes my way now in the left seat of an A330.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 12:30
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Cadet Mk III WT919, Kirton Lindsey March 7th 1960. The start of almost 59 years (and still counting) gliding.

ShotOne reminded me as being addressed as Sir when asking for 'wing up for checks, take up slack etc.' Nearly as much of a surprise as being addressed as Mr 'F2' on my first job interview at around the same time.

First flight, Avro Anson at Colerne, aged 13;first time handling the aircraft, AEF Chipmunk, RAF Yeadon (now Leeds/Bradford Airport) aged 14

Last edited by Fitter2; 9th Jan 2019 at 15:05.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 12:42
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Soloed on T21 at Lindholme, 1967. Just in time to get posted out.

Re-Soloed on T21 at Locking 1970

IG
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 12:49
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First solo T21 with South Yorkshire Air Activities section of the Scouts RAF Lindholm 1978. 20,000 hours later I never get called sir!
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 13:04
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Originally Posted by 3wheels View Post
The vast majority of first solos were done on the T 31 (Mk3). Only those too large for the Mk3 were trained on the T21.

In the mid 1960s at 631 GS RAF Sealand I think we had an equal number of T31s and T21s (3 of each ?). Although I did most of my gliding and first solo in the Sedbergh, I don't recall my size being a factor. I was average height and weight ..... and like to think that I still am! During my time at 631 I also flew the Mk3, including some solos.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 13:29
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Mk III, Serial number lost in the mists of time, and whatever dragon under the bed that ate my 3822. RAF Syerston some time in the mid 1970. First solo.
They say the first time is always the best, but solo-ing Chipmunk, Gazelle and then Lynx were pretty good too.
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