Aircraft Flown

This page lists all the various makes and models of gliders that I have flown so far – twenty planes in total:

  • Schempp-Hirth Discus CS. The Soaring Society of Boulder has a well-equipped Discus CS with the registration number N23SG.  First built in 1984, the Discus was the first production sailplane with a swept-back leading edge, now common in contemporary sailplanes.  Thanks to a glide ratio of 1:42.5 and strong performance characteristics in fast flight, the Discus dominated standard class competitions throughout the late 1980s, winning the 1985, 1987 and 1989 World Championships.

  • DG-Flugzeugbau DG 505 Orion. The Soaring Society of Boulder uses this high performance two seater for cross country training.  It has a wing span of 20 meters and a glide ratio of 1:44.  It’s registration # is N505PB.

  • Schweitzer SGS 1-34.  While most sailplanes are built in Europe, this one is from the United States. It is old (from the 1970s) and it looks even older. But it is surprisingly fun to fly.  It’s very light so it can fly very slowly, almost as slow as the wooden K8, but obviously it struggles when it comes to penetrating into the wind.  The aluminum construction has one other big advantage – it is super resilient when it comes to the element: it can be left outside all year long and extreme temperature swings (which can crack the gel coat on the wings of plastic planes) are a non-issue.  At our club it is used for high altitude wave flights.  Registration number is N-134BC.
SGS 1-34 owned and operated by the Soaring Society of Boulder
  • Schleicher ASK 21.  The only ASK 21 I have flown is the one below, owned and operated by the Soaring Society of Boulder.  It was built in 2013 and is in top condition. Registration # N421EF
The ASK 21 is considered the gold standard among modern two-seat trainers.
  • Rolladen-Schneider LS4b.  Built for the first time in 1980, the LS4 became one of the most popular gliders of all time with a production run of 1,048 gliders.  It is easy to fly and has very good performance.  I did my first solo 300 km flight in the plane below.
Here I am with the LS4b of Alpenflugschule Niederöblarn in Austria, registration number D-8833.
  • DG-Flugzeugbau DG 1000.  I did some cross-country training with the two seat DG1000 of Alpenflugschule Niederöblarn.  And, yes, we did some loops at the end of an amazing six hour flight during which we flew in all forms of lift: ridge, thermal, conversion, and wave – up to 14,000 ft, of course with clearance from air traffic control – as required in Austria above 12,500 ft 🙂
This is not a picture from one of my flights – I didn’t have cameras installed on the wings. However, it’s the exact same plane flown at the same location. Registration number D-1113.
  • Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus. A few years ago, I took two cross-country training flights with an instructor in Minden, NV.  One of those took us high into the Sierra Nevada wave and enabled a high-speed out and return to Mono Lake, CA.

  • Grunau Baby 2b. Possibly the coolest plane I have ever flown was a Grunau Baby operated by the airport in Timmersdorf, Austria.  It was only one brief flight as part of a target landing competition – where I placed 4th among thirty or forty pilots ;-).  Flying in an open cockpit with hat and goggles is quite special.  Also, I will never forget the aero tow behind a Robin DR400.  The Grunau Baby has a max. tow speed of 90 kph which happens to be about the minimum speed at which the Robin will fly (actually its 87 kph).  I remember that I had to push the stick all the way forward to stay level behind the towplane.
I don’t have a picture of the actual plane I flew. However, this one is basically identical, just a little newer. The one I flew had registration number OE-374; i.e. it was the 374th glider ever to be registered in Austria.
  • Schleicher K8. The K8 or Ka8 has been the standard single place wooden trainer since the 1960s.  First built in 1957, the total production run was over 1,100 planes, many of which are still in regular operation today. The plane is very easy to handle, and, because it is very light, it can fly slowly and turn in very narrow thermals, thereby often out-climbing much more expensive and higher performance ships.
I have flown seven different K8 models with the registration numbers OE-0633, OE-0643, OE-0731, OE-0803, OE-0889, OE-0947, and OE-5058. The one in the picture is completely restored and well-equipped including a Flarm system (collision warning) and acoustic variometer.
  • Schleicher K7 Rhönadler. The K7 or Ka7 is a two seater wooden school plane that was first built in 1960 and was later superseded by the ASK 13 and then the ASK 21.  I completed my initial aerotow training and my initial winch training on K7s.  I also got my initial introduction to thermal flying in K7s.  Many K7s are still in daily use at flight schools around the world.
I have flown three different K7 models with registration numbers OE-0804, D-5494, and OE-5375. The one in the picture is still in use at Alpenflugschule Niederöblarn in Austria.
  • Scheibe SF25C “Falke”.  The first glider I (and many other students) have ever flown is the two seat Falke motor glider.  It is reliable and easy to fly but it’s glide performance is so bad that it is only marginally suitable for actual gliding.  It comes in handy in flight training where an instructor and student can complete 7 or 8 pattern flights per hour without having to wait for a tow plane. I also completed my self-launch training in a Falke.
I flew two different Falke as part of my flight training: registration numbers OE-9092 and OE-9136. (I don’t have a picture of either of them but except for their paint schemes they looked just the same as this one).