Imperial College Gliding Club

Skip Links

1940 - 1949

The Club was re-formed in November 1945 and placed an order for a Kirby Kite II, later amended to a primary trainer, the Cadet. This was delivered in July 1946, when the Club held its first post-war camp at Devil's Dyke. Unfortunately the Cadet was immediately broken, taking until the following Easter to repair. In October, the Club formally joined the B.G.A and began to look for a permanent base. After consideration of various disused airfields, the Club affiliated to the Surrey Gliding Club and started flying from Redhill in February 1947. A de Soto car-based winch ('a dreadful heap') was purchased and used for transport to Redhill, as well as for launching. Much discussion at this time centred around the offer by one of the members of his home-built ornithopter for use as a glider! A further Cadet, together with a pair of Tutor wings (a 'high performance' modification) was purchased during the summer.

The next camp was held at the Southdown Friston site in Easter 1948. Two Cadet accidents during the spring led to a long committee discussion of single-seat training (progression from ground slides to 'low hops' to circuits) and consideration of two-seat instruction at the instigation of Prof. Brunt. This led to the disposal of the Cadets and the acquisition of 'Daisy', a Slingsby T. 21 open cockpit side-by-side trainer, by the Aeronautics Department in January 1949 (after the Head of Department was convinced of its suitability for teaching Aero students!). This aircraft pioneered two-sear instruction and the present training syllabus was largely designed using our experience.

In the summer of 1949, ICGC competed in the National competitions using a borrowed Olympia and finished 11th. A team of ex-students provided Lorne Welch's crew at the World Champs in Sweden the following year.