Imperial College Gliding Club

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1990 - 1999

The most important change in the club during the 1990's has probably been the purchase of the Grob 103C '496'. This was funded in 1991 by the sale of the club Libelle '716' and an £11,000 grant from the Harlington Trust, and has since proved an integral part of the club's activities, in roles ranging from ab-initio trial flights, through first solos and on to cross country and competition training. In 1995 Martin Judkins and Afandi Darlington completed the first 500km triangle in a club 2-seater in this aircraft.

In 1995 the ASW19 '96' was sold to Peter Healy et al in order to make way for our new 'hot ship' an ASW24, which then inherited the traditional IC number. This glider has proved immensely popular with all club members, and has been taken to numerous Regional, National and Junior National, European and World competitions. In addition to this change to the single-seater fleet, 1999 saw the sale of the long-serving Grob 102 back to the Dutch club that had originally owned, crashed, rebuilt and sold to us back in the 1980's. It was replaced with a Discus B to be used as a first single seater, however it is already proving popular with the more experienced pilots, having been campaigned in the 2000 Junior Nationals already. These changes meant that we now have an excellent fleet that should remain stable for the foreseeable future.

The 90's have been fairly quiet on the expedition front, save for 3 trips to Aboyne in the early 90's and one to Le Blanc in 1996. However, an expedition to Spain is on the cards for 2001 - hopefully (unlike Aboyne 1993) a car can be found that will tow 496 without breaking in any way! This is not to say that the pilot achievements have been similarly subdued, however. Afandi Darlington attained a Diamond Badge in 1993, and other current and ex-members have achieved numerous other 300km and 500km flights.

On the competition front, Afandi Darlington, Peter Masson, Luke Rebbeck, Sarah Harland and Jane Lewis have all represents Great Britain at various Junior European, Junior World and Women's European events. Domestically, the future also looks bright, with 3 current students contesting the 2000 Junior Nationals and a new crop of keep young pilots snapping at their heels ready for cross-country training.

The future looks bright for Imperial College Gliding Club, this year the membership hit 65, for the first time in memory the club has current students with instructor ratings, and the fleet is the envy of any other Gliding Club, university or otherwise. Here's to another 70 years!