The old yellow glider dried out in the desert after having been in the wet Northwest for so many years. Cracks developed in the wing spar (along and across the laminations) and other glue joints were giving way.
I did not want to spend the time in, what for me would be, the years long process of building another set of wings (at least). I started the process of trying to donate it to a school that would be able to use the glider for a teaching tool. I thought it would be an easy process, but NO. Three different possible users all backed out for one reason or another. The years went on...
I got hooked up with a project called "Build a Plane" which matches aircraft with schools. The first time they had a possible taker, the school decided that it did not want an aircraft, for some reason. Time marched on. The glider was not getting any better sitting in the trailer, here in the desert.
Finally, a hook up with a school that wanted the glider as a project basis and a completed deal! The glider was de-registered with the FAA. It will not fly again. The school was unable to pick up the glider in Phoenix and take it to Lancaster, California for a few months - the trailer licensing was the issue. To transfer the trailer, they would have to be at the Arizona DOT office when they were open to take the trailer out of state. We worked it out so that I would tow the glider over and then complete the title process for the trailer in CA, which would be much easier.
The day was picked and the trip started, into a 20 to 30 knot quartering headwind. Did I mention that the 30 foot long trailer does not like a lot of crosswind? After I crossed into California on the I10 east of Blythe, the wind was picking up sand and dust, reducing the visibility to near zero. It was also now a direct cross wind...
I made the rest of the trip with little excitement, save for the continuing windy conditions which buffeted the trailer mightely at times. I dropped the trailer in front of Glenn's house for the night. Dinner and a nice motel room stay ended the day. The next morning, I towed the trailer out to the airport where it will start living, for now. We took the fuselage and one wing out of the trailer so that Glenn could see how it was done.
With a full set of plans and a full size mock up to work with, the school will have a great project for the students to learn about what goes on inside an airplane (or glider, in this case).
I feel great that the fruits of Manny Manis' labor helped me fly freely as a glider pilot for so many hours over three years. Now, it will be a teaching tool to further educate our young people about aviation. A fitting job for the old yellow glider.
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Created 16 November 2008
Updated 18 November 2011
(C) Copyright 2008-2011 Paul R. Jorgenson