Grunau Baby - (scan - 1997)

Edmund Schneider developed the design at his Grunau, Silesia, factory in 1931; it rapidly evolved through 2 and 2A versions in next 4 yrs. Standard scheme of learning to fly was to start with simple primary gliders, such as SG-38, using elastic bungee cords to launch student higher and farther as skill warranted. When soaring attempted, a safe, sturdy design such as Grunau used, and the student was launched from the top of a hill into the wind to try to use the deflected air to stay aloft. US counterpart was Franklin PS-2, a later simpler version of Eaglet. These designs considered utility gliders, and one would graduate to high performance ships such as Bowlus Albatross II. Hundreds of early versions built in factory and world-wide from plans. Mid-30s, German government sponsored redesign, and 2B with dive-brake type spoilers resulted. Thousands produced in factories and from plans by NSFK flying clubs. Plans circulated worldwide, and US designers, especially in CA, copied the wing--look at Bowlus Baby Albatross. Production continued during war, and 4104 examples built in Germany 1940-4. Were extensively used in invasion glider training, and one technique was to use angled landing light to help in night landings. Museum's example has such a light in lower nose. After war, production continued in Czechoslovakia, Spain, and Sweden; and modified versions were built in France (Nord 1300), England (EON Baby, Cumulus, Kirby Kite, Cambridge 1 and 2, and Slingsby 21), Australia (Grunau Baby 3A and 4), and eventually Germany (Grunau Baby 3).

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