Welcome to a work in progress

This blog is dedicated to the restoration and modification of a Glasfl├╝gel Standard Libelle H201B, and a tribute to those who have dared to do the same, and to those who are helping with seeing this dream take flight.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Journey Begins

Welcome to the restoration diary on my Glasflugal Standard Libelle. I'm a bit late in publishing this, but better late than never.

But first, a little background history:
I have been hot air ballooning since 1992 and became a private LTA pilot in 1995. It wasn't until my wife and I moved to Albuquerque (the ballooning Mecca of the US) that I started my training in powered flight (weird, huh). After we moved to Albuquerque I was unable to find crew to help with our balloon. The best crew in the world was back in Ohio. Out of frustration from the lack of flying, I went to the local FBO to see what it would take to get me back into the air. Eleven months later, I had my SEL rating and was back punching holes in the sky. But I still had this fascination toward soaring flight, and I found myself driving to the Glider Port in Moriarty NM (seven miles from my home) to watch the glider operations in action!

This story began in January of 2009, I decided it was high time to learn how to fly gliders. My love for soaring was first sparked after seeing the Disney film "The Boy Who Flew With Condors". On a cold January weekend, my gliding lessons began. We had a hard winter that year and a late spring that dragged my training out into the summer. Rick Kohler is the owner of Sundance Aviation and one of my instructors. Rick was joking with me on how this unusual weather was my fault since I was so close to getting signed off for my Glider add-on rating. So, by mid-July I was finally certified with my Glider rating. I knew I would need to get a sailplane of my own. After six months of looking and saving money for a sailplane, I found my first fixed wing aircraft.

So now, we get to the point of this blog!

It all started on March 2010. I was looking in the SSA classified ads when I found a Standard Libelle 201B for sale in Tacoma Washington. I opened a dialog with the owner, who was very helpful and willing to provide photos and the history of his glider. 

The sailplane is a Standard Libelle H-201B serial number #106. She was manufactured in 1970 and was originally registered N41R.

She had a long flying history of over 1500 hours and was a bit brused. After being sold the third time, she was re-registered N7742C and resided in a hanger in Gig Harbor WA.

Upon receiving photos of the Libelle, I found that this little bird was going to need some TLC. I knew that without the support of a knowledgeable mentor, there would be no way that I could tackle the task of cleaning up the glider in preparation for the summer soaring season.


My next task was to find someone who could provide me with their unbiased opinion before I make a dreadful costly mistake.