Club Fleet

As a member of UoN Gliding, you have access not only to our own gliders, but to Cranwell Gliding Club's extensive fleet as well. This page details all the gliders that are available for members to fly.

Our Gliders

UoN Gliding owns 2 gliders for its members to fly, with no soaring charges, which would normally apply when flying a Cranwell glider. We own both a 2 seat training glider and a single seat glider for solo pilots to move on to. Between these two gliders, the needs of all our members are covered when taking them away on an expedition.

Grob 103 Twin II Acro - 'NU2'

The G103 Twin II Acro, or simply 'Acro', is a 2 seat basic training glider that is also capable of simple aerobatics. We purchased the Acro in December 2006 as a replacement for our old K13, 'HPE', which we eventually sold to Dumfries & District Gliding Club in January 2008. The Acro is of a fibreglass construction rather than the wood and fabric of the K13, giving it a higher performance in a straight glide.

Being a heavier glider, it is more suitable for strong wind days, and we have been able to fly the Acro on days when then K13 wouldn't have even left the hangar. The better trailer enables us to take the Acro away on trips a lot more easily than we could with the K13.

A lot of pilots have their first solo in the Acro, and of a lot of others will experience their first flights or lessons in it. We usually have the Acro displayed on the sports field at Freshers' Fayre each year, so you may have seen it before!

Grob Astir CS 77 - 'NU'

The Astir CS 77 was released in 1977 as a followup of the successful Astir CS, which was one of the first fibreglass gliders in production. The CS 77 has a new fuselage and cockpit design, and improves on some other areas of the CS, such as the tailplane fitting.

It is a basic single seater which is easy to fly, yet has a higher performance than Cranwell's K18, so it capable of much longer cross countries. It has a retractable wheel & powerful airbrakes to assist with an easy landing, although it does have a tendency to bounce if it is landed at too high a speed!

UoN Gliding's Astir is kitted out with the same navigation instruments as the Acro, which enables an easy transition from one to the other, and is suitable for entering into competitions by UoN Gliding members, such as the National Juniors. Members can fly the Astir once they have enough experience, usually 30 or more solo flights and plenty of experience in a fibreglass 2 seater such as the Acro.

Cranwell's Gliders

As UoN Gliding operates as part of the Cranwell Gliding club we have full access to their fleet, flying them at the same rates as servicemen. On most occasions members are given the option of flying either the Cranwell gliders or the cheaper UoN Gliding's gliders, but occasionally only Cranwell gliders may be available (during yearly servicing, for example). See the prices page for more information on Cranwell's rates.

Alexander Schleicher ASK13 (2 Seat Basic Trainer) - 'R59'

The K13 is a basic training glider, which will often be the first glider a new pilot solos. It is also used for spin training - you cannot use the Duo Discus for spin training, and spinning in the Acro or K21 is difficult). The K13 is of a wood and fabric construction, and was designed in 1965. It remains one of the most popular training gliders in the world even today.

Alexander Schleicher ASK21 (2 Seat Basic Trainer) - 'R18'

The fibreglass equivalent of the K13, the K21 is also one of the most popular basic training gliders in the world. Used for training pilots ready for conversion to a fibreglass single seater (e.g. the Astir), the K21 is also fully aerobatic, capable of inverted flight and more complex manouvers than the K13's airframe will allow. It is an easy and pleasant glider to fly, and provides a good training platform to convert people to the Astir. R18 is the newest glider in the Cranwell fleet, arriving in November 2005 to replace their old K21, 'R35'.

Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus (2 Seat Cross Country Trainer) - 'R2'

The Duo Discus is one of only two in the entire RAFGSA's fleet - the other being 'R1' at Fulmar Gliding Club, RAF Kinloss, Scotland. A high-performance glider designed for advanced and cross-country training, the sleek and beautiful Duo Discus is the envy of many gliding clubs. With a pair of instrument panels to rival most airliners, sadly the Duo Discus is a little too advanced (and expensive!) to serve as a basic training glider, and cannot be soloed until you gain plenty of experience - but many NUGC members choose to fly it simply for the experience and breathtaking performance.

Alexander Schleicher ASK18 (Single Seater) - 'R56'

The K18 is the single-seater counterpart to the K13; a wooden and fabric glider designed in the 60s, it still serves as a perfect example of a reliable and easy to fly aircraft. In its day the K18 was a high performance aircraft. Today, what it lacks in cross-country performance it more than makes up for in local soaring ability, allowing pilots to soar in the weakest of thermals. For a glider of 16m span, it retains most of the excellent handling characteristics of other K-series gliders. This, coupled with the light controls and a good all-round view make the K18 a good introduction to single-seaters for recent solo pilots.

Grob Astir CS (Single Seater) - 'R57'

The Astir was one of the first gliders or fibreglass construction to be made, in the mid 70s. Although it looks a lot newer, it is actually about the same age as the K18, and serves a similar function - as a first single seater, this time for fibreglass gliders. You need a bit more experience to fly the Astir as it can be a bit trickier to land than the K18, but this will still likely be your first fibreglass single seater, a platform to progress onto the 'racing' gliders.

Schempp-Hirth Discus CS (High Performance Single Seater) - 'R39'

The Discus is a high performance Standard Class glider of 15m span. Winner of 6 World Championships during the 1980s and 90s, this glider is still one of the best of its type in the world. The Discus is delightful and responsive to fly, and despite its high performance, can be flown by any competent Bronze C pilot. This glider is regularly used for long distance cross country flights and competitions.

Rolladen Schneider LS8-18 (High Performance Single Seater) - 'R4'

The LS8-18 is a 15m/18m high performance cross country glider available to pilots with a silver badge and enough experience. The LS8 is often used for cross countries on soarable days in the summer months, its high glide ratio and good thermalling performance making it an ideal glider. Pilots will fly the LS8 in 15m mode a few times before being allowed to fly it with the 18m wingtips fitted.

Cranwell Powered Aircraft

Cranwell operates a powered aircraft, used for aerotow launching:


Although a motor glider, the Falke can conduct aerotow as well. Itself being a motor glider means that it has very efficient wings and a small engine, which means the cost of operating an aerotow with it is a lot cheaper than other aircraft used for aerotowing. Therefore making aerotowing at Cranwell very cheap.