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Charlie Smith Glider


This glider was built by Charlie Smith in 1928 from plans. Mr C Smith was a garage proprietor in Palmerston, New Zealand. The glider was taken to Waikouaiti Beach in 1928 and towed into the air by his daughter Flossie driving his Studebaker car. Flossie is shown with the glider and towrope at the Matanaka end of the Waikouaiti Beach prior to the flight.

It was widely known locally that “Charlie was the pilot, it took off well and flew but as it got higher the wind took it out to sea and Charlie panicked and in getting it back to the beach, crash landed it. This was its one and only flight and thereafter it lay for years among the rafters in Smith’s Garage.

It was of wooden construction with fabric covering doped silver. The mainplane, tailplane and fin were all rectangular as were the rudder and elevators except they were cut away to allow free movement. The fuselage was a circular polygon in cross section.



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