This two-seater semi aerobatic sailplane with its distinctive forward wing sweep was designed in 1956 by Mr Lesniak, who began construction of a prototype with Mr Vie Ginn at the Dunstable Gliding Club's workshops.
After a time the project was abandoned and after several years the uncompleted Kestrel prototype was saved from destruction by Mr Ron Dodd, a chartered engineer who had worked at the RAE Farnborough, and Mr Jeff Butt. They reactivated the project, with Mr Dodd recalculating, modifying and improving the design, and they completed the Kestrel prototype, which eventually made its first flight in July 1969 at Enstone.
It is of conventional wood and fabric construction, the two-part wings incorporating large Schempp-Hirth air brakes and Frise ailerons, and there are metal-bonded reinforcements at the wing roots. The all-wood fuselage has plywood/balsa sandwich reinforcement from the tip of the nose to just aft of the cockpit. Landing gear consists of a fixed monowheel and a tailskid, with a skid block mounted under the nose to protect it. The pilots sit in tandem in a roomy cockpit under a two-piece canopy, the sideways-hinged forward section being a complete Skylark 4 canopy which also secures the transparent detachable rear half.
Span: 59 ft 0.5 in
Length: 24 ft 8.25 in
Wing area: 243 sq ft
Aspect ratio: 14.3
Empty weight: 680 lb
Max weight: 1,100 lb
Max speed: 98 mph
Min sinking speed: 2.2 ft/sec at 50 mph
Best glide ratio: 28:1