What is this Glider

This photograph shows cadets of yesteryear around a glider. My question - what is the type? It has yeh appearance of a Slingsby Primary however the empennage is enclosed as is the ‘cockpit’ area ahead of the pilots legs.

Looks like a grasshopper


Looks vaguely like a Slingsby T-38 Grasshopper “bungee” glider but with a basic front fuselage added?

Looking at the badges, it would suggest quite early ATC usage - there was an even earlier type called the Elliotts Primary EoN, adopted by the ATC in 1948 as the " Eton TX.1" - but that also seemed to have a completely open sitting arrangement as per the standard Grasshopper.


Front fuselage and aluminium over the rear section of the fuselage as well. Both the Eton and Grasshopper were open tubular sections. This one is infilled…

Somebody’s pimped their ride.

Those early gliders were insane.

Sketchy. They were sketchy.

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One of my target rifle shooting mates (just retired from RAF) remembers the bungee launch procedure - follow-on video shows a towed launch - says it still sends shivers down his spine. But hey, he lived to tell the stories - the Grasshopper flew like a brick apparently!

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Must admit. I sent a proposal to scratch build a grasshopper to wing and region aviation off.

Needless to say they fully stained the bed.

Had wing Cdr phone me next day begging me not to try.

Apparently as a craft project its ‘fine’.
Using it would not be…

The fact that thousands of cadets in the 1940s did and didn’t die is apparently irrelevant.

Oh well, kill Joy’s be kill Joy’s.


They weren’t designed to fly…
Merely provide at best a short 10 to 20 meter ‘hop’ for the effects of controls to be felt in.
With minimal operating costs.

But imagine if made from ultra light composite and a fractionally larger wing…
My calcs and those of a few aerospace buddies shows it would ‘fly’ MUCH better.

Maybe why people messed their pants when I proposed it!

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“Your working conditions aren’t safe, you’ve just been lucky so far,” comes to mind…


Midland Gliding Club in Shropshire still bungee launches. I believe they are now the only club.

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Did they even wear helmets with an open cockpit?

I think that’s the most likely explanation.

its true they do website

Bungee Launches – the only club in Europe, maybe the world, still regularly bungee launching (into minimum 20kt westerly).

interesting it is a minimum!!


But I also fear we really do shield everyone from too much risk.

Wont be long and we will need a PTI to do drill or something akin… or a special drill qual (and I dont mean the theory side).

Such a shame.

Good idea :wink::wink:


Great stuff. I would love to see that.

Might make a visit.

This looks awesome


It does, but there was still an instructor in the back. What always confused me about the old cadet gliders was the lack of dual control. So you go straight from theory to practice with no middle ground in between.

Yes but the grasshopper wasnt designed as a glider as we think of one.

It was to ‘grass hop’, so never get more than a couple of meters up and only glide for 10 seconds or so.

Its weight and design were deliberate for safety, sturdiness and to keep it ‘grounded’.

What it did provide was practical aviation training, albeit in a limited fashion.

There was however a photo on the internet a few years back showing the grasshopper much higher and being launched from a hill. So…

But I cant find that anymore.

If anyone has more info, tech specs, photos or a manual of some kind I would be very interested.