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Sailplanes 1945 - 1965 (Volume 2)
Author: Martin Simons
Hard Cover, 272 pages, hundreds of color photos and scale line art drawings, Copyright 2006
Dimensions: 9.61 x 11.89 x 0.79 inches (244 x 302 x 20 mm)
Table of Contents #1
Table of Contents #2
Example Page 261
Example Page 264
About the Author
Back Cover

Overview from the Back Cover
This, the second volume of 'Sailplanes' by Martin Simons, describes the extraordinary transformation in soaring that took place from 1945 to 1965.  To take advantage of discoveries in low drag aerodynamics it became necessary to develop new structures and methods of construction.  Almost every possible combination of materials and techniques was tried with varying success.  A great variety of sailplane types appeared.  Towards the end of the period, glass-reinforced plastics were achieving great advances in performance.

In parallel, sophisticated electronic instruments and radios were introduced, training methods and piloting techniques changed, records undreamed of before were set, broken and broken again.  Competition tasks, formerly simple distance or goal flights, changed to closed circuit races over hundreds of kilometers.

As in Volumes 1 and 3, the drawings illustrating this work are on a constant scale of 1:50, with cross sections and leading dimensions.  Color shading indicates the materials used.  Numerous colored and black and white photographs are included, many of them rare or previously unpublished.  The text contains explanatory material as well as descriptions of the 120 or more sailplanes included.

Review by Paul Remde
I have always been a fan of the old "Wings" TV programs that document the development and refinement of unique aircraft.  It is interesting to learn about the many failures and lessons learned during the development process - and to see interesting film footage of the flights of the aircraft.  I find the "Sailplanes" series of books by Martin Simons to be similar to the "Wings" programs because they allow the reader to travel back in time to learn about the development of sailplanes over the years.  The books are created for anyone that is interested in sailplanes.  Martin created hundreds of scale line-art drawings of the sailplanes that show the elegant lines and design details of the aircraft.  The drawings are detailed enough to be used by modelers to create accurate scale models.  I have just finished reading all 3 'Sailplanes' books from cover to cover.  I thoroughly enjoyed every page.  I thought I had previously seen photos and details on most of the sailplanes in the world - boy was I wrong!  I learned of many obscure and interesting sailplanes from manufacturers and private builders around the world.  I especially enjoyed the overview information found in the Preface and Introduction sections at the beginning of each book.  The books are well organized so that they can be used as a reference when looking for information on any rare or not-so-rare sailplane.  The books are not inexpensive, but they are worth every penny.

About the Author
Martin Simons has been involved in gliding for more than fifty years.  With the Gold C badge and two diamonds, he has flown about one hundred different types of sailplanes, including (at last count) thirty three of those described in this work, in ten different countries.

He is also a keen model sailplane designer, builder and flier. 

English by birth he lives in Adelaide, South Australia, with dual citizenship.  In addition to the two volumes 'Sailplanes', (1920 - 1945, & 1965 - 2000) his earlier books include 'Slingsby Sailplanes', a standard reference on the British glider manufacturing company, and he collaborated with Paul Schweizer to produce 'Sailplanes by Schweizer', a companion book about the leading American manufacturer.  He wrote 'Model Aircraft Aerodynamics', the only work of its kind in the English language, now in its fourth edition, and a number of other books and a great many articles, not all of them about aviation.


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