Home > Books > The World's Vintage Sailplanes - 1908-45

Similar Books

Posters by Martin Simons

Description Photo
(Click on images below to view large versions)
Price Lead-time

The World's Vintage Sailplanes - 1908-45
Author: Martin Simons
Hard Cover, 176 pages, hundreds of black & white color photos, 16 pages of color photos, and scale line art drawings, Copyright 1986
Book Dimensions: 8.66 x 11.42 x 0.79 inches (220 x 290 x 20 mm)

Poster Dimensions:29.8 x 20.0 inches (757 x 508 mm)

A New/Old Book - A Great Find
This book was originally published in 1986. However, not all the books were sold. Eventually the author found a different publisher and created the follow up series of books: Sailplanes 1920 to 1945, Sailplanes 1945 to 1965 and Sailplanes 1965 to 2000 - which were in print until 2012 but are no longer available.
Martin Simons recently put me in touch the wife of the publisher of this book and I found that she still had about 70 of the books remaining in stock - so I purchased them all. They were printed sometime around 1986, but were never sold. They come complete with full-color paper slip-cover and full-color 30 x 20 inch poster. They have been in their original boxes for all these years. They are new books in regard to wear and tear (there is none) but they do look like books printed in 1986 in regard to the publishing technology. They aren't quite up to the extremely high quality of the subsequent Sailplanes books that were published in recent years by Klaus Fey at EQIP. However, the Sailplanes books are no longer available in new condition and this book is available in new condition. Much of the material in this book is similar to the material in the Sailplanes 1920 to 1945 book. If you already own Sailplanes 1920 to 1945 you may or may not need to add this book to your collection. I have read all the Sailplanes books and recently read this new/old book from cover to cover. I found it to be very interesting and highly recommend it. Anyone interested in vintage sailplanes will want their own "new" copy. After these new books have been sold they will probably be available on the used market - but not in new condition and probably at more than twice the current price.


  • Hard-cover book in new condition
  • Full-color paper slip-cover in new condition
  • Full-color "The World of Vintage Sailplanes" poster with color photos and descriptions of 30 vintage sailplanes.
    Poster Dimensions:29.8 x 20.0 inches (757 x 508 mm)
    Note: The poster mentions "A range of very attractive 1/6 full size flying scale replica vintage sailplanes for radio control is also being produced in prefabricated kit form.". Those model kits are no longer available.

Overview from the Inside Front Cover
In all aviation literature, surprisingly little has been published about the origins of the gliding movement and of the many wonderful and sometimes bizarre flying machines developed in man's quest for engineless mastery of the air. Silent flight has a fascination all its own and these pre-war machines with their graceful flight and classic lines represented perhaps the golden age of soaring.

This, the first comprehensive and authoritative reference work on the subject, presents a great international variety of fascinating or significant early types together with the largest selection of detailed scale views and photographs yet assembled in one publication.

Radio control modelers and sailplane enthusiasts alike will be delighted with such and extensive collection of scale drawings by the author, together with much new color scheme data. Many a building or restoration project also is sure to be enriched by this very unusual production which has been researched for over 20 years.

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 and this The World's Vintage Sailplanes book 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.  This book was created for anyone that is interested in the history of 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 this book 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 enjoyed the overview information found in the Introduction section at the beginning of each book.  The book is well organized so that they can be used as a reference when looking for information on any rare or not-so-rare sailplane.  The book is not inexpensive, but it is worth every penny.

About the Author - from the inside back cover
Martin Simons, MA, MEd, BSc (Hons, London), and expatriate Englishman now living in South Australia, has been involved with both gliding and aeromodelling since 1939 and is well known in both spheres in many countries throughout the world.

The author of several books, he became the editor of the much-respected Australian magazine Australian Gliding in 1970 and is regarded as a leading world authority on vintage gliders and sailplanes.

A lecturer in Philosophy of Education at Adelaide University, he is also an experienced pilot with over 1,300 hours of soaring experience, having flown over 50 different types, including many of those described in this book. He is married with two children.

The author in the cockpit of a restored Mu 13D/3 in Britain.

The elegant Nemere, a high-
performance Hungarian sailplane
designed especially for a soaring
demonstration at the 1936
Olympic Games in Berlin. During that
year it set a new Hungarian record.
Painting by Geoffrey Pentland

The Darmstadt I was taken to the USA in
1928 and created tremendous
excitement by completing many long
soaring flights over the sand dunes
of Cape Cod.
Painting by Norman Clifford


In Stock

Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
Paul E. Remde

8661 Connelly Place
Savage, Minnesota 55378

Home | Contact | Customer Service | How to Order | Privacy | Technical Support | View Cart

Phone: 1-952-445-9033
FAX: 1-952-445-8954