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Workshop Practice - for building and repairing wooden gliders and sailplanes
Language: English
Author: Hans Jacobs and Herbert Lück, with Addendum by Neal Pfeiffer
Sailplane Line Art Drawings: Martin Simons
Editors: Neal Pfeiffer & Simine Short
Published by the Vintage Sailplane Association, Inc.
Hard Cover, 384 pages, 338 black and white figures and greyscale images, Copyright 2016
Dimensions (approx.): 6.18 x 9.25 x 0.87 inches (157 x 235 x 22 mm)

After 25 years of hard work, the Vintage Sailplane Association is excited to release the English translation of German classic "Werkstattpraxis für den Bau von Gleit- und Segelflugzeugen" by Hans Jacobs and Herbert Lück.

How do you build, maintain and repair wooden gliders? Hans Jacobs (designer of Weihe, Meise, Kranich, Habicht, and many more famous sailplanes of the 1930s and 1940s) wrote the book, called Werkstattpraxis, to aid the growing sport of gliding in Germany in the early 1930s. Its effect on pre-World War II glider building was electrifying. He updated it several times up through the 1950s, always in German. Today the book is as applicable as ever for those maintaining and restoring wooden vintage sailplanes or aiming to build new wooden gliders or vintage replicas. For those interested in the history and development of soaring it is a must-read. The Vintage Sailplane Association has now finished its translation, a 25-year volunteer project, for English-speaking readers and is making it available this summer.

This translated edition includes an Addendum of up-to-date information prepared by Neal Pfeiffer, Ph.D. for those wanting to produce or repair wooden sailplanes in today’s world, a valuable addition for safety, convenience.

Appendix highlights thirteen vintage German glider types from the 1930s and 1940s each with photo and 3-view drawing.

Review from "Bungee Cord" (Vintage Sailplane Association), Summer 2016

Who has some "Spare Time"?
The Making of the New English Language "Workshop Practice"

Eighty-four years ago (in 1932) gliders and sailplanes were becoming popular in Germany. Clubs formed around the new sport so local youth could learn how to make their own gliders and how to fly, maintain, and repair them. At first, each club had to learn the “tricks of the trade” themselves; that was not too efficient. Standardized information was necessary, particularly regarding which gliders to build, how to set up workshops and then how to actually construct gliders. The information needed to be made available, and the resulting guide book was soon titled Werkstattpraxis für den Bau von Gleit- und Segelflugzeugen. Its author was Hans Jacobs, one of the most successful and prolific glider designers of pre-war Germany. The book was updated in several editions up to 1955 and reprinted in 1989. But it was never translated into English. Until now.

Twenty-five years ago the Vintage Sailplane Association committed to translate the book, update it to reflect changes in regulations and technology and make it available to vintage enthusiasts who wanted the information in English. The impetus was first that of Jan Scott, one of the founders of VSA, along with Bob Gaines, one of VSA’s most renowned promoters and enthusiasts. Bob initially enlisted George Betz to translate several chapters, which was no easy feat considering the old-fashioned German language. In the early 1990s Simine Short did more translating, and was joined by Neal Pfeiffer. John Ashford from Australia took over the project for an extended period before handing it on to Dennis Barton and then Neal Pfeiffer. Today Neal and Simine are considered the editors. Simine worked with Neal to get the multi-continent translation to sound like modern English. Neal also wrote a 10-page addendum of modern “Supporting Material for Restorers and Builders.” Simine laid out the entire 384-page book in InDesign, ready to go to the printer. Does all this sound like a lot of work? An estimate of the total work-hours to produce this book exceeds three working years … so far. Now comes the marketing, production and long-term distribution. The new book will be introduced and available to buy at the International Vintage Sailplane Meet at Elmira, NY, on 11 July 2016.

Where do VSA members get all the free time? Enthusiasm! It comes from their dedication to educate and enthuse others about how to build, maintain and fly vintage gliders safely. It comes from the spark within VSA members to share aviation history through important literature and to add to the vast centuries of aviation knowledge. It comes from a communal sense to collaborate with others to enjoy old planes, appreciate what they are all about and understand the impact of modern environment, technology and regulations.

VSA depends on volunteers for ALL its jobs and projects. In this extraordinary case VSA can’t be thankful enough to the people who have made this important book available in an updated edition to the English-speaking world. Workshop Practice (check out its “Dedication” page!) is truly dedicated to the volunteers who brought it to fruition. Here is hoping their kind will spread and grow.

Fly safely everyone, Jim

1 Bungee Cord • Summer 2016

Review from Bungee Cord, 2016, Winter Edition
Same article also in Soaring magazine 2017, January edition


Review from "Sailplane & Gliding" - Dec 2016/Jan. 2017 Issue

Review from "VGC News", No. 148 - Winter 2016

Review by Bill Kuhlman in "R/C Soaring Digest", Sept. 2016

Review by Paul Remde
This book will be cherished by owners and fans of vintage sailplanes - and perhaps sailplane scale model builders. The up-to-date "Addendum to the English Translation - Support Materials for Restorers/Builders" section by Neal Pfeiffer is invaluable - definitely worth the cost of the book. The 3-view drawings and photos of 13 vintage German glider types will be appreciated by vintage sailplane enthusiasts (like myself) and sailplane modelers. I am extremely grateful to Simine Short and Neal Pfeiffer and everyone who worked hard to make this book available for the world soaring community! If you appreciate their effort - buy this book, and join the Vintage Sailplane Association!


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Paul E. Remde

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