On Wed, 2005-05-18 at 12:10, Jon Stockill wrote:
> Steve Hosgood wrote:
> > Disclaimer:
> > This is a toy [...] I've never even *seen* the Colditz
> > Glider replica (in the Imperial War Museum now, apparently)
> [...] assuming it's not been moved it's right up on the top floor. 
> There a few rather dark photos at the end of this collection:
> http://photos.stockill.org.uk/c1955.html

Hmm - the thumbnails aren't displaying for me. It makes it very
difficult to find the one I'm looking for.

> If the original was anything like the rebuild then it really was a 
> remarkable achievement. (Obviously with the rebuild they tried to stick 
> to similar materials, but did have the advantage the

Unfinished sentence?

They did have the probable advantage (not shown on TV) of flying the
thing from a nice high tow launch with a radio control "pilot" and a
sack of cement for ballast! That way they'd have known if it flew at all
before risking the real pilot who flew it for the cameras.

It was nice to see that some of the the surviving POW designers and
builders (Best and Goldfinch) were there to see their plane fly at last.
Sadly, Jack Best died only months later.

> > Please try it and if you have any suggestions, I'll be happy to take
> > them on board. I'm expecting complaints about the stall characteristics
> > which are probably too savage, but then, hang-gliders stall hard, so why
> > not this machine?
> > 
> > There's no 3D model, sorry. Suggestions for how to do one, or (better)
> > offers of help gratefully received!
> How much information do you have? Unfortunately I'm the other end of the 
> country, so can't easily drop in to the war museum again, but I suspect 
> they'll be the best source of info.

I've got my copy of "Colditz: The Latter Days" that I've had since I was
a teenager. It contains a basic plan and elevations of the plane, but no
details of (say) airfoil shape. It does talk a bit about materials used

I scrounged around the net and came up with some photos of the original
machine and the replica both on the ground and in flight and one of the
jubilant ex POWs jumping up and down in celebration.

Nothing scientific though. I'll do it again and publish the URLs, but
I've not got time right now. I've got just one URL to hand:


This shows the War Museum exhibit, and much more.


A while ago, I did my own calculations of what would happen to a 250kg
glider when thrown off a 20m runway by a bathtub full of a ton of
concrete dropped over the side. However, later I found other estimates
suggesting 1800lb of concrete would have been used (which is more like
800kg) and that the runway (the roof of the chapel) was probably nearer
18m long, not 20m as I'd estimated.

Not sure what the truth was, but assuming the latter conditions, the
glider leaves the roof dangerously close to stall speed in nil-wind
conditions. They'd have needed a slight headwind to give them a fighting
chance in the thing, I reckon.

I suppose I ought to provide for a very short-lived and weak "rocket
engine" for the Colditz Glider model, so you could try taking off from
stationary on an elevated surface.

Who knows how to set rocket burn-time and thrust?

BTW: If any eastern German subscribers on this list could do a detailed
scenery add-on for Colditz castle and the surrounding countryside, it
would be appreciated (hint, hint) :-)  How many people from
tu-chemnitz.de have we got on here I wonder?


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