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RAF Slingsby Grasshopper

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Gliding was a key part of the clandestine re-armament of Nazi Germany, training a cadre of future front-line pilots at a time when military aviation there was officially banned. One of the major types to emerge after that period was the Schneider DFS 108-14 SG-38, the Schulgleiter (school glider), dating from 1938. Upon the end of World War Two its design was adopted by British firm Slingsby to produce the T38 Grasshopper, using the wing of the earlier Kirby Cadet. First flown in 1952, the aircraft was used by the Air Cadets as the Grasshopper TX1, a total of 115 being procured. Launched by means of a bungee cord, these gliders became a very familiar sight at ATC and Combined Cadet Force units around Britain, able to take to the air from school playing fields. A similar type also derived from the SG-38 was the Elliotts of Newbury (EoN) Eton TX1.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Former Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show I’ve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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