Slingsby T.38 Grasshopper TX1

T38 characteristics :                       
Performances :
Length : 6,3 m Stall speed : 48 km/h
Height: 2,43 m

Wingspan : 11,88 m  
Empty weight : 132,9 kg
Aspect ratio : 8,73  
The Slingsby T.38 Grasshopper is a British primary training glider built by Slingsby Sailplanes for the Royal Air Force. The design is based on the pre-World War II German SG 38 Schulgleiter, modified to use the wing design of the Slingsby T.7 Kirby Cadet glider. The design was cheap to manufacture and was designed to be stored dismantled.

Slingbsy took up this popular design and constructed the T2 Primary used mainly by civilian clubs but at the outbreak of war were taken by the RAF and issued to Air Training Corps squadrons. Slingsby went on to produce the Cadet TX1 which was then given slightly higher performing wings and called the Cadet TX2 or Tutor. The TX1 wings were stored and during the 1950’s it was decided to marry them to a Primary fuselage to produce the Grasshopper TX1.  
The type was used by Air Training Corps Squadrons between 1952 and the late 1980s. The RAF designated the glider the Grasshopper TX.1 and the first order was for 65 aircraft which were delivered in 1952 and 1953. It was later followed by two further orders for an additional 50 aircrafts, the final delivery was made in 1963.

Launch is achieved through the use of a V shaped bungee or elastic rope pulled by a team of helpers. The glider can also be mounted on a pivoting tripod pointed into wind for the demonstration of controls.

The two Slingsby T.38 Grasshopper TX1 in BAPA’s workshop were offered by André Dillien who acquired these gliders from Guy Englebert’s collection. Guy Englebert used them to perform numerous short flights using a car for towing. He also used them as a glider flight simulator with some success.