Saturday, 8 September 2012

Homebuilt Gliders of New Zealand - Bryan RS 15

The Bryan RS 15 glider was designed by Richard Schreder and was offered as a kit in the late 1970's by his company, the Bryan Aircraft Company of Bryan, Ohio.  Richard Schreder, an American gliding champion,  designed several gliders for homebuilding from the HP 11 to the HP 20, but the RS 15 was the only one that used his initials in its designation.

It is 22 feet (6.71 metres) long with a wingspan of 49 feet 2 inches (15.00 metres) and an aspect ratio of 21.4.  Fuselage construction is of a polyester pod mated to a 6 inch diameter aluminium tube with a trademark Schreder V tail, and the wings are built up of foam ribs with bonded aluminium skins.  It weighs 440 pounds (200 Kg) empty and MAUW is 940 pounds (426 Kg).  It has a respectable maximum glide ratio of 38 to 1.

We have had only one Bryan RS 15 in New Zealand, being ZK-GKF (c/n AACA/RS15/1), which was built by a syndicate led by Grahame Player of Auckland and was first registered on 21/4/77 to Grahame N R Player, Chris Truman and B Coulter, and thereafter was owned by several versions of the same syndicate including D R Moody.

Thanks very much to Grahame Player for the photos below, which encompass the entire life of ZK-GKF..

ZK-GKF first flew from Ardmore in the hands of Brian Farrell on 23/4/77.  This photo shows it just prior to its first flight.

Here it is on its first flight.

And this old and faded photo (which has been photoshopped) shows it seconds before it stalled and cartwheeled down the runway at Matamata on 22/11/80.  The pilot was not hurt..  ZK-GKF was cancelled on 12/11/81.

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