London Gliding Club

history

Our History

The London Gliding Club was officially inaugurated on February 20th 1930. When the club started using nearby Ivinghoe Beacon as a launch site the spectacle attracted so much public attention that the club were evicted for "spoiling it's peaceful enjoyment by the public". The club (and the crowds) then moved to our current home at Dunstable Downs.

Before the war pilots flying along the hill had instructions relayed to them by flag signals for "too fast" and "too slow"! The glider repair man of the time was said to be able to produce an estimate based purely on the sound of the crash! However prangs were balanced with successes. In 1939 Geoffrey Stephenson was the first to glide across the Channel when he flew all the way from Dunstable to France!

During the war the London Gliding Club was used as a prisoner of war camp. Some evidence of this is still visible as a row of posts near the south-west launch point.

Since the war London Gliding Club has steadily grown. New types of gliders have become available, and now fibreglass is more common than wood. But traditions are maintained by a vigourous Vintage glider group!

May 1930
May 1930 image <1 of 8>
A Poppenhausen two-seater takes a launch from Ivinghoe Beacon
1939
1939 image <2 of 8>
Peggy Thring prepares to fly a Dagling Primary from the hilltop
getting airborne
getting airborne image <3 of 8>
When LGC first started out all launching was
done using a 'bungee' from the top of the hill
first towplanes
first towplanes image <4 of 8>
Soon, launching moved to aerotows behind
a plane. This meant that soaring could be done on
any day - not just on days the wind blew on the hill
During the War
During the War image <5 of 8>
An aerial view of LGC during the war.
The only buildings that remain are club house, the tractor
shed, and the Otley building. (All have white roofs)
waiting for a launch
waiting for a launch image <6 of 8>
A pilot gets ready to take a launch
Modernisation
Modernisation image <7 of 8>
Like everything, gliding has experience massive changes
in technologies. This is evident both in the shapes and the
construction techniques. The desire to fly has stayed the same!
Today
Today image <8 of 8>
Today gliding is dominated by white fibreglass.
Smooth lines and aerodynamic shapes allow flights of hundreds of miles
Contact Us & Location
London Sailplanes Ltd, Trading as the London Gliding Club.
Tring Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2JP.
Office 01582 663 419
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May 1930A Poppenhausen two-seater takes a launch from Ivinghoe Beacon1939Peggy Thring prepares to fly a Dagling Primary from the hilltopgetting airborneWhen LGC first started out all launching was done using a 'bungee' from the top of the hillfirst towplanesSoon, launching moved to aerotows behind a plane.  This meant that soaring could be done on any day - not just on days the wind blew on the hill During the WarAn aerial view of LGC during the war.The only buildings that remain are club house, the tractor shed, and the Otley building. (All have white roofs)waiting for a launchA pilot gets ready to take a launchModernisationLike everything, gliding has experience massive changesin technologies.  This is evident both in the shapes and theconstruction techniques.  The desire to fly has stayed the same!TodayToday gliding is dominated by white fibreglass.Smooth lines and aerodynamic shapes allow flights of hundreds of miles