Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Duo Discus

It's been a long time coming.

Back in 2007, when I first visited Switzerland, I had occasion to visit the soaring club located in Bern.   There, I fell in love with their Duo Discus.  It's not the first time I fell in love with a Duo Discus.  I got a flight review in one when I was in California on a business trip.  I visited Williams Soaring Center, where Rex Mayes gave me a flight review in one.

SG Bern's Duo Discus, as seen in June 2007
I could not get over how a glider club could have so many fantastic gliders to choose from. Including a selection of Duo Discus gliders as well as ASK-21 gliders for training. It would not even occur to them to do primary training in a junky old SGS 2-33.

Fast forward to 2013.  
I saw that a used Duo Discus was suddenly up for sale, located in California. It was probably the same Duo Discus that I did my flight review with Rex Mayes of Williams Soaring Center. It appeared in the classified section of Wings and Wheels, and promptly disappeared from the market within a few weeks.  I might have said something like "If I see a Duo Discus come onto the market again, I'm going to seriously take advantage of that opportunity!" 

Fast forward to April 2015: 
Lima India, the Duo Discus featured in the movie "A Fine Week of Soaring" by Juan Mandelbaum, had gone up for sale. I discussed details about the glider with one of the four owners.  The glider was nearing 15 years old, with only 800+ hours.  The condition of the wings was rated 80% by the owner. 

Within a few weeks, the market for used Duo Discus gliders started to have more examples: A Duo Discus owned by Karl Striedieck, and a Duo Discus refinished by Rex Mayes, located in Minden Nevada came up for sale. A glut of Duo Discuses on the market!

A few weeks after that, the prices started dropping. Lima India lowered its price by a significant portion, followed by Karl Striedieck's Kilo Sierra.   The Duo Discus in Nevada hasn't changed its price. 

On Tuesday, 30 June 2015, I purchased Karl Striedieck's Duo Discus.  The following weekend, I had all the members come and help me assemble it, and gawk at its sheer beauty.  Of course, with all those members there, there were some people standing around long enough to take pictures of the first assembly! 

Getting Kilo Sierra's fuselage out of the trailer
The wings are still in the trailer
Left wing already mounted, right wing coming out of the trailer
Mounting the right wing
It was kind of stuck and not fitting into the slot without some force
Right wing almost mounted
Both wings fully secured, now to install the wingtips
OK, the wings are on, time to put on the wingtip extensions
Installing the left outer wing section
We tried to figure out how to inflate the rear tire
Fully assembled and ready to fly!
I got to sit in the front seat and see how it fit.  Seems to suit me just fine!
I got the whole gang to take a picture with the new glider
I had a flight instructor come along for the ride
I sure do look happy!
(All photos of the Duo KS were taken by Kaye Ebelt)

The last photo was taken while the glider was lined up on the runway for the next takeoff.  The tow pilot came back and reported that the low clouds that had plagued us all morning long had gotten lower.  So I waited for a good 30 minutes for the clouds to give us a good clearance to continue flying.
Unfortunately, the clouds soon turned into rain.  Since this is a brand new glider (to me, at least), I wasn't really keen on putting the glider back into the trailer while the wind and rain was covering all of us, so I elected to put the bird away early.  I didn't even get to fly my new glider yet!
I'll get to have my maiden flight in my glider eventually!

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