Very Vintage Exhibit: The Alexander Schielcher K8-b Glider

The Very Vintage Day Out are proud to have at the event for the first time, a vintage glider!

Constructed in 1965 but designed in 1956 in Germany by Rudolf Kaiser. This glider was imported into New Zealand by the Piako Gliding club Inc. based at the Matamata Airfield, Waharoa on Hwy. 27.

After about 20 years with the club, it was purchased by a club member and flown privately.

In 2001 a syndicate of members from the Vintage Kiwi Glider club bought the aircraft for $6000.00 and has operated if from the Auckland Gliding Club airfield as well as Matamata.

The K8-b is the last of any glider constructed with a steel tube fuselage and wood wings covered in fabric and painted. It is very light weighing only 196Kg. and can carry a pilot of 90 Kg.

This elementary glider is very popular to fly as there are about 900 gliders of this model scattered all over the world and are flown by early solo pilots as well as veterans who appreciate the wonderful handling characteristics; Controls are very balanced and light. It has a low stall speed of only 32 Knots and is not prone to spinning. The maximum permitted speed is 108 knots and it can do basic aerobatic manoeuvres.

Many long-distance flights have been achieved in this glider type overseas with a world record flight on the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee, USA of 767 Klm. (476 nautical miles).  The pilot was Karl Striedleck, a celebrated American pilot.

Locally, this glider ZK-GLE has been flown nearly 300Klm in 4h.36 minutes from Drury to Tokoroa and back. And also, has been flown over 10,000ft in height in recent years. The longest flight in this glider was 7hrs 53minutes flying the Kaimai range. 

General characteristics

  • Length:7 m (23 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan:15 m (49 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area:15 m2(152.3 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio:9
  • Empty weight:191 kg (421 lb)
  • Gross weight:310 kg (683 lb)

One thought on “Very Vintage Exhibit: The Alexander Schielcher K8-b Glider

  1. That is very informative Ray. I certainly hope the weather is a damn sight better than it is today.


    Peter Layne

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