September 2018


GLIDERS   (high performance sailplanes)

talking about high performance:


The PERLAN II has just reached an indicated altitude of 76,410 ft




Although High performance  Gliders  / Sailplanes have been the backbone of my business for a long time, the data and pictures are "scattered" all over and it will take a long time to get at least some of it, onto this web-site. IKE destroyed a lot of my "paper pictures" making it even more difficult. As time goes on I will try and add to this segment of the web page.

As Fred Jiran Glider Repairs.

Established a fixed base business in El Mirage, CA then moved onto the Mojave Airport in 1969. This portion of the Web Page will take some time to record due to the shear volume of work we accomplished. I am   apologizing for the "disjointed" sequence of pages and links, but some information will take a significant effort to compile. It may not get completed until I am on the "HIGH SEAS", becalmed and with plenty of time to spare!!

Here is a very brief introduction for this segment of my career:

After joining a glider Club in Port Augusta, South Australia, I became involved in the repair of  Sailplanes (another term for high performance gliders) in about 1965.

My involvement with the sailplane community and my - still minimal - experience with the repair of aircraft, landed me a spot on the Australian World Championship Team. (I was subsequently asked to join the American team for another two World Championships, one in Waikeri, Australia and the other in Marfa, Texas.)

The World Championship was held in Poland in 1969. While in Europe for this event, I became introduced to the newly emerging COMPOSITE STRUCTURES IN GLIDERS.

Composites were clearly superior to the customary wooden structures then in use for most gliders and many aircraft.

While staying  in Europe and specifically  in Switzerland,   I was hired as a repair technician to retrofit some gliders in Australia and in the USA. During my one year stay in the USA I decided to start a business in the United States. When I returned to the USA, after some additional training in Germany's glider manufacturing facilities, I was literally the ONLY certified aircraft mechanic for composite aircraft structures in the country.

Following are some pictures and brief explanations of some of the repairs and some of the components built for the next  35 years.

I am  still refurbishing and repairing gliders at a very reduced rate here in Texas, in conjunction with building the CATAMARAN.

Recently there have been many inquiries about re-finishing older sailplanes. Usually they have a "crazed" polyester type gel-coat needing removal and re-finishing. At a later date I will post the procedures, techniques and materials used by us to accomplish this work.

After many such tasks I still don't believe how many hours of back breaking work it takes to complete a re-finish task.

With permission of the customer, I am publishing the actual hours recorded to re-furbish a LS-1. I would like to add that these hours do NOT include coffee breaks and a lot of the secondary times needed, such as shop clean up etc. 

You can download the spreadsheet:  LS-1 re-furbish hours

Here are some other Items that may interest you:

Article  in SOARING MAGAZINE published in June of 2015

Some pictures of the proof loading of the "GROB" after repairs ----not yet posted

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