Oxford University Gliding Club

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The Oxford University Gliding Club (OUGC) is the gliding club of Oxford University, flying from the historic Bicester Airfield.

The club was founded as part of the Oxford University and City Gliding Club in December 1937, and the illustrious German pilot Robert Kronfeld was its first chief flying instructor (CFI). The club started flying from Cumnor Meadow in the spring of 1938, but the site is now lost, lying at the bottom of Farmoor Reservoir. Later that year, the club flew from a site between Aston Rowant and Lewknor at the Chiltern ridge. At the outbreak of war in 1939, all sport flying stopped in the UK, but the club reformed in 1951 at Kidlington before moving to Weston on the Green, an RAF airfield, in 1956.

By the early 1980s it had moved to Bicester Airfield (sharing facilities with the RAFGSA and their gliding operation) and had just one glider, a Schleicher Ka 7 from the German manufacturer Alexander Schleicher, obtained thanks to the generosity of a local dentist, Peter Pratelli. This wood and fabric glider was soon supplemented by a Grob G103 Twin II glass fibre two-seater, EGN, again via a loan from Pratelli, and the Ka 7 eventually moved on to another club.

In early January 1986 the club acquired FEF, a then ten-year-old Grob Astir CS (and thus promptly became the first "all glass" club in the UK and probably the world).[citation needed] EGN, the Twin II, was sold to Enstone Eagles Gliding Club, and departed the airfield on 27 October 1990. It was replaced with the lower performance but easier to fly ASK 21, GAM. Like all the club's gliders, it was paid for by using the membership fees collected from student members to pay off any loans received.

OUGC currently owns one ASK 21 two-seat glider, GAM, one single-seat Schleicher K 8 glider, HYX, and one Grob Astir CS, FEF, although members can also use gliders belonging to the Windrushers Gliding Club, the civilian gliding club that took over Bicester Airfield when the RAF left in 2004.

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