On Wooden Wings
Celebrating the Golden Jubilee of The Vintage Glider Club 1973 - 2023
Compiled by Andrew Jarvis
Softback, 172 pages, A4 landscape format
Book Dimensions: coming soon
The Vintage Glider Club ( VGC), with its near-800 membership, celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2023, and the current president, Andrew Jarvis, compiled this exciting book to mark the occasion. ‘On Wooden Wings’ covers almost every aspect of vintage gliding, from the founding of the VGC by the inimitable Chris Wills, right up to the most recent rallies. There are dozens of articles, which are gleaned both from archive sources, and also many newly-written features. All your favorite gliders are here, and also the personalities behind them. Inevitably Eurocentric, but there are several USA-based features. The book is styled rather like a very large magazine, with many brilliant photographs. There is also original artwork mainly by Tim O’Brien, and a charming painting of Harald Penrose cliff-soaring his tiny Pegasus glider in 1936.
In 1973, Chris Wills took decisive action to save historic gliders from total neglect and destruction, and so our great Club was founded. ‘On Wooden Wings’ celebrates 50 happy years of flight, restorations, travel, and above all, companionship. With contributions from past and present, written by dozens of great VGC members. Some very special gliders are included, such as the Vampyr, Orlik, Penrose Pegasus, Kosava and Hutter 28 – to name but a few. Innumerable great photos, and many original drawings by artist Tim O’Brien. The book takes us right up to the memorable 2022 International events at Ferrara and Celje. The content is aimed at newcomers to our hobby, as much as to the ’old hands’, and the aeromodellers are certainly not forgotten.
Review by Justin Wills
Dear Andrew, I have been reading your book celebrating 50 years of the VGC, and wanted to tell you how good I think it is. Everything, from the format to the quality of the photos, but, above all, the standard of the writing covering such a fascinating range of different aspects of the VGC. It was a very bold, ambitious undertaking, and has succeeded magnificently.I hope it proves as popular as it deserves. With best wishes, Justin Wills
Review by Markus Klemmer, from "VGC News" No. 169 - Winter 2023/2024
Just in time for the 50th birthday of the VGC, the participants of the rally in Aston Down were amazed by this work. To all those who could not be there, we would like to warmly recommend it here. However, VGC new is not the first magazine to recommend the book: "On Wooden Wings" was very well liked by Ben Dunnell, who is editor of Aeroplane magazine, and even made it Book of the Month!
After the publication of the book "The Vintage Glider Club" for the 40th anniversary to tell the story of the VGC and to trace it with pictures and data, "On Wooden Wings", according to the concept of Andrew Jarvis, is primarily designed to present stories about gliders and experiences of VGC members. This is intended to bring readers who know nothing about the association closer to the spirit of the community and at the same time the members should either get to know their own community anew or remember it. And with 82 contributors, this succeeds in a fabulous way!
A series of contributions deals with historical events in general ("Was this the World's First Gliding Club?), people (e.g. Otto Lilienthal, Jose Weiss, Robert Kronfeld, Derek Pigott) and glider (Clarke Chanute Glider, Vampyr, Spalinger, Hutter 17, Doppelraab, Rubik Cimbora, Fauvette) are introduced. It is about general gliding history, which should remain alive with the operation of historic aircraft. Other articles are taken from VGC News to present special experience reports from VGC meetings ("A Rally is born"; "From Slovenia to Austria - 3 times in the Kranich"; "Big Daddy: the "Barge with wings"). And finally, Andrew Jarvis know how to activate members to reflect on certain topics ("The Mini and me"; "One Mountain Falcon is never enough"; "Women in the VGC") related to the VGC. The result is a richly illustrated book that is entertaining on every page. Even after reading through it for the first time, it does not disappear on the bookshelf, but invites you to browse it again and again. If you don't have it yet, you're really missing out! - Markus Klemmer
Review by Simine Short, From the Winter 2023 edition of the Vintage Sailplane Association's 'Bungee Cord'
This 170-page soft-cover book, published as part of the VGC's 50th anniversary, was compiled by Andrew Jarvis, President of the VGC. It is a nice tribute to VGC founder, Chris Wills, as it highlights the adventure of flight from its very beginning to the current time.
The articles were written by club members from various countries; some authors are from the United States, so the VSA is represented. The articles discuss not only the VGC history, but also restoration projects, model gliders and past and recent vintage glider meets. Each story is accompanied by color photos or drawings, giving an international flavor. As a special treat, Ernst Schmutterer submitted his story, three pages of colorful cards and envelopes, flown by gliders at various meets around Europe. Many of these souvenir pieces were created by him, but he also showed some rare glider mail from the 1920's and 1930's. - Simine Short, VSA Bungee Cord Editor
Reviews from the December 2023/January 2024 edition of the BGA's 'Sailplane & Gliding'
Review by Paul Gentil
Once in a while a new gliding book comes along which is rather different from the norm. On Wooden Wings is just such a book, providing a wide-ranging survey of aspects of vintage and historic gliders and gliding.
It is a collection of articles written by many authors, and compiled by Andrew Jarvis, President of the Vintage Glider Club. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the VGC, which was founded by the late Chris Wills in 1973. It is a fascinating survey of the people, the places and the gliders that make vintage gliding, and indeed the history of glider flight, so interesting and appealing to many people worldwide.
I read this from cover to cover, but it is a book that can be dipped into at any time to rediscover something of the exploits of both the early pioneering pilots and current VGC members, and the aircraft they flew then, or fly today, with very modest performances compared with those of modern gliders.
The book is fully illustrated throughout with color and monochrome photographs, together with some delightful artwork by Tim O'Brien and Rachael Rutty. It is a splendid, attractive publication, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, and I commend it to anyone interested in the history of gliding and gliders. Well done, Andrew, for all your efforts in putting the book together. - Paul Rentil, Cotswold GC
Review by Glyn Bradney
This 172-page publication "Celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Vintage Glider Club 1973-2023" was released at the 50th VGC International Rally at Aston Down, 29 July - 6 August 2023. I must confess I'm absolutely amazed at the utterly huge effort that Andrew must have put in bringing this book together. There's 82 separate articles from almost as many contributors, covering all facets of vintage gliding since its inception through to the present day. What's stunning is the huge number of photographs, many of the later ones being of the very highest quality. in conclusion, I'm pretty sure the book will establish itself as an essential item for vintage gliding enthusiasts for very many years to come. - Glyn Bradney, Gliding Heritage Centre
Review by Gary Pullen
It is without doubt that a tribute to not only Andrew Jarvis but to the whole worldwide vintage gliding movement. I found the historic articles fascinating and the quality of the pictures excellent. It will take me quite a while to read all the 172 pages and articles thoroughly. I cannot praise this book enough; every glider pilot should have one on the coffee table. Yes, even those who fly glass! - Gary Pullen, Gliding Heritage Centre
Review by Dave Adams
It is a wonderful glimpse of what VGC is all about and for me, a perfect reminder of some of my own gliding experiences - the first rally at Hus Bos, the 1976 Dunstable rally, a beautiful photo of the Dunstable Prefect in which I have had a share for some time now, but most of all, the account of one of my most memorable flights, "Old Folks Outing" written by Ted Hull. There are also numerous references to people I have known and gliders I have flown. It's priceless! Thank you! Dave Adams
Review by Ian
I am still reading your book from cover to cover and cannot believe the amount of time you must have spent- it is truly a work of art , I wonder whether you could get it into public libraries - I am sure non-aviation people would find it a great read. Ian
Review by Tudor
Hi Andrew, Book has arrived. It is wonderful! Thank you! Kind regards, Tudor
Review by Renato
Andrew, the book has been delivered today . I got speechless when I gave a quick look at it! What a masterpiece! Fantastic book, really really admirable job. So happy!! Have a nice day. Renato
The Vintage Glider Club
For more information about The Vintage Glider Club, see their website here:
The Vintage Sailplane Association
U.S. sailplane pilots may also be interested in The Vintage Sailplane Association and their wonderful publication, "The Bungee Cord".
On Wooden Wings
- Brand: books
- Product Code: On Wooden Wings
- Availability: In Stock