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Two Elected to US Soaring Hall of Fame

Octave Chanute (posthumous)

In 1884, Chanute retired from the railroad business. He became deeply interested in the exploration of flight. His first step was to accumulate all the information currently available about flying machines and then try to understand what had already been accomplished. He undertook w world-wide correspondence that resulted in a series of articles published as a book Progress in Flying Machines. In 1895, e began to realize that talking was not enough, he had to experiment with actual flight. With the assistance of others, he developed early gliders and undertook flights in the summers of 1896 and 1897. He was the first true American pioneer of soaring.


George Applebay

George is one of the unsung heroes of American soaring. Never one to seek the spotlight, he has been working tirelessly behind the scenes of our sport for nearly 50 years. Even today, as a man well in his 70's, he continues his efforts. His first sailplane design was the on-of-a-kind Chiricahua, a project he began in 1959 and completed eleven years later. Then, in response to the SSA's 1970 Sailplane Design Competition, he created the Mescalero, a sailplane with such modern features as a 21.9 meter wingspan and 100% mass balance, automatic control hook-up controls. He went on to design the 15-meter class Zuni, which, as Paul Schweizer wrote in Wings Like Eagles, was only the second all-fibreglass sailplane to be put into production in America. George has also established and built the U.S. Southwest Soaring Museum in Moriarty, New Mexico. The collection includes Ted Nelson's own personal Hummingbird motorglider - one of only four in existence and the only one still in flying condition. Additionally, George finds time to be active with many soaring organizations, including the VSA,and the SHA. He started a biennial event for vintage gliders, the Southwest Antique and Classic Rally, which is held in conjunction with the SHA workshop.

Posted: 1/17/2000 By: General News


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