A Glider in a Garden?

Here at Biddle & Webb, we often come across the most remarkable stories in the most unassuming places. However, Mr Bob Arnold’s MK 2 Goevier is an exceptional example.

It is not every day that we are called to an original Schemp-Hirth WW2 glider in the back garden of a house in a cul-de-sac.

Mr Arnold, an avid pilot and glider enthusiast, kindly invited us to his home in order to get a closer look at the glider: his pride and joy of over 40 years. Measuring a mighty 7 metres in length, with an impressive wing span of 15 metres; the Goevier glider certainly makes for an unusual garden ornament. Constructed in 1943 by Martin Schempp and Wolf Hirth of ‘Sportflugzeugbau Schempp-Hirth’, a Göppingen based German glider manufacturer: Mr Arnold’s glider is believed to be the earliest surviving example of the Goeiver MK 2 sailplane.

Schempp-Hirth designed and successfully flew four variants of the Göppingen Gö sailplane between 1935 and the start of the Second World War. Mr Arnold’s MK 2 model, also known as the Gö 4, is most notable for its side-by-side seating and dual controls. For the first time, a two-seater was designed to give dual instruction: making the Gö 4 one the first contemporary training crafts. During the Second World War this type of Göppingen was manufactured as a training two-seater for the NSFK (National Socialist Flyers Corps) and the Wermacht Luft Gliding Units. Adapted by the Nazis, it was thought that the Gö 4 sailplane would play a pivotal role in the impending invasion of England.

So what was a German WW2 glider doing in Mr Arnold’s back garden, you may ask? A most wonderfully passionate collector of flight memorabilia, Mr Arnold is full of stories from his time spent in the sky:

‘I started gliding with my uncle, ex R.A.F and civilian glider pilot at the Midland Gliding Club, Shropshire in 1953 aged only seven. I flew off and on with him until I was fourteen. I joined the A.T.C in 1961 and started gliding T.31 gliders. By the age of sixteen I had gained my glider pilots licence, then joined Coventry Gliding Club in 1965 and flew then until 1995. In this period of time I had rebuilt the Govier and flew it for fourteen years. In 1989 I converted to microlight aircraft flying at the Staffordshire Aero Club, Penkridge.

I still enjoy flying today as much as when I started in 1953.’ 

  1. Arnold.

If you are interested in Mr Arnold’s MK 2 Goevier get in touch with Biddle & Webb at info@biddleandwebb.com or call 0121 455 8042 for more information.

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