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Posted by BAF23 | Aug 14, 2019 @ 10:23 AM | 1,392 Views
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Schemp-Hirth Gouvier gliders

Black and white picture of the real 1953 Sabena gouvier in flight


During the thirties, soaring became popular but the basic period single-seaters only allowed slow student progress by short hops along slopes. Some two-seaters were developed but in 1937 the first flight of a side-by-side two-seater (developed from the Gö3 Minimoa) opened up a new way of introducing more people to soaring, and offering a better way of teaching. The Göppingen 4 (abbreviated by many to Govier/Goevier/Gouvier but with different pronunciation in German, Dutch and French) had flight characteristics similar to the popular Grunau Baby but at 92cm width, the seating felt rather cramped. Space had been maximized by the wing to fuselage blending root-shape to accommodate shoulder and elbows. That part could be ordered in resin impregnated jute (sackcloth), the very first use of ‘plastic’ parts in gliders. The Gö4 was very successful and used by the Germans to train candidates before they joined the Luftwaffe. After the war the factory developed and built the shorter aft-fuselage version Gö4-3 that didn’t need as much balance weights when flown solo. Of the more than hundred Gö4’s built, as of 2015, only 3 remained airworthy in Germany and 2 in the Netherlands.

In 1952 Belgium’s national soaring centre acquired Werk-nr 415, one of the 21 factory produced Gö4-3 and flew it unregistered till 1954. It then was registered OO-SZC by Sabena...Continue Reading