Updated November 2007
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a detailed history of each Sagitta ever registered in
Click on "Brochure" will show original brochures and more historic literature.
is about the 1963 worlds.
"It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill" - Wilbur Wright
Dutch sailplane factory: NV Vliegtuigbouw.
NV Vliegtuigbouw was started by Mr. A.L. Bauling, the promotor of Aeroclub Teuge, when he realised that pilots in Holland needed more Baby's and he saw an opportunity to build several 10's of them. Production started in 1936 under supervision of Mr. Wijkens in an attick, later in a large shed. After production was well going on they hired Mr. Snellen as designer to build the -at that time- very modern V-20. Unfortunately only one was ever built, see picture. If anyone has any pictures or more information regarding this one, please contact us. The V-20 featured a robust Göppingen 535 profile for the wing, wich was attached to the fuselage with struts. Stall speed was 45 km/h (24 knots) and best glide angle (L/D) was 1:23. Very good indeed in the era of Olympia's. Besides the V-20 they also built a two-seater Grunau-8 and a trainer glider of type "Universal". Baby's however always stayed the main production line. In total 16 Baby's where delivered to Dutch gliding clubs. These Baby's are often called Bauling Baby's. They have a larger and different shaped rudder than Fokker Baby's and other ones. After WW2 they started again, this time based at Teuge airfield, with a series of high performance gliders, the Sagitta. (source www.grunaubaby.nl)
is that in 1952 the at that time 17 year old Ed van Bree
flew Bauling Baby PH-45 from Heerlen to Langewiese, a
distance of 176 km. Ed would later become an important
ambassador for the Sagitta, flying many displays with the
fully aerobatic Sagitta, often inverted a few metres above
the deck. It must have been an impressive sight, as these
displays were still in memory of the webmaster when he
purchased his own Sagitta almost 40 years later... Ed
participated in the world champs 1963 in Argentina and
competed with the Sagitta against 22 K-6's, Foka-4,
Edelweiss, Vasama and other hot ships of those days.
He gave an impressive display both at the opening day and
last day of the world championships and ended up 31st place.
This picture shows Ed on the right, with Jan Selen in the
cockpit (uncle of -many many years later- world champion
Piet Alsema and the Sagitta.
Not very much is known about designer engineer Piet Alsema, here pictured in the cockpit of PH-280 (thank you Erica Alsema, for the confirmation). Piet passed away in 1971. At the design stage of the Sagitta he was general manager of NV Vliegtuigbouw and three years of planning and design cumulated in what was supposed to be one of the world's best gliders in the standard class (restricted to 15 metres span). It turned out to become one of the last wooden high performance gliders, before glassfibre as a construction material took over completely. It also turned out to be the only high performance single seat glider design ever to be series produced in Holland. Besides sleek lines which made it a good looking machine, it had some very modern features and an unusual airbrake design. The pin to lock both tailplane halves together hides in the tailfin. The canopy has a 360 degrees view and slides open backwards. It can be flown open in several fixed positions. The wheel has a brake. All controls connect automatically upon assembly (although this is not without danger - care should be taken that the levers slide rightly into the forks when the wings are mounted to the fuselage).
The first prototype, registered PH-266, was flown by Mr. Bauling on the 4th of June or the 4th of July 1960, and the first production model, named Sagitta 2 and registered PH-280, stood finished 24 November 1961. In 1964 a 17 metre version, the Super Sagitta, was build on request of a Belgian pilot. Only one was ever built, and it was later exported to the USA.
This picture, kindly borrowed from the website of the Amsterdam Gliding Club (ACvZ), shows Piet Alsema second from left. It was taken by Len Bosman shortly after WW2 with Prince Bernhard seen at the right in the cockpit of a Goevier that survived the war. Instructor is Jan Vastenau.
Below Piet Alsema is seen at the tail of a Fieseler Storch borrowed from the prince and used as a towplane the same day.
Piet inspecting the wreck of a Grunau Baby and already making plans with Jan Bosman how to rebuild it (it was flying again within a year). Thanks for these pic tures to Len Bosman, who together with his brother Jan were more or less the official photographers of the Amsterdam Gliding Club in the 40's. Click the pictures for a larger image.
A recent photo of the birthplace of all Sagitta's, taken at Teuge airfield.
This is the original factory where all Sagitta's were built. The shed is beautifully restored and is now in use as workshop for the Gliding Club Teuge.
Click picture for more images.
Thanks Charles, and thanks to Teuge's technician who took the pictures.
A bit more about the Standard Class. Source: Zweefvliegen II from Wim Adriaansen, The Netherlands
The standard class was created out of the need for affordable and simple gliders, that could be used for both competition and club flying. The idea for this class was born at the Organisation Scientifique et Technique Internationale du Vol a Voile, in short OSTIV. This organisation handles all sorts of technical issues, and one of them was to define the specifications for the standard class, started in 1956. Up to 1956 all championships were flown in single seat or two seat classes. The standard class was first flown in 1958. The goal was to stimulate design of cheap and safe gliders, cheap to repair as well - and thus stimulate gliding all over the world. Here are some of the specifications:
After each world gliding championships the OSTIV-award will be presented to the design that best meets these criteria. This happened first time ever in Poland in 1958, when Alexander Schleicher received the award for the Ka-6. In 1960 it was awarded for the Standard Austria and later on for the Finnish PIK-16 Vasama. Competing gliders from that time were Foka, Ka-6, Sagitta, Austria, the Australian ES-59 Arrow, EON 460 and many others. According to Harrie Wiertz (technician and crew of the Dutch team in Argentinia; he died in 1984) failing to win the OSTIV award was due to sanding the wings wet, causing all surfaces to buckle in the burning Argentine sun. The paint coatings were already way too thin, and the water definitly ruined it. It wasn't a nice sight and one of the biggest disappointments in his life. (source Harrie Wiertz jr.)
Standard Class in comparison:
Sagitta 2, Sagitta 013 and Super Sagitta.