No. 9949. Schleicher Ka 4 Rhönlerche II (PH-236 c/n 154)
Photographed over the dunes west of Den Helder, the Netherlands, 1960, source unknown

Schleicher Ka 4 Rhönlerche II

06/30/2010. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau is one of the oldest manufacturers of sailplanes in the world. Its founder, Alexander Schleicher, was himself winner of the contest for training sailplanes at the 1927 meeting at the famous Wasserkuppe gliding centre.

In the same year he opened at Poppenhausen, near Fulda, Germany, a small factory for manufacturing gliders and sailplanes, two of his best-known pre-war products being the Rhönbussard (Rhön Buzzard) and Rhönadler (Rhön Eagle), designed by Hans Jacobs.

During WW II, the factory was engaged on the repair of Baby IIb sailplanes. At the end of the war, aviation activities were suspended in allied-occupied Germany, and Alexander Schleicher returned to his roots, using his factory to build furniture until the restrictions were lifted in 1951.

First flown in 1954, the Rhönlerche (Rhön Lark) II is a tandem two-seat training sailplane of very robust construction, which is suitable for aerobatic flying, including spinning. It has a fabric-covered steel-tube fuselage, with plywood-covered tail plane and fin, and fabric-covered rudder and elevators. The braced high-wing has a single-spar wood structure, with plywood-covered leading-edge torsion-box. Spoilers are fitted above the top surface only, and the wings have a Gö 533 section, with an aspect ratio of 10.3.

Pictured while flown by Jaap de Moor, this aircraft was produced in 1956 and registered as PH-236 it was sold to the Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Luchtvaart (KNVvL, Royal Netherlands Aeronautical Association), on June 1, 1956. It was immediately leased to the Zweefclub (Soaring Club) Den Helder at the NAS De Kooy near Den Helder, ownership was transferred to the soaring club on September 25, 1969, and it still is registered as such as of this day."

Created June 30, 2010