No. 476. Pratt Read PR-G 1 LNE-1 (CF-ZCZ c/n 01-52)
Photographed June 1969, by Ron Dupas

Pratt Read PR-G 1 LNE-1

04/30/2008. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "This type has the distinction of being the only glider designed for the USN and one of the few side-by-side cockpit gliders ever designed, as stated by Seth Schlifer and Chuck Lund. The advanced training glider was designed in late 1941 for the Pratt Read & Company, Inc., as the PR-G 1, by a team of six aeronautical engineers and designers: J. Buxton, M. Gluhareff, R. Griswold, P. Leonard, R. Stanley and H. Struck.

The prototype flew early 1942, registered as NX41802, and was presented to the USN. It received BuNo. 31505 and the designation XLNE-1, and after testing a contract for 100 aircraft (BuNo. 31506 to 31585, 34115 to 34134) was awarded. Manufacturing took place at the new established Gould Aeronautical Division at Deep River, Connecticut and the first production aircraft flew in July 1942, eventually, a total of 76 PR-G 1ís were finished.

The USN transferred 73 of the gliders to the USAAF and designated TG-32, the s/n 43-39509 to 39578 and 43-43329 to 43331 were allocated, however never applied, and eventually the aircraft were sold via the Reconstruction Finance Corporation at Souther Field, Georgia. On March 19, 1952, one of the civil registered aircraft, N63174, flown by Laurence E. Edgar and Harold E. Klieforth from Bishop, California, established an absolute altitude record for two-seat gliders, reaching 44,255 ft (13,489m)."

01/05/2005. Remarks by Norbert Wethington: "There were 76 Pratt Reads manufactured. I have documented biographies on about fifty of them. There are about seventeen of them that still exist: one, in Virginia, is still airworthy; two are very close to being airworthy (in California and Michigan); six are on permanent display in aviation museums (in Connecticut, North Dakota, New York, Kentucky, Indiana and Washington); and the remaining eight (two in Texas, two in California, one each in Alabama, Michigan, Ohia, and Tennessee) are in storage in various stages of disrepair.

None are active in Canada anymore although the 'bones' of BuNo. 31519/CF-ZBJ may still be in someone's trash pile. Like the one in your photo, BuNo. 31557/ CF-ZCZ, the other three returned to the US. In fact, the one airworthy Pratt Read is BuNo. 31521/N2656X which was the very first glider civilly registered in Canada: CF-ZAA."

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