The events leading to the formation
of the Standard Class (originally called the Restricted Class) are somewhat
clouded with the passing of the years. However based on the best available
sources (Piero Morelli, Ian Strachan, Martin Simons and others) the following
chronology is as close to the truth as possible.
The first date when the concept of a Restricted Class (later becoming
the Standard Class) was discussed by the Commission Internationale de
Vol a Voile (CIVV) was at a meeting in Paris, France, in February 1957.
A design competition was devised and at the World Gliding Championships
(WGC) in Lezno, Poland, was the first Standard Class competition. Adam
Witek flying a Mucha Standard won it. During this competition the Organisation
Scientifique et Technique du Vol a Voile (OSTIV) jury inspected and flew
the various entries, with the ASK6 winning the design competition. Note,
The ASK6 was variously called K-6, Ka-6, Schleicher K-6, Ka-6br, Ka-6cr
etc. (K-6 is the GMI house style. Ed.) And the only certain thing
is that over 4000 were built. There were later designs, in particular
the Polish Foka series that out performed the ASK6, but none ever achieved
The K-6 photographed, like the other sailplane
pictures in this article, by Neil Lawson of The White Planes Co.
The design rules were quite simple. In essence they were, span
15 metres, no flaps or other camber altering devices, terminal velocity
limiting airbrakes, a fixed undercarriage, no jettisonable ballast,
no radio and no two-seaters.
The modern Standard Class sailplane came into existence with the
advent of Glass Reinforced Plastics (GRP). And the first production
GRP sailplane to fly in competition was the Bolkow Phoebus A. The
Phoebus was a development of the FS24 Phoenix, the first "plastic
sailplane". A Phoebus flew in competition in 1965, but I am
uncertain if this was a WGC Standard Class event.
First flown in 1967 and utilising GRP, the Glasflügel Standard
Libelle H201, a development of the "Open Libelle", rapidly
became THE glider in Standard Class competitions. For low time pilots,
the first off field landing was somewhat daunting, with the small
air brakes. Speed control being vital!
A long forgotten fact is that early Standard Libelles had a fixed undercarriage!
As did the Slingsby Dart 15. The Dart 15 was a composite construction,
largely of wood, but with a GRP nose. When retracting undercarri