Slingsby Tandem Tutor
The T.31 Tandem Tutor is a British military training glider, designed and built by Slingsby and used in large numbers by the Air Training Corps between 1951 and 1986.
Design and developmentOperational history
Chief customer for the T.31B was the Royal Air Force for Air Cadet training; its aircraft were designated as Cadet TX Mark 3. As it was so similar to their existing single-seaters, it allowed easy conversion to solo. The RAF took delivery of 126 TX.3s between 1951 and 1959.
It also found a market with civilian clubs in the UK, although most of these were built from kits and spares, using existing Tutor wings. T.31s were exported to Burma, Ceylon, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Rhodesia. In addition, small numbers were built in Argentina, Israel and New Zealand. The T.35 Austral was a one-off development with span increased to 15.64 m (51 ft 3¾ in), sold to the Waikerie Gliding Club in Australia in 1952
After the RAF Cadet TX.3s were replaced by GRP gliders in the mid-1980s, the fleet was sold off, but never gained the same popularity with civilian owners as the side-by-side T.21, being a cheaper glider designed for “circuits and bumps”, and only marginally soarable. Some were instead converted to simple ultra-light aircraft as Motor Cadets, with the front cockpit replaced by a Volkswagen or similar engine, and a three-point undercarriage.
Specifications (Slingsby T.31 Tandem Tutor)
Length: 7.1 m (23 ft 3½ in)
Wingspan: 13.2 m (43 ft 3 ½ in)
Wing area: 15.8 m2 (170.1 ft2)
Aspect ratio: 11.1
Wing profile: Göttingen 426
Empty weight: 176 kg (388 lb)
Gross weight: 376 kg (829 lb)
Maximum speed: 130 km/h (80.8 mph)
Stall speed: 61 km/h (38 mph)
Maximum glide ratio: 18.5 @ 73km/h (41.6 mph)
Rate of sink: 1.05 m/s (206.4 ft/min)