The Chicago Glider Club currently owns 4 sailplanes and 2 towplanes. We operate an "all glass" fleet, something very few clubs if any can claim in the USA. All club aircraft are very well maintained by CGC members and are always kept in the club's two hangars.
The club is constantly reviewing it's equipment needs as member needs change and as equipment ages. This review has lead to the club replacing sailplanes in the past few years; for example, the Duo Discus was purchased in 1999 to replace the Grob Twin Astir that the club had owned for several years, in order to provide a high-performance two-seater as a next step up from the mid-performance ASK-21. More recently, our ASW-24 was replaced by an Discus-CS, and in 2019 our older ASK-21 has been replaced with a new ASK-21B.
Prior to purchasing the Discus-CS in 2018, the club has owned an ASW-24 in 2008, a Pegasus in 1998; prior to that the club's single seater had been an ASW-19, and before that a Mini-Nimbus, which - being a 15 meter flapped sailplane - made an 'interesting' step up for members graduating from the two-seater ASK-21.
The club now owns three two-place sailplanes:
2 Schleicher ASK-21 sailplanes: Basic training and checkout is now performed in one of our ASK-21's.
The ASK-21, manufactured by Alexander Schleicher GmbH, is widely used by soaring clubs around the world as an intermediary trainer. CGC's second ASK-21B was purchased new from the factory in the winter of 2019.
Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus: The Duo Discus is quite easy to fly, but it is expected that adequate proficiency in other sailplanes be acquired before soloing.
The Duo is a high performance 2-seater with 20 meter wingspan, manufactured by Schempp-Hirth GmbH; the club bought it new in 1999 using loans from members, which have since been paid off in full.
CGC members pay only $20 per hour to fly this glider, which is a fraction of what one would expect to pay at a commercial operation!
The club's single-seat sailplane is a Schempp-Hirth Discus CS
The higher performance Discus CS requires previous flying experience in similar single-place sailplanes and/or getting experience in the ASK-21 and the Duo-Discus.
235 hp Pawnee
180 hp Christen Husky
During the winter months skis are often installed on the Husky towplane. It is then used for pilot proficiency and winter glider tows. The Super Cub shown on skis has been replaced, but it does show the club's runway covered with snow.
Many members own their own sailplanes and base them at the CGC gliderport. A trailer tie-down area for private ships is provided with sufficient space that ships can be assembled without moving the trailers.
The number of private sailplanes, which tend to be higher performance, cross-country type ships, on the field varies from 15 to 20, and currently includes one or more of the following: