Dick Butler Makes First Flight in Concordia!

We are delighted to report that on Friday, May 25, 2012, at approximately 9:00 AM CDT, Dick Butler successfully completed the first test flight of Concordia. With his wife Sarah running the wing, DB launched from runway 18 at William Northern Field in Tullahoma, Tennessee and made a short tow to verify that the controls … Read more

Progress Report—February 2012

If you’ve been following the Concordia reports here in the Café, you know that Heinz Weissenbuehler and his team at M & H Soaring spent about six weeks finishing the fuselage at their workshop in Elmira, New York. Like all of you, Bill and I had seen photos of the finished fuselage, but when we saw and touched (nee caressed) the fuselage in Dick’s shop last weekend, we were blown away by the quality of the finish. I’ve never seen another sailplane with a finish that matched Concordia’s. Heinz and his staff did an extraordinary job on the fuselage. The photos and videos below don’t begin to do it justice.

Painting the Fuselage

In November, Heinz Weissenbuehler of M&H Soaring drove from New York to Tennessee to pick up the Concordia fuselage and transport it back to his workshop near Elmira for filling, contouring, painting, and polishing. Click here to read the Soaring Café report. Since then, Heinz and his crew completed the filling and contouring work and … Read more

Finishing the Fuselage

Heinz Weissenbuehler of M&H Soaring had a long weekend with an out and return from Elmira, New York to Manchester, Tennessee to fetch the Concordia fuselage, driving over 1,800 miles and 26.5 hours. With structural work complete on the fuselage it is now time to enter the next phase of the fuselage construction–to finalize aerodynamic contouring and then painting.

Ailerons, Flaps, and Winglets

On Thursday, October 20th, your editors traveled to Dick and Sarah Butler’s hilltop aerie in Middle Tennessee to catch up on the latest developments in the Concordia project. We were also eager to see Christian Striefeneder, whom we met last year while he was in Tennessee helping Dick with a critical phase of construction.

Concordia History

In the year 2002, sailplane designer Gerhard Waibel and competition sailplane pilot Dick Butler formed a pact to design an FAI Open Class sailplane. Their vision was to design an Open Class sailplane with maximum performance from a pure competition standpoint with no intent to go into serial production. The design of a sailplane always involves compromises … Read more