In 2009 I got the opportunity to get a K-8b glider for free.
This glider had been hanging in a toyshop in the middle of Amsterdam since 2000.
It was still complete including its original trailer and all her paperwork but in need of an overhaul.
The K-8b in her first life in a hangar in Wiener Neustadt
OE-0693 flying between the Austrian mountains in the 1960's
The K-8b hanging in a toy shop in Amsterdam
The K-8b ready to go to her new home
It was planned to give her a complete overhaul but I decided to leave all the linnen intact as it was still in a good condition. Still there was lots of work to be done, damage on fuselage, wings, tail and canopy had to be repaired, safety belts had to be renewed and instruments and hooks had to be reconditioned.
K-8b OE-0693 in the workshop .... where to begin?
A good place to start: restoration of the topdecking
This looks better, no more holes and saw cuts
The first big job was getting rid of all the different kinds of blue paint on the frame and the interior of the fuselage. A neutral gray paint was to replace it.
Before: blue, blue and blue again
And after: cleaned and gray
Changing nationality from Austrian to Dutch was easy
Goodbye OE-0693 .....
Not every place is easy accessible
On the wings and ailerons several wood repairs had to be done, which meant hours of sanding and fitting before finally glueing could be done.
Glueing in some reenforcements first
Almost time to glue the patch in
The ailerons too were in need of some repairs
During the restoration the open trailer was replaced by a closed one formerly used for a Ka-6, but it turned out that the wings do not fit in unless the roof is heightened. So more work to come, but that will have to wait until the plane is ready.
Just 7 centimeters too low for the wings to fit
A new dashboard was built with a mix of old and new instruments and the new safety belts were installed.
Changes to the trailer came next.
The heightened roof has to be extended for the wings to fit in so a lot of welding had to be done.
Roof extension primed and ready for final coating
Final coating applied
Ready for getting a new top decking
The wings finally fit but now it turns out that the overall measurements of a Ka-6 are smaller than that of a K-8 so the stabilizer won't fit in the frame that came with the trailer. More work to be done. Luckily this could be done at home.
First the old lining is removed and then the openings are enlarged
Finished and ready to be mounted in the trailer
Still the work is not finished as the K-8's fuselage turns out to be 40 centimeters longer than that of a Ka-6, so either the rails in the trailer or the transport cart on which the fuselage is mounted have to be modified.
First time after restoration that all parts come together and it all fits
On the scales for weighing the aircraft to make a weight and balance report
Also made a nice toolkit to hold all bolts and tools needed in the field
The logo: a mix of Schleicher and humor because of the planes color (canary)
Walk around checks done, waiting for a chance to get in the air again
Preparing for the first takeoff
Finally airborne after more than 15 years.
Up up .......
and away ......
On final for the first landing.
A fine shot of this yellow beauty after the first flight