Olympia wrote:What is the difference between the K8 and the K18? I flew 18's a lot at the LGC in the late 70's. Nice little plane and I did my distance in one. From memory it seemed to handle better than either of my Olympias (2b and 463) and it thermalled very efficiently.
The k18 was just about the last of the new fabric design gliders and it was a beaut. the one we had at our club had ben pranged and always flew left wing low but it was a joy to fly. I've just been looking at my logbook and the first flight I did in one, the airbrake handle came off in my hand on approach.....it had a 16 meter wingspan, the 8 had a 15 meter, plus the 8 was basically a single seat 13 whereas the 18 was a little more refined. 34 to 1 glide.
The K8 is my favourite glider of all time. I'm half the weight of a K8......I did all of my silver tasks in an 8, they didn't allow you to use a super speed machine to do your 50K at my old club, you had to do it in an 8 with no aids other than a map and the frankly pathetic E2B. I used to be an aircraft engineer so I volunteered to compass swing the 8 one day....a bit of a waste of time when moving the stick forward produced a 20 degree deviation.....
All of my most memorable flights have been in an 8. I've scratched around over garden bonfires in an 8. Although I enjoy the high speed machines, there's something infinitely satisfying about keeping an 8 up in no sky whatsoever when everything else is on the ground, flying it with no room for error at all. I'd rather do an hour in an 8 in ultra marginal conditions than a 500K. But then we all get different things out of gliding, that's the beauty of it. And I've never done a 500k.