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The LH image seen here was submitted by Peter Michel to the June '07 issue of James Parry's "Sticks and Tissue" Newsletter. I enhanced the detail as much as possible then cropped out the RH image to further enlarge the club logo on the model's fins. I'm sure I've seen that logo before?

It is said to show a group Slope Soaring somewhere on Continental Europe in 1932. The blonde guy on the right looks a bit Airyan to me and so does the scouting uniform, but then, is that a French beret in the forground and a couple of those caps look decidedly Dutch. Then again, the guy sitting down, is he wearing breeches from the Swiss/Italian Alps? Plenty of slopes there I reckon! Out of curiousity I posted the images to the "SAMTalk Forum" to see if the members there had more information. Here are extracts from two interesting replies received thus far:

"It seems to me that this photo could be of a German Modelling club at the Wasserkuppe in the early 1930's. The clue is the models held aloft in the background. They are similar to the training gliders used at the time in Germany. Also the model on the ground at the front, with the tall fin is a replica of another famous glider of the time. On top the general features of the boys, Alpine dress, etc. all point on that direction. There are no Hitler Youth uniforms so it MUST be before 1933." by Sergio Montes.

"The date makes me think its Die WasserKuppe in Germany. Not far from Ramstein, where I lived while going to high school and freshmans college." by Ned Nevels. Who added this Wikipedia link which throws interesting light on the subject., vis the following two extracts:

"The Wasserkuppe is a high plateau in the Rhön Mountains within the German state of Hessen. Between the 1st and 2nd World Wars, great advances in sailplane development were made there."

"Students from the Technical University began flying gliders as early as 1911, but interest in gliding increased greatly after 1918 when the Treaty of Versailles restricted production or use of powered aircraft. From 1920 onwards, annual gliding competitions were held, leading to records being set and broken for height, distance, and duration of unpowered flight. By 1930, the competition had become an international event, drawing pilots from all over Europe and even the United States."

Do you have any more information about this fascinating image and, more to the point, I wonder, have any plans or other images of these models survived to the present day? If so please let me know and I will update these pages for the wider audience.

1932 Photograph of Slope Soaring on Continental Europe

Slope Soaring 1932 in Europe
Slope Soaring 1932 in Europe

Click to

Enlarge

Ramon Alban

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