A very very basic glider.

While at Wallaby Ranch ( to learn how to hangglide i saw the work of Mick Robson. He was busy restoring a Superfloater. I have seen very little info about this basic glider on the internet and deserves to have more respect. So here is the page to honour the Superfloater and ...the modifications by Mick Robson.


Mick and the Superfloater just before a small testflight.

Lets view this remarkable glider area by area. Lets see what great ideas were involved into this very basic glider.



If you look at it, you will see it is not much of a cockpit. It has just what you need. A seat, a stick and pedals, harness, tow release and ...a trim devise. The latter is really a luxury.  :)

The cockpit. Not much, but need nothing more to just fly.

This stick is really awesome. By its simplicity! Just look how they separate yaw and pitch control. Can it be done easier? The rope you see here is the trim devise. I will explain that later in the tail section.

The pedals are very basic. No connection between both. You just need to push them forward to keep the cables under tension. But do that anyway, right. So ...who needs a connection???



Mick was busy covering a second Superfloater, so i had the luck of seeing how the fuselage structure was build. Again ...very basic.


The fuselage waiting to be covered again.

Detail of the tail

Detail of the center tube of the cockpit and the nose tube.


Landing gear

There is very little to tell you about it because it is so basic. Just a skid in the front with a wheel just behind it and a tiny wheel on the rear just in front of the rudder. The rear wheel does not rotate with the rudder movements. It is installed on the fixed tail part.


Rear wheel

The front skid

Rear of skid and the wheel behind it. Seen upside down. You also see the connections for the struts of the wing.

View of the wheel upperside. View is taken through the inspection hole in the side of the fuselage. You see the cables of the pedals running towards the rudder. They are nicely placed around the wheel.


Flight controls

You have seen already one picture of the stick. Ok, that tube that rotates goes inside the fuselage, where it is having a level which pushes a rod upwards. That rod pushes a lever which is installed just next to the central tube between the wings. That lever rotates a plate which pulls two cables which are connected to the aileron. It sounds difficult, but it is rather easy.


View inside the covered fuselage. The tube from the stick has two cables in it which continue backwards. The rotation of the tube is pushing the control rod upwards or downwards.

Neat the bottom of the picture you see the rod coming up. This lever besides the central tube pushes or pulls the plate at the front.

This plate pulls and pushes the cables which control the ailerons.

Inside the wing are wheels who guide the cables towards the levers on the ailerons.

One of the lever on the ailerons. There are many of these!

You see the cables come out of the wing and go to the levers.

Same thing happens at the underside of the wing.


I need to tell that the wing covering and the ailerons are a modification of Mick Robson. The original wing had a sock puled over the wingstructure. Some part at the rear of the wing structure changed the shape of the sock upwards or downwards. But was known to create deformations in the sock. It made the sock floppy at higher speeds. Mick changed that by covering the wing with a fixed fabric and using more rigid aileron. Nice thinking, Mick.


The cables of the pedals and the control stick go backwards and steer the elevator and the rudder in a conventional way. That black elastic cord is the trim devise. It helps to pull the elevator up. If you pull the rope in the cockpit, you put more tension on the elastic cord and it takes some of the force needed to hold the elevator in position.


Tow release

Another clever design. The tow line hook goes into a rope which holds a rope which holds a rope. The tiny rope at the end is being hold in place by a metal pin which can be pulled back by the nearly invisible handle. OK, now go back upwards to the first picture of the cockpit and try to find that handle before you scroll downwards here.


If i pull with 100 kg on the rope, the first rope splits half of the force. 50 kg to the fixed rope end, 50 kg to the roped end that holds the smaller rope. That smaller rope splits that 50 kg again. 25 kg to the fixed rope end. 25 kg to the smallest rope. That rope split it again. 12.5 kg at the fixed rope end, 12.5 kg at the rope end that is being held in place by a metal pin. So now you don't need a lot of force to release the rope by pulling the pin. I use 100 kg in this explanation. That is about 200 pounds. But i know the pulling force is less. The test flight i saw was done behind a car. The towline was being held by a person sitting inside the back of the car. So ...that could not have been 100 kg.

Aaaaand it is. The handle to pul the pin of the tow release. Did you find it yourself? :)



Mick saw my enthousiasm about this glider and made it possible to see it having its first testflights. It were car tows. Awesome to see that old glider do so good. Great work, Mick.

Mick getting ready for the first car tow. Wings still needs some coats of paint, but it was possible to have some short testflights. Thanks Mick to let me see the Superfloater alive.

Mick Robson, a super proud Superfloater restorer. And ...he deserves to be proud. Great work, Mick!