A glider “fly-In” at Tullahoma Airport on the morning of Oct. 20 will precede the Quick-Goethert Lecture at 4 p.m. and banquet at 6 p.m. at The University of Tennessee Space Institute.
Glider enthusiasts who will be displaying and flying their aircraft will include Gary A. Flandro, UTSI professor who also will deliver this year’s lecture, Richard W. (Dick) Butler of Manchester, UTSI graduate who holds world and U.S. glider championship titles, and Leo Benetti-Longhini of Tullahoma.
“Leo holds an FAI world distance record for a recent flight in his Silent self-launching glider,” Flandro said, “and he is the U.S. representative for the Italian company that produces this beautiful machine.”
The UTSI soaring club will fly their two-place machine and may offer rides to the public if time and weather permit, said Peter Solies, an Aviation Systems professor and founder and chief flight instructor for the club.
Flandro’s and Butler’s friend, Gerhard Waibel, a world-renowned sailplane designer for the Schleicher glider manufacturing company in Germany, will attend. He and Butler are “creating the best glider in the world and are perfecting it in Manchester,” Flandro said.
Enthused that the glider event “ties in perfectly” with his lecture, Flandro said that Butler, who received his master’s degree in aerospace engineering at UTSI in 1972, is preparing for yet another world championship competition.
“We invited Gov. Phil Bredesen, an avid glider enthusiast, to bring his powered glider, and he said he really wanted to participate but his schedule forced him to decline,” said John E. Caruthers, UT associate vice president and chief operating officer of the Institute.
“We are calling this the Miller Wilder Glider Event in honor of a former UTSI student who was killed last year in an accident at a flight school in Arizona,” added Caruthers. He invited the public to attend the exhibition 10 a.m. until noon to see the gliders take to the air via automobile tow launch and then to attend Flandro’s lecture in UTSI’s auditorium as guests of the Institute. Peter Solies, associate Aviations Systems professor and founder and chief flight instructor of UTSI’s Soaring Club, said as time permits, he hopes to offer a few free glider rides during the celebration.
Flandro, a professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, has held UTSI’s Boling Chair of Excellence in Space Propulsion since 1991. He has stressed that his lecture, titled: “Spaceflight: New Pathways” will be “down to earth,” and he is hopeful that area high school science students will be among those attending the free lecture. About 100 persons have made reservations for the 6 p.m. banquet in the Industrial Student Center. No reservations are required to attend the lecture.
Flandro sees harnessing “the energy and resources that are available in abundance within our reach just outside the atmosphere” as key to man’s survival. First, he says, “we must identify new and more efficient pathways into space.” He will explore these possibilities in his lecture, which he will deliver again next year in Aachen, Germany. He visualizes man going beyond “merely exploring space to actually utilizing it to solve many of our growth problems here on Earth.” He sees the average person soon traveling into space “recreationally” as private industry assumes a greater role in man’s reach beyond Earth.
The lectures were established in 1974 by UT and the Technical University of Aachen in honor of the late B.H. Goethert, first UTSI director, and the late Ing. A.W. Quick from Aachen. Representing Aachen at this lecture will be Professor Ing Wolfgang Alles, Flight Dynamics Chair.
Flandro received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 1998 for his contributions “to the design and engineering of multi-outer-planet missions, including the Grand Tour opportunity of the epic Voyager explorations.”
A Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Flandro received the 1970 M.N. Golovine Award from the British Interplanetary Society in recognition of his discovery of the Voyager’s multiple outer planet mission opportunity. The U.S. Air Force gave him the 1981 Edward M. Glass Award for “outstanding propulsion research.” UT alumni and the National UT Alumni Association sponsor the lectures.