|National origin||United Kingdom|
|Designed by||Hessell Tiltman & Nevil Shute Norway|
The Tern was designed by Hessell Tiltman & Nevil Shute Norway to gain records and publicity for the new Airspeed company, as well as to attract orders for new aircraft. Designed for hill and cloud soaring the Tern was a wooden and fabric cantilever monoplane. It was designed to be dismantled and was advertised for sale at £248 although only two were built.
On 24 August 1931 the Tern flew fom Stoupe Brow, Ravenscar to Scarborough to gain the first British distance record of 8.3 miles. Flown by Herr Carli Magersuppe the glider flew a total of 16 miles but only the straight line distance counts towards the record.
The Tern was constructed entirely of wood with a fabric covered two-spar cantilvered wing with even taper from root to tip and no dihedral. A plywood leading edge was fitted but only as an aerodynamic fairing and not as primary structure. The trapezoidal section fuselage had plywood lower sides and fabric covered top decking as well as a generous cockpit in the leading edge of the centre-section.
As noted above, the Tern had some success in establishing gliding records but only one was completed and parts for one more produced. After languishing through the Second World War the Tern was re-built, using parts from both airframes, but did little flying.
Data from The Sailplane and Glider
Comparable aircraft RRG Fafnir