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Flightless glider used to train would-be pilots in 1944

Flightless glider used to train would-be pilots in 1944

May 1944: Non-flying glider, with Dick Weber at the controls, is towed at South Pasadena-San Marino High School.

Under the headline “School-built ‘Dodo’ gets test run,” this photo accompanied a May 20, 1944, article in the Los Angeles Times that reported:

It’s somewhat of an anomaly–an automobile-powered glider–but it does the training trick.

Built by the woodshop class at the South Pasadena-San Marino High School, the full-size little ship gives preflight instruction to prospective pilots, enabling them to learn the action of rudder, elevators and ailerons without leaving the ground.

Towed across the girls’ gym field by a car, it assumes a flying angle on stick control and turns and banks in proper response to other controls.

But it won’t fly – a special weight in the nose assures that.

Construction of the glider was started last Nov. 1 and completed this week under direction of Edgar Jacobs, woodshop teacher. It was turned over to the school’s preflight class.

The “dodo” in the original 1944 headline refers to an extinct flightless bird.

San Marino opened its own high school in 1955.

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