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Applebay Zuni Glider

FI-0001-Bison-Airlines-Aero-Commander

Model ID#:

0595

YEAR:

Airline/Service:

Name:

N/A

Classification:

Type:

Manufacturer:

Designation:

Zuni

MODEL BY:

P. Klein

Model Scale:

N/A

MODEL ADDED:

N/A

historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1980

SKU: Model-0595 Categories: ,

Additional Information:

Applebay Sailplanes was an aircraft manufacturer founded by George Applebay and based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company specialized in the design and manufacture of ready-to-fly certified sailplanes as well as some experimental models. George Applebay’s first sailplane design that was constructed is the Applebay GA-II Chiricahua that was first flown in 1970. The aircraft was a wood and fabric glider but only one Chiricahua was eventually built. In 1975 he designed and flew a prototype of the Applebay GA-111 Mescalero, a metal and fiberglass FAI Open Class glider. Although the Mescalero was targeted for production, Applebay decided to concentrate on his next design, the all-fiberglass Zuni and only one Mescalero was ever completed.

This competition which created the Mescalero helped Applebay design a fibre-glass FAI 15m Class glider which became the Zuni model. The Applebay Zuni and Zuni II, named for the Zuni people, were single-seat, water-ballasted gliders designed to compete in the FAI 15m class. Flight testing of the Zuni design started in November of 1976 and the aircraft was put into production by a new company Applebay formed called Aero Tek. The aircraft in late 1976 performed well in regional competitions but a fatal accident resulting from structural failure in May 1977 forced Aero Tek out of business by 1978. The Zuni production continued with a newly created company, Applebay Sailplanes. With the improved Zuni II, the Kevlar construction was introduced, but production ended in 1983 after only a total of 20 Zuni models completed.

The two Zuni Models (I and II) were built as Applebay increased production to 4 gliders per month. In 1980, the company moved the production to a factory formerly occupied by Gulton Industries in Albuquerque. Glider number N-22-HL was the first production unit.
In 2000, George Applebay was inducted into the Soaring Hall of Fame and went on to found the US Southwest Soaring Museum in Moriarty, New Mexico, which was conceived in 1995 and opened in 2006. In February of 2015, the New Mexico State Legislature named the Zuni the Official State Glider. George Applebay died in April of 2015 at the age 89.

Most of the glider flying in the Albuquerque area is conducted east of the city at the Moriarty Municipal Airport.

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