Books and Documentation

Workshop Practice For Building and Repairing Wooden Gliders and Sailplanes


The English Translation of the German classic, Werkstattpraxis für den Bau von Gleit-und Segelflugzeugen by Hans Jacobs and Herbert Lück.

How do you build, maintain and repair wooden gliders? Hans Jacobs (designer of Weihe, Meise, Kranich, Habicht, and many more famous sailplanes of the 1930s and 1940s) wrote the book, called Werkstattpraxis, to aid the growing sport of gliding in Germany in the early 1930s. Its effect on pre-World War II glider building was electrifying. He updated it several times up through the 1950s, always in German. Today the book is as applicable as ever for those maintaining and restoring wooden vintage sailplanes or aiming to build new wooden gliders or vintage replicas.

Translated edition includes an Addendum of up-to-date information prepared by Neal Pfeiffer, Ph.D., for those wanting to produce or repair wooden sailplanes in today’s world, a valuable addition for safety and convenience. An expanded Appendix highlights thirteen vintage German glider types from the 1930s and 1940s each with photo and 3-view drawing.

Hard, full-color cover, 384 pages, with 338 black and white figures and gray scale photos. Editors: Neal Pfeiffer and Simine Short. Published by the Vintage Sailplane Association, July 2016.

Price $47 (US) or €45 (Europe) plus shipping and handling from: Vintage Sailplane Association: ( in the United States and at select vintage soaring meets; Cumulus Soaring: ( in the US and EQIP: ( in Europe.

Prices in shopping cart below show $53.00 including domestic postage within the United States and $77.00 including international postage for shipment to points outside the US.

Shipping Option

For more information: Jim Short <>


Hans Jacobs – Pionierleben im Flugzeugbau (Pioneer Life in Aircraft Construction) – Volumes 1 and 2 (2 book set)
Author: Peter Ocker
Hans Jacobs was a famous German sailplane designer from the early days of glider development. He designed many of the classic sailplanes which stand-out in history – such as: Rhönadler, Rhönbussard, Rhönsperber, Sperber, Sperber Junior, Sperber Senior, Seeadler, Kranich, Kranich II, Habicht, DFS 230, Reiher III, Weihe, Meise (Olympia). This fantastic two-book set covers his life and design work. On the books’ 648 pages you will find 557 great black and white photos. Although the book is written in the German language, Photo captions for every photo are provided in English in the included printed documents. The photos and captions give a good overview of Hans’ life and design achievements. These books will be enjoyed by anyone interested in vintage sailplanes. Details and images from the books are available at: The two-book set is available for $145 plus shipping. ANNOUNCEMENT: VSA Intends to offer the NEW ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDITION of Hans Jacobs’ famous 1930’s wooden sailplane building and repair classic WERKSTATTPRAXIS during the second quarter of 2015. Watch this space for more details.

Vintage Sailplane Magazines and Books.
Over 200 books on soaring in English, German and French. Magazines include West Wind, Sailplane & Glider, VGC News, Bungee Cord, Aerokurier, Flugsport, etc. Please contact Hans Disma at

Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West (2012) by Craig S. Harwood and Gary B. Fogel.
An extensively researched biography of John J. Montgomery and his efforts in aerodynamics and aviation in the 1880s through 1911. As a scientist researching the laws of flight, Montgomery invented basic methods of aircraft control and stability, refined his theories in aerodynamics over decades of research, and brought widespread attention to aviation by staging public demonstrations of his gliders. After his first flights near San Diego in the 1880s, his pursuit continued through a series of glider designs. These experiments culminated in 1905 with controlled flights in Northern California using tandem-wing Montgomery gliders launched from balloons. These flights reached the highest altitudes yet attained by man, and helped change society’s attitude toward what was considered ‘the impossible art’ of aerial navigation. Additional information is available at the publishers website at: book is also available on or via Barnes and Noble.

Locomotive to Aeromotive. Octave Chanute and the Transportation Revolution (2011), by Simine Short.
The first in-depth look at an influential engineer and soaring pioneer. French-born and self-trained civil engineer Octave Chanute designed America’s two largest stockyards, created innovative and influential structures such as the Kansas City Bridge over the previously “unbridgeable” Missouri River, and was a passionate aviation pioneer and experimenter whose collaborative approach to aeronautical engineering problems encouraged others, including the Wright brothers. His successful gliders of 1896 and 1897 influenced glider flight and design for decades. Additional information is available at the publisher’s website. The book is also available through or


Classified Advertisements are provided free to VSA members. Vintage Sailplane related items only. To list your ad contact our webmaster: