Replica of Douglas Glider on display

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Posted: Friday, April 5, 2013 12:00 am

A very authentic replica of the first ever plane built in Douglas is on display this month at the Douglas Government Center on G Ave.

Arizona Author/Historian Arvin Schultz and designer Richard Ivansek have been working on the project for over a year.

They were in Douglas several months ago asking for the publics help as far as providing pictures or information on the glider.

In the original article that appeared in the Douglas Dispatch Schultz said Douglas played a very important role in the history of aviation.

“In 1908 there was a group of eight to nine different people in town known as the Douglas flying club. … together these people built what is known today as the Douglas Glider,” Schultz said

The first phase had no motor or wheels and was pulled by horses running down 15th Street between A and Washington Ave. Once it would get airborne, it would break free from the harness that attached it to the horses and fly for several minutes before coming back down, landing on its skids.

According to local history people would pay money to watch this event.

Later on a motor and wheels were added to the glider making it an actual plane known as the Douglas flyer. It was then converted into the Douglas Bomber and used in the Border war from 1910-20.

The glider is an estimated 20 feet long and has a wing span of 28 and a half feet at the top; 24 and a half feet at the bottom.

It is made mostly of rattan and bamboo.

The glider is actually flyable but neither Schultz nor Ivansek are willing to take a chance on damaging something that has taken months to build.

There will be a special reception held Wednesday, April 10 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. where people can view the glider and meet the two men who helped design and build it.

The exhibit itself will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • anonymous posted at 6:41 pm on Fri, Apr 12, 2013.

    anonymous Posts: 0

    Hats off to the Douglas Rotary Club and some key members who laid the groundwork for this display. The Rotarians and the Centennial Committee worked for over 2 years to bring a month-long Centennial celebration to our community in October 2012. One of the projects - of many - that they arranged and funded was the invitation, transport, and display of the Douglas Glider for the Fly-In Pancake Breakfast on October 6th, 2012. If it were not for the organizational and marketing efforts of Kathleen and Kristine Gomez, this restored treasure piece of our rich aviation history would not be on display at 425 10th Street and G Avenue today. Why not? Because vision begets vision for all to see what is possible and available to be built upon. Thanks to ALL past and present who dreamed the dream and laid the foundation to bring this project to its current fulfillment for all to enjoy!

  • anonymous posted at 4:40 am on Fri, Apr 12, 2013.

    anonymous Posts: 0

    Thanks to the builders of the Douglas Glider and the City of Douglas for sharing this bit of aviation history with the public. Arv Schultz and Richard Ivansek are to be commended for their dedication to preserving history!

  • anonymous posted at 3:11 am on Tue, Apr 9, 2013.

    anonymous Posts: 0

    The aviation history in this corner of the southwest has a long and varied history, unknown to many. It is gratifying to see this piece of history preserved for all to enjoy.