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Welcome to MotorSpatz.Com, my name is Iain Mackay, this web site is dedicated to my brothers classic "Motor Spatz" motor glider, and its journey from neglected storage in a dusty rural hanger back into the air where it belongs. The Motor Spatz is a vintage German aircraft manufactured during the post World War II years when German aircraft makers were allowed to build only civilian aircraft. This particular aircraft has attracted a lot of interest since I published a page about it on my site Mopeds.Com. I recently pulled that page down and replaced it with this web site which I will use to document the life and times of this most unique vintage powered glider. Motor Spatz translates to Motor Sparrow, which is a very apt name for this beautiful and rare vintage aircraft. Like my brother, I am a fan of Motorized Gliders because of their versatility and efficiency, and I believe motor gliders are the mopeds of the sky. Powered gliders are either classed as "sustainers", which cannot takeoff on their own without an aero tow or ground launch, and "self launching", which are capable of taking off under their own power. Modern sailplanes require only a very small amount of thrust to maintain height and climb to soaring altitude, they can be launched from a short aero tow behind a glider tug, or even behind a car which simply overcomes the grounds rolling resistance until the glider is in the air. Many modern sailplanes are actually sold with a sustainer engine, because the relatively small investment in cost and weight of the small power assist engine will be paid off many times over in shorter aero tows, and even in avoided damage and hassle from forced landings. The motor spatz falls into the self launching category and can operate independent of assistance, other than someone to hold the wingtip and keep the wings level as it begins its takeoff run. This is the "story so far", of our Motor Spatz, and its steady progress back into the air.

My brother purchased the glider in Auckland for NZ $15000 after it had been restored following a reasonably serious crash. At the time the ship had been only test flown since its restoration, and we were keen to get it back into the air on a regular basis. At that time my brother was living in Hamilton, New Zealands fifth largest city, and he was a regular pilot at the Matamata Piako Gliding Club. He was flying three syndicated ships on a regular basis, and enjoying the ridge soaring on the Kaimai Range. He always longed to get into powered flight, but without his private pilots license, the only options were a motor glider, or micro light. He opted for the former when this aircraft became available, and now finds himself owning a very rare and unique aircraft. Upon arrival at its new home at Piako, and after the normal pre-flight checks, the first flight was made without incident but with the discovery that the Spatz was seriously tail heavy. The rearward center of gravity made for a hairy first flight, but thankfully no damage was done. Due to work commitments which included a relocation back to Auckland, the Spatz wasn't flown again, but was put into storage in one of the clubs hangers. Recently plans were put in place to rectify the tail heavy problem by converting the engine from manual pull start to electric start, the extra weight of an outboard motor starter, and battery should be sufficient to rectify the problem, but first we had to get it back to Auckland, a 250 mile journey by road trailer.

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The Motor Spatz in storage in the hanger where it had spent the previous three years. Hanging gliders from the roof of a hanger is a common way to avoid hanger rash, (damage), as activity can continue below without interfering with the stored aircraft. The Spatz sustained zero damage in a busy hanger for over three years.

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The first step of the journey home was getting it down, which was as it turned out easier said than done, the chain block was rusty and seized, the webbing straps were so tight they had to be cut, and of course the aircraft below had to be moved out of harms way, should the unthinkable happen, but we got her down in one piece.

Once out of the hanger, the Spatz had to be disassembled ready for its journey north. The canopy and wing faring were removed exposing the fuel tank. The wings were removed after the "Jesus" bolt was withdrawn, and the horizontal stabilizer needed only a squirt of CRC to ease its locating dowel free.

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We packed the disassembled glider onto an open glider trailer and hooked it up behind my trusty Honda CRX which is the most powerful car we had at the time. The CRX is a sports car and it had heaps of power for this load, and its brakes were powerful enough. The trailer is twice the length of the car, but is well balanced.

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About half way home we realized that although the fuselage was securely tied down, we had forgotten to tie it back in case of an emergency stop. We stopped in this scenic location and secured it with a rope from the wheel back onto the trailer. It was getting dark and the trailer had no lights, so the we were in a hurry to get home.

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We made it back as the light was fading, and decided to leave the job of unpacking the wings and stab until the following day, the Spatz new home is Auckland Gliding Club, about twenty miles south of Auckland City. We parked the glider and trailer in the hanger overnight, and headed out for a well deserved beer or two.

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The next day we got to the Airfield on a beautiful day, and hauled the trailer back out, we had to unpack the wings and stab, and remove the rudder. The fuselage was going back to my brothers house where he planned to make the electric starter modifications to the engine, in this picture we were ready to head home with the fuselage.

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The fuselage was a tight squeeze into my brothers double garage, but it fitted in nicely on a diagonal. We wasted no time getting stuck into the engine modifications. The engine is a Hirth 500 cc flat four cylinder two stroke with a reduction gearbox on the final drive which also incorporates the trust bearing.

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The engine modifications were carried out using parts from a similar capacity outboard motor engine and included: 1-Removing the engine. 2-Removing the pull starter recoil assembly. 3-Adding a ring gear to the flywheel. 4-Mounting a starter motor on a new plate alloy mount. 5-Fitting a starting battery. 6-Replace the engine.

Electrical modifications included removal of the pull starter assembly within the cockpit, and the addition of engine starter electrical components. This is a most important part because of the high current involved, any risk of fire could be fatal. To minimize this the starter motor solenoid was located in front of the firewall.

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In summary as this web site is published the Motor Spatz is yet to take back to the air, but we are almost ready to return the fuselage back to Ardmore and reassemble the aircraft ready for what will be it's first flight in over three years. We are just waiting for some good weather and a good day to take the fuselage back to the airfield on its open trailer. As soon as that next step is achieved I will add more pictures and commentary to this page. We plan to attend a number air shows over the coming summers The interest in this aircraft from the US and Europe has made the effort all worth while, thank you for visiting Motor Spatz Dot Com.

6 August 2006 - The Motorspatz is safe in dry storage while engine problems are resolved. A strip down revealed a some damage to the hard chrome cylinder lining in one of the pots. Thanks for all the email and encouraging comments regarding this classic machine. We have heard from Spatz owners around the world. Email comments to motorspatz@yahoo.co.nz

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�2007 MOTORSPATZ.COM

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