Flight of the XTG-11 Minimoa Sailplane

One thing that the “Cub Nuts” event had in spades (even more so than the Cub aircraft itself) was its abundance of die-hard American patriots. Participants at the event had a wealth of knowledge that went much deeper than simply mastering the complex mechanics of their aircraft. To our benefit, they were more than willing to share and expound upon their knowledge as the day’s event continued.

There were multiple displays of patriotism and historical tributes to the full-scale ancestors of certain R/C aircraft. One particular demonstration displayed the masterful tow and flight of the XTG-11 Minimoa. This unique glider is a model designed from the original aircraft which is currently hanging from the ceiling of the National Soaring Museum in Harris Hill, Elmira, New York. It is the perfect representation of a highly significant airplane in America’s history of WWII soaring aircraft.

During WWII, military strategists were anticipating the need to invade Japan and formulated a plan to safely and quietly deliver troops and cargo behind enemy lines. In preparation for this eventuality, the original, full scale version of the Minimoa was used as a soaring trainer for pilots that would be flying CG-4 cargo gliders. Essentially, the CG-4 would be towed behind a C-47 across the Mediterranean, set loose to silently glide in and find a safe landing spot.

The military soon realized that there was a big difference between piloting a CG-4 and pilots who could fly a sailplane. There’s no “thermaling” skill required when being towed behind a C-47. The plan was deemed obsolete. The platform focus then turned to training pilots on TG-6 Taylorcraft and TG-8 Piper Cubs, creating great CG-4 pilots.

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