M.Simons The World's Vintage Sailplanes 1908-45
THE YANKEE DOODLE AND LK 10 (TG-4)
Jack Laister was born in Canada but was brought up in Michigan, and as a schoolboy had already built several gliders which flew well, although he lacked experience as a pilot. His design work attracted the
attention of George Lawrence, president of the Lawrence Institute of Technology in Michigan. Laister was offered, and gladly accepted, a scholarship at the Institute. He formed a student flying group very much on the lines of the German Akafliegs. His successful 'utility’ glider, the UG-2 P-2 was used by this group and two more were built from his plans by others. Meanwhile, Laister began work on a single-seat sailplane design. With help from a couple of student friends, the aircraft was completed. It was at first called, unromantically, the Lawrence Tech Sailplane. It was a ‘gull’-winged, high performance single-seater, with a wooden wing having an NACA 4418 aerofoil at the root, tapering to 4409 at the tips. The fuselage was a welded steel tube framed structure, fabric covered, and there was a well-streamlined, enclosed cockpit canopy. It flew in 1938 and was immediately successful. It went to Paris in 1939 at the invitation and expense of the Aero Club de France, and gave aerobatic displays at the Paris Air Show. For this occasion it was painted gaily in red, white and blue and was re-named Yankee Doodle. Back at home it became well known as a feature in air displays and pageants. Laister had graduated before this and flew the Yankee Doodle only once before going to work for Douglas.
Yankee Doodle: Span, 14.17 m. Wing area, 12.5 sq m. Aspect ratio. 16. Empty weight, 124.7 kg. Flying weight 214.3 kg. Wing loading, 17.14 kg/sq m. Aerofoils, NACA 4418 at the root, tapering to NACA 4409 at the tips.