OUGC’s history

OUGC was founded in December 1937 as part of the Oxford University and City Gliding Club. The club began operating from Cumnor Meadow in spring 1938, with distinguished Austrian pilot, Robert Kronfeld, as the club’s Chief Flying Instructor. Due to the persecution of Jews in Europe, Kronfeld had fled to Britain, becoming a British Citizen in 1939, and serving in the RAF as a Squadron Leader during the Second World War. Later in 1938, the club moved briefly to the Chiltern Ridge, between Aston Rowant and Lewknor, before the termination of sport flying at the outbreak of war.

The club reformed in 1951 at Kidlington, before moving to Weston-on-the-Green in 1956. The club then moved to the current site at Bicester in the mid 1970s, with just a single K7 glider, joining the Windrushers Gliding Club and the RAF Gliding and Soaring Association. The K7 had been obtained thanks to the generosity of local dentist, Peter Pratelli, who later assisted the club in buying a twin-seater Grob G103 Twin II, EGN. Both the K7 and G103 have since moved to other clubs. In 1986, OUGC aquired single seater Grob Astir CS, FEF, and 5 years later ASK 21, GAMFEF is still faithfully serving the club, while GAM was replaced by a ESB, also ASK 21, in 2016. In 2004, the RAF left Bicester, which was subsequently reclaimed by the Windrushers.