Bowlus BA-100

The Hawley Bowlus designed and manufactured sail plane was nicknamed the “Baby Albatross.” Conceived as an inexpensive glider more suitably priced for consumption during the Great Depression, the aircraft initially sold for $750 ready-to-fly, or $350 as a kit for amateur construction. Kits were produced between 1938 and 1944.

The wings and tail surfaces are of wooden structure covered in aircraft fabric, while the tail-boom is tubular aluminum. The cockpit pod is of molded plywood. The aircraft features no glide-path control devices, although some were later modified with spoilers. This example is kit aircraft number 11, and actually flew from the Torrey Pines Glider Port in 1951. Overall production of the BA-100 “Baby Albatross” totaled 156 kits delivered.

(This aircraft has been loaned to the San Diego Air & Space Museum by Wayne Spani.)


Crew: One
Wingspan: 44 ft. 6 in.
Wing loading: 3.3 lbs. per sq. ft.
Weight (Empty): 300 lbs.
Weight (Gross): 500 lbs.
Wing Surface: 150 sq. ft.
Glide Ratio: 20.1
Aspect Ratio: 13.2

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Subscribe to our E-Newsletter