Introduction to gliding

Gliding is the most graceful form of flying relying only on the elements of nature just like sailing a yacht in the ocean. Gliding attracts people of all ages, you can go solo at 15 and still be flying at 80. 

Pilots use thermal up draughts to gain height and rely on the high glide ratio of the aircraft to cross large distances with the minimum loss of height. Glider are used to fly cross-country, perform aerobatics, or just fly gently through the air and experiencing the quite beauty of soaring flight.

Gliders are launched into the air by aerotow (dragged up behind an aeroplane) or winch launched (flung in to the air on the end of a rope). For more about launching go to this page.

Have a look at the video below to see what gliding is like.

Cross country

Cross country flying is flying away from the home airfield, using thermals to gain lift in order to fly further. Distances of 1000km are achievable. For more about flying cross country have a look at the cross country page or the galleries for pics and videos from cross country flights.

But I'm busting!

There are no toilets in gliders. But there are work-arounds. Here is a link to information on what women can do to avoid outlanding to pee: info for women. As for men: info for men.

Outlanding and retrieving

Any glider flight may end with an out landing which means landing wherever you can. Being prepared and knowing what you are looking at are key to a successful outlanding.

For outlanding stories to show that they are possible and can be fun go to our Stories collection and prepare to be regaled!