Schlagwort-Archive: Glider

HpH TwinShark is EASA certified

TwinShark has officially received EASA certification, marking a significant milestone on the 60th anniversary of the first official flight of the iconic Libelle H 301.

„HPH is immensely proud to continue the rich tradition of Glasflügel and contribute to the gliding community by developing technically and technologically advanced gliders. The team is proud to offer cutting-edge aviation technology, combining a rich legacy with modern excellence. Discover the thrill of innovation with TwinShark, where history meets the future“! Source: ‚HpH sailplanes‚.

5th Season for Airbus Perlan Mission II

Airbus Perlan Mission II, the world’s first initiative to soar a pressurized, engineless glider into the highest areas of the stratosphere, is celebrating the close of its fifth flight testing season following eight years of history-making accomplishments in aerospace exploration, sustainability and innovation.

-> Video

An international team of aerospace experts led the Perlan 2 experimental sailplane to four world record-setting altitudes, including a top point of 76’124 feet on Sept. 2nd, 2018, above the Andes Mountains near El Calafate, Argentina. This achievement established a new world aviation altitude record for the highest subsonic flight in a winged, crewed aircraft. By doing so in a zero-emission aircraft, the team also demonstrated the remarkable potential of decarbonized aviation. Operated by Nevada nonprofit The Perlan Project, the two-seater Perlan 2 is flown by chief pilot Jim Payne together with pilots Tim Gardner, Miguel Itermendi, and Morgan Sandercock, who is also the program’s chief engineer.

The Perlan 2 glider is a uniquely well-suited atmospheric research platform, given its lack of emissions. Onboard instrumentation and experiments in its science bay collect data on stratospheric weather, radiation, air quality and other information that could help improve current climate change models.

The Perlan program and its partners have also researched every flight into conditions found at extreme altitudes that may impact aviation efficiency, flight safety and our planet’s weather. The wide range of scientific inquiries includes the use of:

  • Artificial intelligence to analyze flight paths through complex stratospheric wave systems.
  • Infrasonic microphones to detect and avoid severe turbulence.
  • Instruments to detect radiation coming in from space that could interfere with airborne electronics
  • Radio occultation instruments use the strength of signals from satellites to measure atmospheric humidity.

This season, over a dozen experiments built by students participating in the Teachers in Space aerospace STEM program across the U.S. flew aboard the Perlan 2 and the initiative’s high-altitude Grob Egrett tow plane and high-altitude research aircraft, operated by AV Experts LLC, which tows the Perlan 2 off the ground to begin its flights.

About Airbus Perlan Mission II
Airbus Perlan Mission II is an initiative to fly an engineless glider to the edge of space, higher than any other winged aircraft that has operated in manned, level flight, to open up a world of discoveries related to high-altitude flight, weather and climate change. This historic endeavour is the culmination of decades of research and engineering innovation, and the work of a tireless international team of aviators and scientists who volunteer their time and expertise for the non-profit The Perlan Project. The initiative, based in Minden, Nevada, is supported by Airbus and a group of other sponsors that includes Dennis Tito, Weather Extreme Ltd., Raytheon (United Technologies), BRS Aerospace and Thales. Source: ‚PerlanProject‚.

3 Top Gliding Tips & Tricks

Author Adam Woolley

I started gliding through my family, and since solo I’ve been flying for 24 years now, amassing 3500hrs soaring experience. So many tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, in this article I plan to share with you some random experiences and thoughts on them!

Clear your head
When it comes to going cross country, it really helps to have your head clear of any doubts, because then you are really able to focus on your flight and nothing else on the ground. Have you arranged a crew for the day? If not, then this should be done before you arrive at the airfield, but if that’s not possible, then on the day is okay, though get this out of the way early. You’ll also want to check the condition of the trailer, especially if it’s a club trailer. Finally, have you filled up the car with fuel? Friends don’t mind coming to pick you up from the field, but if they’ve got to put fuel in the car and chase down wing stands etc. before setting off, as you can imagine this isn’t ideal…

Build a new panel
This is always an exciting time, customising your panel. It took me three panels, hundreds of hours, & multiple gliders to get my panels perfectly aesthetically pleasing, and functioning exactly as I like. So don’t expect to get it right the first time, though what I would like to say is that it’s important to start building your panel around your favourite vario first, then moving to your flight computer, and finally with the legalities of ASI, altimeter, radio, etc. When thinking about where to place your chosen instruments, consider how you like to scan your instruments when cruising and climbing. If you can reduce your scan rate, this will improve safety and also your fatigue levels. When I race, because I’m right-eye dominant, I have my scan focused on the centre and right of my panel, with superfluous information located on the left side.

Outland on purpose!
The end of winter is approaching, you’ve been practising for your first summer of cross-country flying, though you’re a little nervous about your first real outlanding. You can feel that you are being too timid, that you are restricting yourself while flying because you are worried. These feelings are normal, I had them too. When you finally do your first outlanding, a huge relief comes over you, then you think, that wasn’t so bad, what was I worried about?! So what can you do to help yourself? Find someone else in your situation at your club and arrange a day that you help each other to fly the following exercise, then retrieve each other. First of all, read my previous outlanding articles (GET HIGH STAY HIGH, PADDOCK SELECTION, and OUTLANDINGS: DO’S AND DON’TS), then take a tow to 4000’agl and set off in a direction without thermalling & towards known fields. Don’t outland in the field where you did your outlanding check as this will defeat the purpose. By taking a 4000’ tow, you’ll be able to go through all the thoughts I describe in my previous articles. I hope you found some of these key small articles interesting and helpful, I enjoyed writing them for you. Source: ‚Adam Woolley in Wings & Wheels‚.

Lifetime Extension for Puchacz SZD-50-3

Developed and manufactured between 1976 and 2014, the SZD-50-3 PUCHACZ glider remains one of the primary training platforms for a broad variety of training programs. Allstar PZL Glider, Type Certificate Holder (TCH) for SZD-50-3 decided to develop the present program to extend the lifetime of PUCHACZ gliders and to meet the demands of the flying clubs. After the said program is implemented, the lifetime for the design may be extended to 12,000 flight hours.

This program relates to a detailed inspection of the airframe structure and systems specifying the maintenance procedures and defining required repairs and replacement of glider components to ensure their functionality and reliability.

The serial production of PUCHACZ has been stopped, but Allstar keeps all moulds and tools in stock, even to provide structural parts like fuselage and wings etc. Allstar PZL Glider continues to provide all spare parts for PUCHACZ over an extended lifetime. Pilots and clubs who would like to take advantage of the next higher level of performance are advised to have a look into the SZD-54-2 PERKOZ, the successor of PUCHACZ. The PERKOZ stands out due to its unique combination of excellent flight characteristics and its simple, safe handling in all conditions. This universal two-seater glider is available in two wing spans: for cross-country with a 20-meter wing span and with a 17,5-meter wing span for unlimited aerobatic manoeuvres as described in the Aresti Catalogue. PERKOZ – the “Dream Ship for Every Club”, according to Uli Schwenk, presents itself as an exceptional cost-efficient machine. Source: ‚SZD Allstar Website‚.

Scotland’s Aviation Pioneer Percy Pilcher

You can be forgiven if you do not know who Percy Pilcher was. He was a British 19th-century aviation pioneer who was born in England and worked in Scotland. He has an important place in the early history of aviation – which was close to being much more significant if it were not for his untimely death.

Developing hang gliders in Scotland
Percy Pilcher was born in Bath in England in January 1867. His early years (from just 13 years old) saw him serving in the British Royal Navy, then later becoming an apprentice engineer working at the shipyards in Glasgow, Scotland. His interest and work in aviation began in 1891, after he became a lecturer at Glasgow University, teaching naval architecture and engineering. This was obviously very early days in aviation, years still before the powered flight began. There was plenty of experimentation and work with gliders and flight, however, and he became involved in this.

He built his first glider, the “Bat,” in 1895. After partnering with the experienced US aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal (often referred to as the “father of aviation” with his successful first glider flights from 1981), he went on to produce three more gliders.

His most successful glider was the “Hawk,” which he developed by 1986, and set the distance record for flight (250 meters) when flown in England. The Hawk was made of fabric, bamboo, and wire (with some of the manufacturing and assembly being done by Percy’s sister, Ella Pilcher. It had a wingspan of 7.51 meters and a total length of 5.64 meters.

A vision for powered flight
As well as gliders and wing design, Pilcher was interested too in powered flight. He designed a triplane that he intended to power with a small combustion engine. Such an aircraft never flew, although his proposal was more than just ideas. He did significant work on engine possibilities. He worked with fellow engineer Walter Gordon Wilson on engine design (for both vehicles and aircraft), which led to the formation of the Wilson-Pilcher Company. Under Wilson’s charge, and after the death of Pilcher, the company produced its first automobile in 1900 and went on to produce several more. It was taken over by Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd in 1904 (later to become part of Vickers-Armstrongs Limited).

Unfortunate death in a glider accident
It is reported that Pilcher completed his triplane prototype. However, before he was due to demonstrate it to the public for the first time, the engine developed crankshaft problems. The demonstration was on September 30th 1899. Instead of demonstrating the triplane, he instead flew the Hawk glider. Sadly, in the wet weather, the aircraft’s tail snapped (probably due to the saturated fabric). The glider crashed, and Pilcher was killed. Source/entire report: ‚Simple Flying‚.

Final Surf of the Rolling Clouds

James Cooper will never forget the day he flew his first Morning Glory. „There’s a photo my wife took, and I’m riding toward her on a bike with a huge smile stretching across my entire face.“ The Perth resident has been gliding since 1980 and says his biggest highlights have been surfing the Gulf of Carpentaria’s world-renowned Morning Glory clouds.

The annual cloud spectacular is the only regular occurrence of its kind in the world. Each year, epic barrels of cloud, some stretching thousands of kilometres, roll across the Gulf of Carpentaria from September to November. The clouds are formed through the interaction of sea breezes on both sides of the Cape York Peninsula.

The Morning Glory clouds also hold cultural significance for the region’s First Nations groups. The Gangalidda Garawa traditional owners believe the spirits of their ancestors travel on the clouds to watch over their people. For decades, travellers from across the country have made the pilgrimage to the Gulf community of Burketown, known as the mecca of the Morning Glory. „It forms much like a wave in the sea,“ Mr Cooper said. „And like a surfer rides a wave coming into the shore, glider pilots can launch into this wave of cloud and fly up and down to take in the view.“

After 40 years of flying, a retiring Mr Cooper couldn’t think of a better way to hang up his wings than with one final surf of the epic phenomenon. „I’ve been flying since 1980; I’ve broken records and won competitions and generally enjoyed myself, but I’ve had enough, and it is time to move on,“ he said of his last flight performed this month.

As Mr Cooper looks to a future with his feet firmly on the ground, he said many more gliders would be taking his place among the clouds. „I used to drive the 4,000 kilometres from Perth to Burketown and meet up with other gliders to see it [the Morning Glory]. „I know people who have been travelling to Burketown for 18 years to fly it. „And the amazing thing is that every Morning Glory cloud is different. „It’s a special place if you’re a glider.“ Source: ‚ABC News Australia‚.

When glider flying meets neuroscience

Neuroimaging studies have provided proof that loss of balance evokes specific neural transient wave complexes in electroencephalography (EEG), called perturbation evoked potentials (PEPs). Online decoding of balance perturbations from ongoing EEG signals can establish the possibility of implementing passive brain-computer interfaces (pBCIs) as a part of aviation/driving assistant systems. In this study, we investigated the feasibility of identifying the existence and expression of perturbations in four different conditions by using EEG signals. Fifteen healthy participants experienced four various postural changes while they sat in a glider cockpit. Sudden perturbations were exposed by a robot connected to a glider and moved to the right and left directions with tilting angles of 5 and 10 degrees. Perturbations occurred in an oddball paradigm in which participants were not aware of the time and expression of the perturbations. We employed a hierarchical approach to separate the perturbation and rest, and then discriminate the expression of perturbations. The performance of the BCI system was evaluated by using classification accuracy and F1 score. Asynchronously, we achieved average accuracies of 89.83 and 73.64% and average F1 scores of 0.93 and 0.60 for binary and multiclass classification, respectively. These results manifest the practicality of pBCI for the detection of balance disturbances in a realistic situation. Source: ‚Planeur.net / Youtube‚.

Prievidza: Glider Collision

26th of April, in the afternoon, two gliders collided near the village of Trebostovo above the Končiar hill. Both gliders fell down into the forest in the difficult terrain. Based on a report from the Fire and Rescue Corps, we were told that both pilots were dead. All other competitors returned to the airport in Prievidza or outlanded in the field. The organizers of the competition express their sincere condolences to the families and the entire Polish and Lithuanian team. Source: ‚FCC Gliding (Event organiser)‘.

New motor glider from Warsaw University of Technology

A team from the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering has developed PW-X10 – an experimental, flying electric powered 2-seat platform. The machine is brought into service by the WUT Aviation Research Centre „OBLOT“, located at the airport in Sieraków, near Przasnysz. The design is just another result of works related to electromobility in aviation carried out at WUT. The motor glider has been developed for the purpose of researching new low-emission aviation power units. – We want to use the PW-X10 platform for testing complete electric power units and their components, such as engines, propellers, control systems, power supply systems obtained from electrochemical cells, fuel cells, photovoltaic cells or energy flow management systems – says Wojciech Frączek from the Institute of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics at the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, the designer conducting the design works. The new motor glider is also to serve other research, planned in the „ODLOT“ centre in Przasnysz. It concerns, among others, the study of composite structures in conditions of natural exploitation or the spectrum of loads on the airframe structure in terms of service life tests.

PW-X10 structure
The PW-X10 platform is made of hybrid polymer composites. The creators diversified the structure of the materials, taking into account the weight, strength, rigidity or durability of the structure, as well as the safety of the crew inside. In the front part of the fuselage with the cockpit, a composite reinforced with glass fibres was used, which provides, among others, better protection for the crew, in the remaining part, where high rigidity is desirable, carbon fibres dominate. The motor glider is equipped with an FES (Front Electric Sustainer), which is launched during flight, and placed in the hull bow. It provides a climb of 1.7 m/s with the maximum weight of the platform, while during the flight of only one person it reaches 2.5 m/s. – These are very good values, especially since the use of such a propulsion system in a two-seat glider is a novelty – emphasizes Wojciech Frączek.

The batteries supplying the drive unit were made using lithium-polymer technology. The creators of PW-X10 chose the best batteries available on the market that meet the requirements for this design. The system has a built-in BMS surveillance system and is located in a special chamber isolated from the cockpit, placed at the rear of the fuselage. All of this to ensure an adequate level of safety. Various types of test equipment will be installed on the PW-X10. Therefore, the hull in the central part has been supplemented with external attachment points for additional equipment. – In the future, as part of the reconfiguration of the platform, we expect to install, among others, an external power generator with a capacity of approx. 30 kW, which will be used to test the hybrid power supply system – explains Wojciech Frączek.

Many years of experience
The design of the new glider is the work of the team of Prof. Piotr Czarnocki from the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering. The work was divided into two stages: design and testing of new wings (2018-2019) and design and testing of a new hull, tail units and control systems (2020-2021). It would not have been possible to create such a structure without many years of experience and fruitful cooperation with specialists from outside the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering and the „OBLOT“ centre.

PW-X10 is another fruit of the ULS Program implemented for over 40 years at the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, consisting of the construction and research of innovative aircraft. At that time, one-seater ULS-PW and PW-2 Gapa gliders were created, two-seater PW-3 Bakcyl and PW-6 gliders, two-seater PW-4 motor glider or one-seater PW-5 Smyk – the winner of the world competition for the Olympic glider monotype. The last designs before PW-X10 are a two-seat motor glider with electric drive AOS-71 (the effect of the work of the team of Prof. Krzysztof Arczewski) and an experimental motor glider with AOS-H2 hybrid hydrogen propulsion (developed by the team of Prof. Piotr Czarnocki in consortium cooperation with, among others, the team of Prof. Grzegorz Iwański from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at WUT). PW-X10 was built by the „Jeżów“ Glider Plant in Jeżów Sudecki, with which the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering has already successfully cooperated in the work on previous structures.

Full readiness
The motor glider is beyond the test stage. The flight and test flights took place at the airport in Jelenia Góra. Jerzy Kędzierski – a graduate of the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, an experimental pilot of the first class, sat at the helm of the machine. – The platform launches took place in the lobby behind the „immortal“ Jak-12 aircraft – says Wojciech Frączek. – After towing to a height of approx. 2500 m and after disconnection, the pilot carried out a flight program that included checking the behaviour of the platform in sliding flights and with the power unit switched on. The tests were a success. Now PW-X10 is waiting in the hangar of the “OBLOT“ centre in Przasnysz. As soon as the weather permits, it will perform experimental flights. Source: ‚Warsaw University of Technology‚.

Best Of Soaring in New Zealand

See just how amazing New Zealand is, one of the world’s most spectacular places to fly gliders and sailplanes. Glide amongst mountains, sunsets. Soar with the birds. Source ‚Youtube / PureGlide‚.

Soaring can do miracles

Alex and Morgan Chery were on an early summer vacation with their dad and stepmom. Driving along Highway 79 in the desert from their home in Newport Beach, California, the family passed a long, dusty airstrip with an unassuming faded-pink ranch house, windsock, and half a mile’s worth of sailplanes in their hangars. Alex said, “stop”—he wanted a ride in a sailplane. And his dad, Anthony, a pilot, wanted him to have that ride.

At 12, Alex has flown more than most kids his age. His dad owns and flies a Piper Malibu and the family takes flying vacations all over the country. Alex has a mild form of cerebral palsy, which affects his motor skills. “He is an adventure-seeker at heart,” says his stepmom, Erika Houser. “Which is why he has defied what his doctors said at his birth—that he would never be able to walk. Flying is a treat for him because he is equal in the air.”

Anthony pulled the SUV into the parking lot and the family of four headed for the porch of the old ranch house. There sat a guy who could relate; 66-year-old Bret Willat (his birthday would be the next day) struggles to move in his body, too. An accident burst his vertebrae and doctors told him he’d never walk again. But, like Alex, he didn’t give up. Although he often looks like he’s struggling and hurting, he gets around well and, with his wife and sons, has been running Sky Sailing in Warner Springs, California, since 1979. Taking kids like Alex for a soaring experience in a Grob G–103A is exactly why Willat is in this business.

A colourful history
Bret Willat is a character. He loves to tell stories—and he has a bunch. Probably the most surprising are those about his father. It’s clear where he gets his flair for the dramatic. Irvin Willat adopted Bret when he was a baby. Bret claims his father “collected people.” A wealthy Hollywood filmmaker, Irvin Willat directed 39 silent films, including the first all-colour western—Wanderer of the Wasteland by Zane Grey. He directed Harry Houdini in films, had his offices in the Spadena House—also known as The Witch’s House—in Beverly Hills, and reportedly was paid $325,000 by Howard Hughes to divorce his then-wife, actress Billie Dove, whom Hughes desired but never married.

The older Willat was famous for action films as well as westerns, and it was on a set for a movie with his father that Bret was first introduced to flying. He soloed in a glider at 15 and later attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. But he was injured and was discharged just as his older half-brother A.J. Allee came home from Vietnam. A.J. encouraged his brother to continue flying and Bret earned ratings at Flabob Airport in Riverside, California. While at Flabob, Bret became chief pilot at Art Scholl Aviation. He flew with Scholl the day before the Hollywood stunt pilot was killed while filming the movie Top Gun.

After moving to the San Francisco Bay area, Willat worked for famed CFI Amelia Reid. Under her tutelage, he began to believe strongly that “when learning to fly in a powered aircraft, one must, to do it best, learn in a taildragger. The best overall way to learn to fly, however, is in a sailplane.” In 1979, Willat began instructing in Fremont, California, at Sky Sailing Airport and eventually bought the company. In 1980 he married another sailplane instructor; Karen and he flew the first sailplane formation wedding ceremony. Five sailplanes flew in formation with five tow planes—the minister officiated from the lead airplane.

The act
Willat believed the best way to showcase sailplane flying was to perform in airshows. He began performing a sailplane routine in 1979. As their business grew, so did Karen and Bret’s family. First Garret—who as a little boy rode a tiny biplane on the ground during the airshow—and then Boyd joined the act. Karen was the tow plane pilot. “The Flying Willats: Sailplane Magic Airshow Team” uses a Grob G–103A sailplane that soars to music and trails smoke from the pyrotechnics on the wings and tail. The sailplane is towed to 4,000 feet AGL and once released, the pilot (Bret, Garret, or Boyd) talks to the audience about the sport of soaring and performs smooth, graceful loops and rolls and other aerobatic manoeuvres. “It’s a peaceful aerobatic routine, a contrast to acts like Sean D. Tucker,” said Boyd. “It’s almost romantic.”

Both Garret and Boyd are integral parts of the family business. Garret set records—and created a media event—when he soloed 18 different gliders on his fourteenth birthday. Boyd, not to be outdone, soloed 23 gliders on his fourteenth birthday. All were documented by news and media outlets.

The business had moved to Warner Springs from Fremont in the 1980s and the school there is a mecca for soaring enthusiasts. Surrounded by the California Peninsular Range—a north/south mountain range that includes Palomar Mountain—the area is ideal for soaring. At almost 3,000 feet MSL, Warner Springs sits nestled in a range that climbs to 10,000 feet. These mountain ranges help create the lift for the sailplanes. “Location, location, location. Between the Pacific marine influence and the desert influence, we can soar almost every day of the year,” said Bret.

Although Boyd now works offsite for FedEx, Garret lives on the property with his parents and his two children. Garret is a chief flight instructor and runs Yankee Composites, a sailplane repair centre. Sky Sailing is open seven days a week and is busiest on weekends when reservations are recommended. About 100 soaring pilots base their gliders at Warner Springs Airport. Lessons and rides are offered, including a Stemme motorglider flight for $275 for a 45-minute soar that takes the pilot and passenger over the Palomar Observatory, one of the oldest active astronomical observatories in the world, with several telescopes, including the 200-inch Hale Telescope. The school prides itself on its safety record. While all members of the family encourage visitors to experience soaring, they are also well aware that the experience may not be for everyone. “The glider rating is an add-on, according to the FAA,” said Garret. “When we teach powered pilots, we have a lot of unteaching to do. They learn to fly, not just drive in the sky.”

The accident
For Bret Willat, soaring is next to breathing. So when the Call-Air A–9A he was flying as a tow plane pilot crashed at 20 Gs after a carbon monoxide leak incapacitated him in 1985, he was first grateful to be alive—and second, ready to walk and fly again. The doctors didn’t think that possible. He is an “incomplete paraplegic” as his L-1 and L-2 vertebrae exploded on impact. Karen was at home with Garret when the accident happened. The doctors told her Bret would never walk again. But he was in a wheelchair heading up the Watsonville Fly-In just three weeks later and flew in the Reno Air Races three months after that. “It made me appreciate things in my life, but it never made me think about leaving aviation,” Bret said.

“The business had to go on,” Karen said. “We just kept going.”
He has a crumbling way of walking and looks like he has just gotten up from sleeping in a bad position. His feet hurt but you’d never know it from his 1,000-watt smile. While his sons perform his original sailplane airshow, Bret still performs the night show—with 120 different pyrotechnics strapped on the aircraft. And with more than 20,000 flight hours, he doesn’t show signs of quitting. “There’s nothing more important than family,” he says, driving an ATV around the airstrip with his dog. The wind hums in the background and an occasional truck rumbles down Highway 79. A tow plane roars off the 3,500-foot runway pulling a sailplane into the sky, its occupants all smile. As for the Chery family from Newport Beach, both Alex and Morgan flew with Garret in the Grob with Alex handling the controls “three-quarters of the flight; he was a natural,” Garret said. Morgan had a blast. Their stepmother said both boys can’t wait to soar again. Source: ‚AOPA‚.

How do Gliders Land in the Mountains?

How do gliders not crash in the mountains? Do we always have somewhere to land? It might look like we can’t land make an outlanding, but there is almost always somewhere safe to land the glider. Source: ‚PureGliding / Youtube‚.

Father-daughter duo to set record flying

In what they believe is a world first, father and daughter glider pilots are flying from one end of New Zealand to the other. Terry and Abbey Delore set off from Omarama in the South Island on Monday morning, down to Bluff, then up to Auckland. On Tuesday, they plan to finish their journey to Cape Rēinga at the top of the North Island. Abbey Delore, from Christchurch, said it was the first time a glider would fly the straight length of New Zealand. The pair were in the air before 5.30 am on Monday in an ASH 25 glider, which has two seats and a 25-metre wingspan and arrived at Auckland Gliding Club in Drury about 7 pm. In that time they travelled about 1500 kilometres. Abbey Delore said the pair had been planning to try and fly the length of New Zealand for a long time, mainly because they wanted to do something that “hadn’t been done before”. In 1994, Terry Delore set a world record for the longest flight (2000 km) ever done in a glider without an engine.

“Terry’s been gliding his whole life and holds multiple world records for gliding, so I think we’re both always trying to push the boundaries,” Abbey Delore said. “I was brought up in the sport and have been gliding for about 15 years now. I like the adventure side of it. “Aviation definitely runs in our family.” Abbey Delore said they had been lucky with how good the weather conditions had been on Monday, as often it could be “hit-and-miss”, and the sky had to be read constantly while flying. The pair had been “wave soaring”, where the glider flies along vertical waves of wind that form. Abbey Delore described it as being similar to surfing in the sky. The waves meant at times, the pair would reach altitudes where they would need to put on oxygen masks as the glider didn’t have a pressurised cockpit. “We had a feeling we’d end up stopping in Auckland and carrying on the next day, just because of how long it took to get here and the changing conditions.” While the pair weren’t able to make it to Cape Rēinga in one day, Abbey Delore was still happy with what they had achieved. “It’s all about the adventure,” she said. Source and some more pics: ‚Stuff‚.

Slingsby 1939 Petrel Glider Flight

A flight of the recently restored 1939 Slingsby Petrel glider, piloted by Scott Gifford, at the 2021 International Vintage Sailplane Meet at Harris Hill, New York. With Scott at the controls, he joined the museum’s classic Minimoa glider in a big thermal in the first days of the vintage glider meet. The Petrel glider is part of the collection of the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon. Source: ‚Paul Naton / Youtube‘.

Glider pilot flies around tornado

Oklahoma City native David Evans has been a pilot for about 30 years, but few things compare with what he encountered while flying his glider Sunday. Evans came face to face with a bona fide tornado — and decided to hitch a ride on the upward-moving air around it. Weather wasn’t conducive for strong thunderstorm activity or tornadoes in the Sooner State on Sunday, but Evans found a landspout, a borderline tornado that forms in a way similar to many waterspouts or dust devils. That meant it wasn’t born from a thunderstorm or cloud-based rotation, but rather developed from the ground up. It also couldn’t be spotted on radar, and there were no obvious large-scale weather features that would have clued meteorologists in to the chance for tornadoes. How do tornadoes form? This drone-based project seeks to unravel the secrets of spinning storms. “Realistically, it was more of a landspout, but we sort of have no justification as to why it occurred,” said Ryan Bunker, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla. “We didn’t have any answers.” Source: ‚David Evans/ Washinghton Post‘.

Stefan Langer: 5 Crazy Flights in a Glider

Watch the TOP 5 glider flights captured on camera from Stefan Langer. From flying into a funnel cloud in Germany to making a lowpass at the beach of New Zealand and … landing a glider like a fighter jet in Italy?