What is gliding?
Essentially gliding is flying a fixed wing aircraft without an engine. A glider has all the same components as a powered aircraft but uses cutting edge aerodynamics and modern materials to create an aeroplane that is highly efficient, with a glide angle up to ten times that of a typical light powered aircraft. This enables gliders to glide great distances between climbs. You can use gliding as an inexpensive start to gaining a power licence; for the fun of soaring for hours on end above the Shropshire Hills; you can cover great distances cross country; or you can enter local, regional, national or international competitions, including aerobatics.
Glider pilots use natural energy to gain height and then glide to the next source of lift – a bit like pedaling a bicycle up hill and then freewheeling down the other side. Because we only use a small amount of LPG to power the winch for each launch it is an extremely green sport. Although flying a glider is often a solitary pastime, it requires the teamwork of quite a few people to get each pilot into the air so we do expect people to help out on the ground as well. Gliding promotes discipline, patience, technical ability and attention to detail – a superb set of skills for anybody.
To remain airborne and soar, glider pilots use three main sources of lift:
To get an idea of what gliding from the Long Mynd is about have a look at these YouTube clips:
- Gliding From The Long Mynd (Midland Gliding Club)
- Dutch Visit to the Long Mynd
- Bungee launch. Midland Gliding Club
- About Midland Gliding Club (note: the MGC no longer operates a powered tug)
- Midland Gliding Club – Wenlock Olympian Games 2012 – DVD Trailer
- Low and Fast – Ridge Running at the Longmynd
- High Altitude Wave Flying
- Winch Launch from the South End
- Midland GC Promotional Video