Glider Flying: How to Take off and Land
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Glider Flying: How to Take off and Land

In order to fly a glider, you need to identify the different columns and currents of air. In essence, you need to identify the lifting currents. You canÂ’t see air; itÂ’s not colored, so how do you detect the different lifts? You have a device in the cockpit of the glider which is called a variometer.

In order to fly a glider, you need to identify the different columns and currents of air. In essence, you need to identify the lifting currents. You can’t see air; it’s not colored, so how do you detect the different lifts? You have a device in the cockpit of the glider which is called a variometer. The variometer measures the rate at which the glider climbs or descends with the currents of air. The variometer is kind of like the speedometer of a car. When you are climbing the pressure above the glider lessens and the pressure below the glider increases. The needle on the variometer gage will move. The variometer measures static pressure. Static pressure is a fluid pressure within the aircraft. It works similarly to your oil pressure in an automobile. The static pressure within the static pressure system can read the atmospheric pressure, and it helps to keep the glider in the air.

Flying a glider requires the skill of the pilot. The pilot must put the glider through a series of positions to maneuver in and out of air currents. If you want to change the direction of the glider, you must put it in a yaw position. In yaw, you are no longer floating on top of air currents, but you are slicing or skidding through them. In other words, you are pointing the glider at an angle so that it is flying sideways in the air current. Remember, a glider has no engine to pull it through the air. You must put the glider through its paces to increase and decrease drag to pilot it in the direction you want to go.

How do you take off in a glider without an engine?

Obviously, you must be towed by another plane, if your glider has no motor to pull you through the atmosphere. Your glider is connected by a thin cable to the tow plane. You will leave the ground even before the tow plane leaves the ground, because the glider is much lighter than the plane, and the wind going over the glider weakens the atmospheric pressure which causes the glider to lift into the air. You will stay connected to the tow plane until you are between 2000 and 3000 feet.

There is a strange quietness within the cockpit of the glider. All you hear is the wind whooshing over the glider and your own heart beating in your ears. You will feel some bumps as you climb into the thermals, so you shouldn’t be scared of the turbulence. Once you release the tow line, you are on your own. You are flying on the thermal currents that occur from air that is heated from the sun on the ground. It’s a fantastic (if not a bit scary the first time) way to fly without an engine. It’s an experience that is totally unlike any other kind of flight. All you have is a joy stick to steer the glider in the way you want it to go.

Who can fly a glider?

Anyone with a pilot’s license can fly a glider, but you must be taught how. You must understand the thermal dynamics of flying, and you must have experience in piloting a glider. It’s nothing like flying a plane with a prop and motor.

How to land a glider?

A glider doesn’t have the same kind of landing gear that an airplane has. There is a wheel toward the center of the body of the glider and a skid under the front end of the glider on the body. You essentially slide to a stop when you touch the ground. You use your yaw position to cut through the thermals to descend. At the same time, the thermals are pushing up on the glider which slows you down as you descend. You circle through the turbulent air over the airport and then line up with the landing strip and slowly come in. If you are coming in too fast, you allow your glider to lift up again and ride on the thermal and you line up again to make your landing.

Image credit: Wikipedia.org 

Source:

Riding Thermals

Growing up with pilots in the family

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Comments (4)
Ranked #12 in Science

very interesting article, I know nothing about planes

Ranked #9 in Science

Thanks carol. I grew uobwith this talk around the supper table. Icwas flying at 2 years old.

Learned something new on your well-experienced write up.

Ranked #9 in Science

Thanks Ron. This stuff is easy for me to write, simply because I love the topic.. grew up with this type of information being spoken around the dinner table.

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