About the Aerial Sport of Gliding

Gliding is a recreational activity and competitive air sport in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as gliders or sailplanes using naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne. The word soaring is also used for the sport.

Gliding as a sport began in the 1920s. Initially the objective was to increase the duration of flights but soon pilots attempted cross-country flights away from the place of launch. Improvements in aerodynamics and in the understanding of weather phenomena have allowed greater distances at higher average speeds. Long distances are now flown using any of the main sources of rising air: ridge lift, thermals and lee waves. When conditions are favourable, experienced pilots can now fly hundreds of kilometres.

Gliders are made of a wide variety of materials, from wood and fabric, to ultra-modern fibre glass, carbon-fibre and kevlar based materials.

Australia has an active vintage glider movement, with many gliders over 50 years old.

Gliders are often designed for a specific purpose such as training, cross-country flying or aerobatics, but most gliders can do a bit of everything.

High performance gliders are very streamlined with a minimum of obstructions to the airflow, which would otherwise cause drag. Glider design is sophisticated and at times has led to developments that later find their way into general aviation.

For your first flights you will be flying in a two-seat glider. While you are training, you will learn basic flight control in a two-seater until you are competent enough to go on your own. Two-seat gliders have the same controls and instruments in the front and back to allow the instructor to demonstrate. This also allows your instructor to take control when needed.

These gliders are usually larger and easier to fly than the sleeker, single-seat gliders. This is to make sure that the student can easily learn the basic skills of flying without having to worry about high performance and complicated controls. Many pilots continue to fly in two-seat gliders once they are solo so that they can share the enjoyment with their friends and family.




Gympie Airfield
132 Lobwein Road,
Kybong QLD 4570
Phone: 0400 348 711

Open Wednesday and Saturday

ABN: 36 835 368 992