• Experience the thrill of performing aerobatic manoeuvres at speeds of 100 mph in a glider!
• Examples of manoeuvres include loops, bunts, chandelles, stalls and spins
• Flights are preceded by a briefing and explanation of glider flight
• Learn about the history of glider aerobatics
• The effects of the controls will be demonstrated to you during your flight
• Opportunity to take the control of the glider during straight and level flight
• Please allow at least two hours on site for this experience
What Can I Expect
Glider aerobatics. Surely that’s an oxymoron? Gliders are meant to, well, glide…rather than perform aerial tricks aren’t they? Prepare to be amazed then, as you take to the sky in a high performance glider to experience some classic aerobatic moves.
You’ll be taking off from Ridgewell Airfield, the World War Two aerodrome on the Essex/Suffolk border near Sudbury. It’s a brilliant place for performing aerobatics, as it’s gliders only here and you’re in unrestricted airspace, so there’s all that big blue sky to play with.
But first we have to ask the question. How does a glider (an aircraft that has no engine) do aerobatics? Well, the simple answer is that the glider doesn’t need an engine to carry out such moves. From the moment the tug plane releases the glider, the pilot uses the energy efficiently to trace those graceful patterns in the sky, with wonderful flowing lines.
The pilot who’ll be taking you up on this superb aerobatics flight, is glider champ Alex Harris. He was the UK’s youngest solo glider pilot and has competed in British National and World Championship aerobatic competitions. It’s a mighty fine skill to have and one that makes for a unique aerobatics experience in our book, which is why we couldn’t wait to add it to our experience range.
Alex is now Chief Flying Instructor at this small and friendly club and when he’s not doing his day job driving big airliners, he loves nothing more than taking passengers up for aerobatics flights in one of the club’s two seater gliders.
Expect to try some basic aerobatics manoeuvres first, such as 45-degree down-lines. If you can literally stomach it, you’ll be treated to a sequence of more advanced aerobatics that could include spins, loops, chandelles. And yes, the moves are exactly the same as those done by powered aircraft. We’d even go as far as saying that the extra wing-span makes the moves even smoother and elegant.
Combining the grace of powerless flight and the agility of a high performance aircraft, glider aerobatics is an amazing experience. It’s pretty unique too, which means you won’t find every glider club offering the extra thrill of aerial stunts as part of your flight. Book your slot now and get inverted in your glider!
• Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between April and November
• All dates and session times are subject to availability and weather conditions
• Participants should contact the flying school on the morning of their flight to check weather conditions are suitable
• Minimum age 14
• Under 18s must be accompanied on the airfield by an adult
• Maximum weight 16 stone (101kg)
• Maximum height 6ft 2ins (188cm)
• Spectators are welcome
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• You can take along a camera, but it must use a neck-strap to firmly attach it
• Ridgewell Airfield, Ashen, Sudbury, Essex