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Gliding experiences - lessons & flights nationwide



Gliding Oxfordshire
Based On 32 Reviews

Bicester, Oxfordshire

Free Gift Was £79 NOW £69

    • Take off from Bicester Aerodrome in Oxfordshire
    • One of the largest grass runways in Europe
    • Aerotows or motor glider flights offered
    • Highly experienced instructors & friendly club
Nationwide Gliding Experience Voucher
Based On 5 Reviews

Nationwide

Save £10 Was £99 NOW £89

    • Voucher valid for glider clubs around the country
    • Enjoy the thrills of silent flight for 15 minutes
    • Have a go at the controls during your flight
    • An explanation of glider flight included
Motor Gliding Experience Days in Warwickshire
Based On 5 Reviews

Long Marston Airfield, Stratford-upon-Avon

Special Offer From £69

    • Glider flights out of Long Marston airfield
    • Take to the skies in a self-launching motorgliders
    • Motorised gliders has side by side configuration not tandem
    • You could fly over Stratford & Warwick Castle
Gliding Experience Days in Hampshire
Based On 29 Reviews

Near Alton

Special Offer Was £109 NOW £85

    • Gliding Experience Days from Lasham Aerodrome in Hants
    • An active airfield with several flying companies
    • A large club with several hundred members
    • Club has a fleet of 12 two seater trainer gliders
Gliding Experience Days in Surrey
Based On 15 Reviews

Near Croydon

From £85.00

    • Our only gliding school within the M25
    • Learn at Kenley Airfield in Surrey, nr Croydon
    • Weekday glider lessons offered all year round
    • Friends & family welcome to watch the action
Gliding Experiences over the Black Mountains
Based On 13 Reviews

Powys, Wales

From £95.00

    • Glider flights from Talgarth Airfield in Powys, Wales
    • Aerials of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park
    • Area is renowned for impressive thermals
    • This Welsh airfield is 970ft above sea level
Glider lessons in Bedfordshire

Near Dunstable

From £125.00

    • Flights takes place near Dunstable
    • Proactive gliding club with passionate members
    • Three month club membership with all experiences
    • All flights are by aerotow in tandem gliders
Glider experience in Buckinghamshire
Based On 8 Reviews

Near High Wycombe

From £99.00

    • Fly gliders at Wycombe Air Park formerly RAF Booker
    • Large fleet of sailplanes make up this active club
    • Good range of flight durations available
    • Delightful on site restaurant & bar for spectators
Gliders experience over Dartmoor
Based On 4 Reviews

Brentor Airfield, Tavistock

From £79.00

    • Gliding club at Brentor Airfield near Tavistock
    • Stunning views of Dartmoor as you glide
    • Day course gives you a total of six glider flights
    • A friendly, professional set up in South Devon
Gliding in Colchester

Wormingford Airfield, Essex

From £50.00

    • Gliding lessons out of Wormingford Airfield, Essex
    • Winch tows to get you airborne over Colchester
    • Easy access from Suffolk and Essex areas
    • Active glider base with 8 gliders in their own fleet
Gliding Experiences in Corby
Based On 4 Reviews

Brigstock, Northamptonshire

From £48.00

    • Small & friendly club full of enthusiasm
    • Winch tows and launch by tug plane offered
    • Glider experiences on weekends & bank holidays in summer
    • Minimum age for glider flights in Corby is 12yrs old
Devon Gliding Experience
Based On 2 Reviews

Umberleigh near Barnstaple

From £90.00

    • Glide gracefully over North Devon
    • Be towed up to 2000ft before being released
    • Experience the wonders of silent flight in the summer
    • Gliding lessons from Eaglescott Airfield near Umberleigh
Gliding lessons Essex

Ridgewell Airfield, Sudbury

From £40.00

    • Glider flying at Ridgewell Airfield in Essex
    • Lessons based on soar time over 1 or more flights
    • A small, close-knit team of instructors & members
    • It's gliders only (& the tug!) at this airfield
Gliding Experiences Lincolnshire
Based On 5 Reviews

Near Grantham

From £52.50

    • Gliding experiences at Saltby Airfield near Grantham, Lincs
    • See the Lincolnshire countryside from the air
    • Winch, aerotow & motorised glider flights offered
    • One day glider experience ideal for budding pilots
Gliding experiences in Peterborough
Based On 1 Reviews

Crowland Airfield

From £85.00

    • Go gliding from Crowland Airfield nr Peteborough
    • Various flight options inc one mile high!
    • Day course teaches you rigging & launching etc
    • Subject to weather, flying offered all year round
Gliding lessons in Kent
Based On 31 Reviews

Near Ashford

From £98.00

    • Founded in 1930, it's one of the oldest UK clubs
    • Dynamic Gliding club with over 150 active members
    • Go Gliding from nr Ashford over the Kentish Downs
    • Excellent clubhouse with food, rooms and camping
Glider Lessons North Wales
Based On 15 Reviews

Near Wrexham

From £89.00

    • Winch launches to get you airborne in North Wales
    • Soar over scenic Llandegla Hills on your gliding lesson
    • Perfect choice for 'making a weekend' of it
    • Enjoy 1 x long cruise or 3 x shorter flights
Gliding experiences in Warwickshire
Based On 21 Reviews

near Bidford upon Avon

From £90.00

    • Soar away from Bidford Airfield in Warwickshire
    • Glide over the Vale of Evesham
    • Choose your launch height
    • Just sightsee in the air or pilot the glider

How do gliders actually fly?

One question that everyone asks is 'If there's no engine, how does a glider fly?’ Well, without giving you a long-winded physics lesson the answer is quite simply - the wings! The compact fuselage combined with the large wingspan gets these graceful planes up in the air.

Of course, you'll need a little bit of help to launch and there are basically three methods for that. First is the winch launch. The ground crew will hook you up to the metal cable with the other end attached to the winching machine around 1000 yards away. As the machine whirrs into life, it takes up the slack and then starts to pull you over the ground and then into the air, before the cable is released.

The second method is called the aerotow. This is quite cool, as it involves a tug plane towing you up into the air. It's quite exciting as you'll be behind the light aircraft and the advantage here is that you can be released at a higher altitude for your lesson.

In both cases it's quite a noisy and a bumpy ride (and in fact you can reach speeds of up to 60mph for take off!) but then you'll rise gently into the air and keep ascending until reach your launch ceiling height and your pilot instructor releases the cable.

In search of ‘lift’ in your glider

After that, it's a simple case of 'what goes up must come down'. As gliders only have the forces of lift, drag and weight (there's no thrust as there's no engine), it basically means you are descending the whole time you’re airbourne. On these lessons you'll soon learn the holy grail is ‘lift’.

Seeking lift is what makes it all so thrilling and yet serene at the same time. If the pilot finds a pocket of air that's rising faster than you are coming down, that’s uplift and you’ll ascend. Catching 'thermals' (bubbles of warm rising air) gives you lift as you circle round, gaining height - just like birds with their wings stretched out do.

If you have the chance to take a glider flight from an airfield near the mountains (we've got gliding schools on the edge of the Black Mountains in North Wales, for example) you might well be able to experience ridge lift from the air that is forced upwards when it reaches a natural obstacle (like hills) on the landscape.

Take a look at our video of a glider experience over the Black Mountains to get a taste of that sensation of ‘ridge lift’!

Try a self-powered motor glider

And we nearly forgot to mention the third method - motor gliders. This is where the sailplane has its own engine so can take off under its own steam, as it were. Once at altitude it's time to cut the motor and start soaring. Whichever type of gliding lesson you go for, it's going to be an amazing aerial experience 1000ft off the ground!

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