Questions tagged [glider]

A glider is a heavier-than-air aircraft that is designed to be operated in unpowered flight.

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3answers
157 views

Can we show through simple geometry rather than formulae or graphs that the best glide ratio occurs at the maximum ratio of Lift to Drag?

For an unpowered glider, can we show through simple geometry involving force vector diagrams, rather than mathematical formulae or graphs, that the best still-air glide ratio is achieved at the angle-...
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0answers
29 views

Designing a lightweight remote controlled glider: optimal wing configuration and geometry [closed]

So here’s a summary: we need to design a remote controlled glider that will drop a load (golf ball) on a target. The load’s drop needs to be slowed down (ex: parachute). The glider must be very light (...
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2answers
5k views

Why are birdlike airfoils not used?

Here are two airfoils (lets focus on Re 100,000): SD7043-il which is simple to build and has a glide ratio of about 60 e376-il a birdlike and much harder to build if using paper or similar due to the ...
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2answers
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Has any airliner ever collided with a glider?

I've read about many near-collisions between gliders and airliners, but did such a collision ever happen in mid-air, actually?
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1answer
373 views

Can the load factor during glider winch launch be measured with the G-meter?

I am looking at the flight envelope of a glider, the velocity - load factor diagram. I read that generally the air-frame, the G-meter and the pilot 'experience' the load factor as a G force (an ...
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3answers
200 views

Could gliders be a clean, practical alternative to other forms of transport?

Would it be possible to use pure gliders as an eco-friendly mode of transport? From what I have read so far, gliders can travel at a speed of 100-170 km/h. That would not be able to compete with a jet ...
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4answers
3k views

Can a glider make a go-around?

Since gliders don't have engines, is it possible for them to go around? Are there any extra features on a glider to try to prevent that situation from happening?
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1answer
130 views

How much altitude can a glider gain only from losing speed?

Say we have a glider flying near its top speed. If pilot decides to "trade speed for altitude" how much can it climb before hitting stall speed? Assuming pilot will use most effective climb ...
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2answers
118 views

In a full-rudder sideslip in a Schweizer 2-22 or 2-33 glider, is the descent rate higher at 50 mph airspeed than at 60 mph airspeed?

Is it really true that in a full-rudder sideslip in a Schweizer 2-22 or 2-33 glider, the descent rate is higher at 50 mph airspeed than at 60 mph airspeed? Likewise, is it really true that in a full-...
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5answers
3k views

Why are the wings of some modern gliders tadpole shaped?

Why are the wings of some modern gliders tadpole shaped, rather than teardrop shaped? An example is the Schleicher ASG 29. Or did they just add a flat plate at the trailing edge for the flaps and ...
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2answers
4k views

Can you ride a storm to save fuel?

Cargo sailboats, of the old, depended on wind direction. Like these ships, planes also save time by flying with the wind. On the extreme end, could a plane use storm fronts or hurricanes by flying in ...
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305 views

What are the best places to gain the most altitude in a glider?

I'm a beginner pilot and I started with gliding. How to spot the best thermals and what is the most efficient way to climb?
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3answers
6k views

Are there any data on the safety rate of gliders vs single-engine GA aircraft?

Can anyone point me to statistics on the safety record of gliders vs. single engine general aviation aircraft?
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1answer
728 views

How big is the radar cross section of a modern glider?

I heard somewhere that modern glider made of plastic and composite materials are less detectable than other aircraft by primary radar. I wonder how much. What is the radar cross section of a typical ...
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6answers
4k views

What is the difference between a glider and a sailplane?

The words "glider" and "sailplane" seem to refer to similar or the same type of aircraft. In particular, the Wikipedia articles "Glider (aircraft)" and "Glider (sailplane)" seem to be describing the ...
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7answers
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Plane that always flies into the wind?

Suppose that you dropped an uncontrolled, dummy glider into the air. You want it to always face into the wind by design. Would it be possible? If so, what would such a plane look like?
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4answers
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Drop the rope or drag the rope?

I was the safety officer at a glider operation earlier this year and we had a new tow pilot who forgot to drop the rope. By radio, I instructed him to drop the rope before landing. The downsides of ...
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1answer
121 views

Does a glider pilot need to file an IFR flight plan to legally fly in cloud in class E airspace in the US?

Does a glider pilot need to file an IFR flight plan to legally fly in cloud in class E (controlled) airspace in the US? Or could he or she contact ATC and receive a clearance to enter cloud without ...
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2answers
115 views

What can be approach of balancing canard glider model?

There are a lot of instructions out there about balancing classic wing configuration glider models. The center of gravity should be approximately 25% to 30% from the front edge of the wing, which is ...
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1answer
80 views

Relationship between wing aspect ratio and speed [duplicate]

For some reason, I cannot find a relatively straightforward source online which discusses the relationship of wing aspect ratio and how it affects speeds of an aircraft. Specifically, is there a ...
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3answers
4k views

Are gliders susceptible to bird strikes?

Gliders don't travel at the high speeds that make bird strikes so devastating in airliners. However, they are also smaller, lighter and softer, and can still move pretty swiftly. Are they also ...
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1answer
191 views

How can a designer maximize the glide ratio of an aircraft with low aspect ratio wings, other than by increasing the aspect ratio?

As I understand it, the gliding range is given by a lift to drag ratio—hence to increase the gliding range, I would want to increase the lift and reduce the drag as much as possible. To that end, ...
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1answer
47 views

What is the threshold between high Aspect Ratios and low Aspect Ratios?

Oftentimes when describing flying organisms and vehicles, their wings are said to have a "high aspect ratio" or a "low aspect ratio". Sometimes the papers (that I read) gave the numbers, but more ...
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1answer
183 views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a forward-folding propeller?

The AMS Carat A is a motorglider with a forward folding propeller. To my knowledge, this is the only production plane with this characteristic. The most popular self-launching gliders with front ...
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1answer
104 views

Do pilots ever intentionally land a monowheel glider on the main wheel and a wingtip wheel in crosswind conditions?

Do pilots ever intentionally strike a wingtip when landing a mono wheel glider in gusty crosswind conditions? I understand the Lazair changed from a mono wheel to a standard tail dragger layout for ...
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4answers
239 views

When do the lift and drag vectors contribute a force component along a glider's path of travel as seen from the ground?

It is often said that the lift vector helps to propel a glider forwards. The lift vector has no component acting parallel to the glider's trajectory through the airmass, but in many cases the lift ...
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1answer
71 views

Does the FAA construe FAR 91.225 to prohibit aircraft w/o electrical systems w/o ADS-B-out from flying above 10,000' MSL unless below 2500' AGL?

Does the FAA construe FAR 91.225 as imposing a general prohibition on flight above 10,000' MSL (excluding airspace below 2500' AGL) in aircraft without ADS-B-out, even for aircraft without engine-...
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6answers
1k views

What produces thrust along the line of flight in a glider?

After reviewing discussions and vector diagrams of gliders in flight, the vertical lift component and the vertical drag components seem to produce a steady state, 0 acceleration balance with gravity. ...
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7answers
1k views

An airplane has an engine that pushes its flight. What force pushes a glider to fly? [duplicate]

An airplane has an engine that pushes its flight. What force pushes a glider to fly? Is it gravity? I think the flight of a glider is driven by gravity, but some people disagree with me. They say ...
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1answer
189 views

Do gliders make a better pilot? [closed]

I've often heard that learning to fly gliders makes you a better airplane pilot, in person and in answers here and here. Is this true, and if so, what specifically is it about gliders—or at least ...
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8answers
20k views

Why would a glider have water ballast? If it is trying to stay aloft without an engine, wouldn't it be better to be as light as possible?

So I was looking at the description of a ASW 27 B glider and ran across this statement: Two water tanks in the wing plus a further 35 liter tank in the fuselage enable the ASW 27 B to carry more ...
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3answers
2k views

Do thermals stop rising when clouds are formed?

Glider pilots know that one indication of thermal lift is the formation of cumulus-type clouds. My question is: Does the rising air (that lifted the moisture to form the the cloud) stop rising after ...
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0answers
57 views

Why does increasing a glider's weight using water ballast improve its speed and performance? [duplicate]

I was studying gliders and how they fly. There is a point that's not clear to me: why does using water ballast improve the performance/speed of a glider? If I understand correctly, my glider jumps ...
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2answers
92 views

Is it harder to get a first pilot certificate in a motorglider compared to a normal powered aircraft (near St. Paul, MN.)?

Is it harder to get a first pilot certificate in a motorglider (glider - self launch) vs. normal powered aircraft near St. Paul, MN. It seems like a self launch glider certificate would be a great ...
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1answer
128 views

How do I choose the correct params?

I am very new to airplane design. I am working on this project to design a flying wing glider (no propeller) that would glide in a circular pattern with a fixed radius of 250 m after being released at ...
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2answers
601 views

How should a glider pilot handle inadvertently entering a foreign country?

Typically, when an aircraft lands on a different country than its departure, it has to land on an international airport. There many services are provided like customs, passport control etc, to make ...
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3answers
2k views

How can seagulls slide in the wind without flapping their wings?

There are a lot of seagulls in a park near where I live. Sometimes I can see them somehow "sliding" forward or backward diagonally when flying against the wind, however, their wings aren't flapping. ...
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1answer
313 views

Are loops or rolls allowed in the “utility” category in any US-certified airplane or glider?

In actual practice, is there any US-certified airplane or glider where the approved flight manual, or cockpit placards, indicate that loops, rolls, or any other similarly aerobatic maneuvers other ...
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9answers
7k views

Why are winches not used for towing commercial planes up?

In this video a glider is pulled up by a winch on the ground, like this: (Source) I would say you could apply the same principles with bigger planes, possibly even using sustainable energy sources. ...
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10answers
5k views

What is the most 'environmentally friendly' way to learn to fly?

As this question indicates, I've been thinking recently about the environmental impact of flying (since when automated cars are the only means of ground transport, aviation will be responsible for ...
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1answer
66 views

What parameters to focus on when constructing a wing for turning? [closed]

I want to construct a flying wing (glider) with the sole purpose of performing a helical turn (or a circular turn with no propulsion attached) with somewhat of a fixed radius. What should be the main ...
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1answer
108 views

How to decide the wing span? [closed]

How would you decide the wing span for a delta wing glider? Also how would it relate to the main chord length?
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3answers
183 views

How to glide in a circular pattern?

I was just curious as to how you would make a glider glide in a circular pattern ( or helical ). Will there be a large difference when considering a conventional glider vs a delta wing glider?
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0answers
45 views

If a glider had human pedal powered propellers how much extra distance could you go? [duplicate]

Imagine an amateur cyclist could generate 100 watts of power (professional ones can do 200-300), would it be possible to put that to use in a glider to fly further? For example you pedal for 15 ...
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2answers
4k views

Why are the wingtips of sailplanes painted red?

Modern (plastic) gliders are painted white (I suppose for thermal reasons), except for some shapes on the fuselage (generally blue or red, but it seems the color does not matter). And the aircraft ...
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1answer
376 views

What is the differance between gliding for maximum range and gliding for maximum endurance? [duplicate]

Is there a difference between gliding for maximum range vs. endurance? Is the glide speed the same for max. endurance and max. range?
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1answer
4k views

Will high blood pressure affect my pilot medical certification?

I will most definitely start a training for a glider pilot license at our local flight club. This of course requires a medical certification for pilots. The only concern I have, is my blood pressure. ...
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1answer
914 views

How to calculate or design glide ratio? [duplicate]

Was interesting to watch the explanation about glider here, especially about the glide ratio. Glide ratio is defined as the ratio between altitude when it start gliding (Y-axis) to the distance it can ...
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1answer
273 views

How does the glide ratio change with velocity in a glider with air brakes deployed?

I'm interested in how the glide ratio steepens when increasing velocity, starting from the best slope (best L/D) velocity, in a high drag configuration (air brakes fully extended on a glider). I've ...