How Sailplanes Work !
Sailplanes are able to fly without engines by making use of rising air-currents. By finding and circling in this rising air they can climb thousands of feet in altitude. Sailplanes fly cross-country by climbing in rising air, then gliding towards their goal, very slowly losing height, finding another area of lift and climbing again - and so on.
What Sailplanes are capable of !
In the right hands, and in the right conditions, sailplanes can perform extra-ordinary feats. Consider some of these world record flights:
Distance to a declared goal, two-seater glider: 1,383km.
Distance over a triangular course, two-seater glider: 1,379.35km.
Free distance with up to 3 turn points: 1,433.93km.
Speed over a triangular course of 100km: 195.3km/h.
Feminine record for speed over a triangular course of 500km: 133.14km/h.
Speed over a triangular course of 750km: 158.41km/h.
Speed over a triangular course of 1,250km: 133.24km/h.
Gain of height: 12,894m.
In November 1994, a New Zealand pilot flew his sailplane, in a 14 hour flight, a total of 2,100km, within the South Island of NZ. This distance record is now awaiting homologation.