Wyvern Gliding Club

Upavon Airfield, Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 6BE
The Glider
copyright BGA

   A few notes:

A glider is controlled similarly to an aeroplane, with a control stick and rudder. The stick is connected to the elevator surface on the tailplane, and the aileron control surfaces on the wings. If the stick is moved in the fore and aft sense the elevators will lower or raise the nose of the glider. Moving the stick back in the air makes the nose come up, and moving it forward lowers the nose.

If the stick is moved to the left, the aileron control surfaces will lower the left wing, and the glider will bank over and then start to turn to the left; moving the stick to the right will bank the glider over to the right, and it will then start to turn to the right.

The rudder pedals control the vertical rudder surface. If the left foot is moved forward the glider will yaw to the left; the right rudder will yaw it to the right. Unlike a boat, an aircraft is not turned on the rudder. It is turned by banking it over in the direction it is desired to go; rudder is used together with the bank to make the turn smooth and accurate.

The first thing you will learn in the air is how to make the glider fly along at its proper attitude, so that you can maintain a steady speed.

Instruments. The three instruments mostly used are the VARIOMETER, and the AIRSPEED INDICATOR (A.S.I.) and the ALTIMETER.

The variometer indicates the rate at which the glider is climbing in upcurrents, or if it is not in lift, the rate at which it is sinking back to earth.

The A.S.I. shows the speed at which the glider is flying through the air. A headwind or a tailwind will of course, affect the speed at which the glider covers the ground.

The altimeter shows the height of the glider in feet. If it is set to zero on the airfield, it will show the height of the glider above the airfield.

Other Controls. The AIRBRAKES, or the SPOILERS, are smallish plates which the pilot can make project from the wing to increase the drag of the glider. He uses them to steepen the glide to help him land accurately in a short distance. Spoilers are on the top surface of the wings only, and are less powerful than airbrakes.

The TRIMMER If this is fitted the pilots uses it to adjust, or ease the load on the stick caused by different weight pilots, or flight conditions. The RELEASE knob, which is normally painted yellow, is pulled to release the launching cable.

Cockpit Check. Before every flight, the pilot carries out a pre-take off drill to ensure that everything is working properly. He will ensure that no cushions are jamming the controls, that the instruments are set, that the airbrakes are locked shut, and anything else that is necessary.

At the gliding club you will be out on the landing field while flying is going on. You must at all times keep a look out befoe walking on the landing area. If in doubt as to whether it is safe, ask first.

At the launch point, never walk in front of a glider which has a launching cable attached; if in doubt keep behind any glider waiting to be launched. If more than one launch cable is being used, never touch or stand on any cable lying on the ground while launching is in progress. If aeroplanes are being used for towing remember that a running propellor is difficult to see, so do not go near the front of any aeroplane which has a pilot inside it, even when it is parked.

If you would like more information please contact: wyvernsecretary@gmail.com
Further reading:
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