FAQ - questions and answers

General gliding

How does a glider fly?

Gliders do not need wind to fly. They fly too, and just as well when there is no wind. At the start, the glider is brought to a certain height by a winch, self-launch or a motor plane.

At the flight school, this is about 300-400 m above the start at the flight school, or 500m above the start when towing the aircraft.

Then it flies on a slightly inclined runway. It must constantly sacrifice some of its starting height for its gliding flight to compensate for the braking effect of air resistance.

The glider thus converts its altitude into flight distance - until the altitude is used up and the aircraft has to land.

Then why do gliders fly hundreds of kilometers?

The glider tries to find thermals while gliding. Thermal is air warmed by the sun's rays rising from the floor. The glider uses this rising air. Through constant circling, he stays within the updraft and climbs with it.

On the cross-country flight, it then glides down to the next updraft, gains altitude there again, glides to the next but one etc.

Some gliders have an engine (e.g. a folding engine). They are real gliders that fly just as well without an engine. If the thermals are not sufficient to reach the home airfield, the pilot starts his engine and can continue to fly.

What if ... you get into an air hole?

Nothing, because there are no air holes. There are only up and down winds that the plane easily flies through.

It is a somewhat unfamiliar feeling at the beginning, later it is quite normal.

What if ... there is no more updraft?

You land on the next airfield or on a long flight in a large meadow or field. These are not “emergency landings”, but a completely normal situation when gliding - the outside landing, which is also practiced during training.

However, if the glider has a folding engine, it is extended and started to reach the next airfield or even the home airfield.

Glider training

Who can learn to soar?

Those who are at least 14 years old, physically and mentally healthy and who are no heavier than 110 kg and no taller than 2 meters can learn to fly gliders. An aviator will determine suitability for flight.

How long does the training take?

After successfully completing the compact course, you can take off independently with flight instructor radio support, fly and land in the flight area. How to collect additional flights until they are ready for the exam.

What are the course dates?

At the Wasserkuppe flying school, we focus entirely on you. During the whole flight season (end of March to end of October) we offer practical flight training from sunrise to sunset in the air sports center Wasserkuppe during flight weather.

Our colleagues from the aviation sports office plan your course times with you according to your individual wishes.