Tag Archives: glider

On the Airbus Perlan Mission II

 

Aviation had always a mandatory adventure component. Since its inception, before Flyer took off in 1903, adventure, challenge and epic has been associated to the magic of flying. The riskiest first years of flying, Blériot, Fokker, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, the two World Wars, spanish Plus-Ultra, the golden commercial age, the Constellation, the X-planes, Kelly Johnson, Tupolev, Mikoyan Gurevich, McDonnel Douglas, the 747, the Concorde, A380, TWA-PanAm, Stealth planes, Airbus/Boeing, SkunkWorks, SR-71, etc. are history forever. But in the 21st century flying is just another mean of transport, new programmes as 787 or A350, F35, military contracts, A400 and manufacturers trying to get some Airbus/Boeing market share. Do we still have any adventure to see? I hope so, this is what the Airbus Perlan Mission II is trying to achieve, new challenges with the basic way of flying, soaring with a glider. A plane trying to get higher than any other manned aircraft has ever flown and without engines, just wind. Do you remember Red Bull Stratos Jump and Felix Baumgartner or the recent jump of Google VP Alan Eustace? Like them, this is another epic project.

Airbus Perlan Project II

 

We had the privilege of making an interview to two members of this project. Soar with us and start this amazing adventure!

On learning to fly (Gliding)

 

aeriaA as a website about aviation tries to cover all the topics. But there is one basic topic that is the primary reason of writing about airports, technologies applied to them, aviation history, interviews to experts, mobile apps, etc. The reason is that we fly, on a plane, on parachutes, delta wings, whatever, so when I received a course proposal in my mail inbox three months ago I instantly replied to it and I enrolled to an introductory course for learning to fly on a glider. Relatively cheap, without special requirements, and with a pure approach of flying, no engines, only the man, a flying machine and the nature. I reserved my first summer holidays on august, and here is my experience of learning to fly.

In this flying atmosphere, the cooperation among equals, the assistance to your pals, no matter how many flying hours you have, if you are the instructor, the newbie, the expert, the time logger and runway supervisor, it doesn’t matters, you are in, you take part of it and simply enjoy.

The first day:

I arrived to LEOC near Toledo, 60km south of Madrid (Spain), the day was great, sunny, blue sky, no wind. After doing some administrative course stuff, I was introduced to the instructors, Pawel Kwiatkowski and Pedro Berlinches, my main flight instructor will be Pawel. We reached the main hangar and the first dutie, “here everybody cooperate, take the glider’s batteries, carry with the parachutes, help to move the gliders…” We moved out the gliders from de hangar, by hand, they are big, elegant and light, they are as the huge dog that impress at first sight but afterwards when you touch it he shows you his nobleness.

It’s time to taxi the gliders to the runway, today we use the 29. The best way for taxiing a glider for some hundreds of meters is as the following picture shows.

A glider ready for taxiing. Image credit: Pedro Garcia.

A glider ready for taxiing. Image credit: Pedro Garcia.