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Find out more about
GLIDING
in the Air Training Corps
____________________

The Viking has no engine and is accelerated to its flying speed by different means. One method is aero-towing whereby a powered aircraft acts as a tug and pulls the glider off the ground and up to a predetermined height by means of a towing cable. However, as a cadet, it is unlikely that you will experience this method of launching a glider. If you are affiliated to a Viking school you will experience the winch launch. A winch is a series of drums on which are about 1,500 metres of strong, flexible, steel cable. The winch is powered by a powerful turbo engine.

A series of signals is given from the launch point caravan, instructing the winch driver when to launch. The cable is initially drawn in slowly to remove any slack in the cable, this signal consists of a slow flashing light and the signal is called 'take up slack'. When the cable is taut the winch driver receives another signal called 'all out' at this point the winch driver applies a lot more power to launch the glider into the air.

When the glider has reached its desired height the cable is released by the pilot and falls to earth, steadied by a parachute. It is then reeled in by the winch before the next launch. The height the glider achieves depends on the wind strength, the speed at which the cable is being wound onto the drum and the length of the cable. A winch launch normally lasts between 5-6 minutes. However, in the warmer months the pilot can use thermals (warm rising air) to stay aloft for longer periods of time. The pilot will try to circle in the thermal to gain height.

 

Vigilant motorised glider
 
Last updated
Saturday 1 December, 2012 17:13

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2187 (CANVEY ISLAND) SQUADRON ATC
"VENTURE ADVENTURE"

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