There are many ways in which they can be moved from one place to another in the sky or through the air. One of these types of vehicles is known as the glider . There are several types of them however, their characteristics of design and principles in most are virtually the same as all conform to the principles Aerodynamic that make possible its flight.


What is a glider?


glider is a type of airplane that does not have an engine and for this reason it cannot lift itself. It must be dragged by a motorized plane to reach a high enough height and thus remain in the air for a long time .

  • Definition
  • What is a glider for?
  • Glider Features
  • Story
  • Types
  • Parts of a glider
  • How does it work
  • Autonomy
  • Importance
  • Curiosities


A glider is a type of aircraft of high performance that was designed to reach a glide angle quite flat . It is a type of aircraft that is mainly characterized by not having an engine and for this reason it does not have the ability to raise the flight on its own

What is a glider for?

One of the main uses given to glider planes is to practice the sport of sailing or flying, although it has also been used for other purposes, for example, for military or research purposes .

Glider Features

There are several characteristics that can be noticed and found in a glider plane, the most important of which are mentioned below:

  • Gliders have quite large, thin wings and also have a perfect aerodynamic profile .
  • Its landing gear is formed by a skid that is located under the belly of the glider.
  • The pilot position is located far forward so that the pilot has maximum visibility.
  • Some of them also have a space for a co-pilot .
  • Some types of gliders can also be radio controlled .
  • In some cases a motor can be used in the glider, in this case they are known as glider motorcycles .
  • Its flight depends on the atmospheric conditions that are in the place.


The first such flight that took place was quite short and took place in the year 1849 . The model that was used was based on a glider that had been made by scientist George Cayley . Shortly after, several developers began to improve the gliders and introduce new designs. One of the most successful designs was that of Otto Lilienthal, who managed to carry out a total of more than 2000 flights with his design . Otto began flying from a hill near his home in Germany , first building mono planes and then gliders that had two wings.

Most of the flights made by Otto someone started colliding and falling to the ground and for that reason, he added a tail that had a vertical type structure which managed to give it greater stability and more flight distance . Another problem that arose was that the glider was leaning forward and losing lift, he realized that the problem was due to the angle that existed between the wing and the wind.

The Wright brothers also had part in the invention you can manage to create a trio of gliders on their way to the development of ships that had an engine. During World War II several types of main active gliders were developed to help the troops and to transport some types of equipment . With the passage of time, the glider has taken on greater importance and has become one of the most popular sports in the world.


There have been 3 types of gliders in the course of time, these are:

  • Primary gliders : they are used mainly for entertainment and consist of a frame to which the wings are attached and the devices that are responsible for stabilizing the device.
  • Sailboats built like ordinary airframes with a fuselage and a cabin which can be for one or two people. They are designed with the aim of achieving maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
  • Unloading gliders : they are designed for civil or military use, they are larger because they must carry large weights and are towed by a powerful plane that is responsible for increasing the load on the airplane.

Parts of a glider

The parts that make up a glider are the following:

  • Fuselage : the fuselage is the structure of the glider and in them the wings, the surface of the tail and the engine are joined in case it exists.
  • Wings : they are the slightly curved horizontal components that are responsible for balancing the dynamic pressures that are also related to high and low pressure.
  • Rudder : it is the control surface which must be connected to a vertical stabilizer that is placed at the back of the glider.
  • Elevator : it is a horizontal type surface that has hinges and is used to maintain control of the longitudinal inclination.
  • Control surfaces : these surfaces are the same as a powered aircraft and are placed on the trailing edge of the wings.

How does it work

Like a motor plane, the glider needs to be controlled by a pilot, but these must first be towed until reaching a suitable height to start flight. For this type of trailer , a car can be used to which a towing cable will be attached so that it can be pushed at ground level to go with the wind currents . As the speed of the glider increases, the air has the ability to circulate faster over the wings, which causes an upward force to be generated, which is known as elevation .

So the higher the force the glider will have the more opportunities to stay in the air . When this is achieved, the pilot then releases the tow rope and the glider can then fly in the air. It is important to mention that another plane can also be used to make this type of towing. Once the glider is flying, the pilot will be in charge of moving the airplane controls up, to the sides or down. The common thing is that the pilots try to look for air currents that are of the ascending type so that in this way the glider can fly higher.


The autonomy of gliders depends mainly on the glide coefficient, which is a type of measure of the maximum distance that this type of aircraft can reach when it is in optimal conditions.


Gliders are a type of aircraft that are currently very useful in the sports field as it has become one of the main sports practiced by air lovers. In addition, it is considered a good transport and research mechanism, so that every day more is studied and new processes and tools are valued so that its operation improves.


Some curiosities of the gliders are the following:

  • The well-known paraglider is a type of glider with the difference being that its wings are made of cloth and flexible.
  • They can be towed either with another plane or with a car that has enough capacity to do so.
  • Currently a small engine has been added to some gliders to improve the flight.

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