How High Can A Sailplane Go?
A Sailplane can achieve heights in mountain wave that are beyond the flights of our commercial jets! Flights of almost 50,000 feet have been made. This is the limit for man on oxygen alone; beyond that height, a pressure system is necessary. When that happens....what heights will be reached? Conditions are known to exist that will enable a sailplane to go to 100,000 feet!

How Far Can A Sailplane Fly?
By flying in thermals, on the ridge or in wave, cross country flights are routinely made. The National record for straight distance is 902.95 miles; Out & Return distance is 1023.42 miles.

How Long Can A Sailplane Stay Up?
Duration flights of over 60 hours have been made on the ridges. For safety reasons such record flights have been discontinued.

How Fast Can A Sailplane Fly?
The design of each sailplane determines its speed. Most gliders thermal a few miles per hour above stall speed. Final glide speed of high performance sailplanes may exceed 150 mph.

What Is A Stall?
A sailplane has to have enough speed so its wings support its weight. If the flying speed is too slow, it will not fly: that's a stall. Some sailplanes stall as low as 38 mph, others as high as 45.

Can Anyone Fly A Sailplane?
Anyone can fly a sailplane! Some students begin lessons at an early age but you must be 14 years of age to solo.

How Does A Sailplane Stay Up?
The air that passes over and under the wings produces lift. When it passes over the control surfaces, the sailplane can maneuver. The sailplane must point its nose down and gravity produces the speed necessary to allow the flow of air over the wings. That means the sailplane is always going down. In order to gain altitude or to stay up, it must find updrafts that are ascending at a faster rate than the sailplane descends.

What If You Can Not Make It Back To The Airport?
A clearing, a farmer's field, an athletic field is usually more than ample space for a landing. Once the pilot touches down he only needs 50 yards or less to stop.

How Do You Get The Sailplane Out Of The Field?
Some pilots have a crew that follows them in a car and maintains radio contact. Others will call the airport for the crew to bring the plane's trailer. The sailplane is dismantled, loaded and trailered home. The process of dismantling a sailplane takes about 15 minutes.

What Happens If There Is No Place To Land?
A pilot never lets himself get into that situation. He will never leave an area where there are landing areas if he doesn't have enough altitude to get to the next landing spot.

What Does A Sailplane Cost?
Most sailplanes average around $8,000 to over $20,000. High performance gliders may exceed $100,000. Sailplanes are good investments because the demand for used sailplanes is high.
Frequently Asked Questions About Soaring

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