"Once you have tested flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned for ever skywards, for there you have been, and there you long to return."

Leonardo da Vinci

Cockpit of single-seater glider


The controls of a glider are identical to the main controls of any powered aircraft. They consist of a control column (stick), which moves the elevator (7) and ailerons (3), and the ruder pedal which moves the ruder(5).

You always move the stick the way you want the glider to go. Move forward to put the nose down, move back to raise the nose: stick to the left will start the glider rolling over into a bank to the left: in order to bring the wings level again you just lean the stick the way you want the glider to go.

In addition to the main flying controls, there is the airbrake operating lever, the elevator trim lever, the cable release knob, and on high performance gliders, lever for retracting the main wheel and for operating the wing flaps.



The glider instruments panel has the same basic instruments as any other aircraft but, of course no engine instruments. The main instruments are Airspeed Indicator (A.S.I.), the Altimeter, and the Variometer (vario).The Variometer is a very sensitive instrument which shows the rate of climb or descend of the glider so the pilot can find the "lift" (thermals) and soar.