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  • 1. How Gliders Work CUO Tonya Brown Apr 11
  • 2. Not talking about this glider... 
  • 3. Aim
    • Learn the basics of how gliders work
    • Create a model glider (Squadron Competition)
  • 4. Introduction
    • Glider is an unpowered aircraft
    • Aerodynamic and piloting factors that apply to powered airplanes also apply to gliders
    • Lack of motor changes a lot about how gliders work
    • Closest humans get to soaring like a bird
  • 5. Parts of a Glider
    • A glider has many of the same parts as an airplane:
      • Fuselage
      • Wings
      • Control Surfaces
      • Landing Gear
    • But there are significant differences
  • 6. Fuselage
    • As small and light as possible
    • Basically sized around the cargo they carry (1 or 2 people)
    • Cockpit of a single-seat glider is small, but large enough for most
    • Pilots recline with their legs stretched out in front of them
    • Frontal exposure of pilot is reduced and cross-sectional area of cockpit can be substantially smaller
  • 7.
    • Designed to have skins that are as smooth as possible to allow plane to slip more easily
    • Modern gliders – composite construction using materials such as fibreglass and carbon fibre
    • Materials allow aircraft designers to create seamless and rivet-less structures, producing less drag
  • 8. Wings
    • Longer and narrower than conventional a/c
    • Slenderness of wing expressed as aspect ratio (calculated by dividing the square of the span of the wing by the area of the wing)
    • High aspect ratio (long wing compared width)
    • Drag created during the production of lift (induced drag) can account for significant portion of drag on glider
  • 9.
  • 10. Control Surfaces
    • Gliders use same control surfaces that are found on conventional aircraft
    • Ailerons and elevator controlled using single stick between pilots legs
    • Rudder – controlled using foot pedals
  • 11. Ailerons
    • Moveable sections cut on trailing edge of wing
    • Used as primary directional control and they control roll of plane
    • Operate in opposite directions of each side of the plane
    • Roll to the right - move control stick to right
      • Left aileron deflect down (more lift)
      • Right aileron deflect up (less lift)
      • Difference in lift causes rotation along axis
  • 12. Elevator
    • Horizontal Stabiliser
    • Movable wing like structure on the tail
    • Used to control pitch of plane
    • Allowing to point nose up/down
  • 13. Rudder
    • Vertical Stabiliser
    • Wing structure on tail
    • Control the yaw
    • Allowing pilot to point nose left/right
  • 14. Landing Gear
    • Reduce size of aircraft by reducing landing gear
    • Glider typically consists of a single wheel mounted just below cock pit
  • 15. Getting off the ground
    • 3 basic forces act on a glider (they do not have thrust like airplanes)
    • Lift – created by wings, counteracting weight
      • Lift enhanced
    • Drag – tends to slow plane down
      • In motorised thrust overcomes drag, in glider try to reduce with the design of glider
    • Weight – can be made to work for or against
      • Lighter keeps in air, heavier increases speed
      • Tanks of water can be used for weight and dumped off during flight
  • 16.
    • Without an engine needs to get up in air by aero-tow
    • Conventional powered plane tows glider up in sky using long rope
    • Glider takes of before tow plane
    • When at the desired altitude – release rope
  • 17. Staying in the air
    • Thermals
      • Columns of air rising by heating of earth surface
      • Absorbing more sun (asphalt parking lots, dark ploughed fields, rocky terrain)
      • Circle within column (gaining height)
    • Ridge Lift
      • Winds blow against mountains/hills/ridges
    • Wave Lift
      • Winds meet mountain – leeward side
      • Can lift up to thousands of feet high (more than 35000ft)
  • 18.
  • 19. Landing
    • Much like conventional except only single small wheel located directly under the pilot
    • Wings are strong and reinforced to prevent damage (usually manage to keep off anyway until slowed sufficiently)
    • Spoilers are on each wing - disrupting airflow drastically reducing lift
  • 20. Glider World Records
    • Absolute Altitude: 49, 009ft
    • Speed over 100km triangular course: 217.4km/h
    • Free distance: 1460.8 km
    • Distance around triangular course: 1399.4 km
  • 21. Make a Model Straw Glider
    • Refer to Activity Sheet