Gliding in Bedfordshire

Gliding in Bedfordshire

Dunstable gliding club is a fantastically placed club to take a glider flight within very easy reach of London and the Home Counties. Sitting pretty on the Dunstable Downs once you’re airborne and soaring through the skies you’ll be able to see for miles and miles rather like your own personal Google Earth experience!

This grass airfield is just west of Dunstable town centre. Gliding originally took place at Ivinghoe Beacon in the 1930s but drawing inquisitive crowds every gliding day the club was evicted for ‘spoiling it’s peaceful enjoyment by the public’ and moved to its current location. As you might guess gliding activity stalled a little bit during WW2 but since then membership has really taken off and the fleet now consists of 12 pure gliders one motor glider and various tug planes.

Dunstable’s gliding for beginners is mostly done in the modern ASK21s – tandem planers with superb visibility from the cockpit and well-renowned for being reliable and easy to fly. The collection of non-motorised aircraft also includes a sporty single seater glider as well as ASK23s a 13 and a 24. Powered flights comes in the form of the Pilatus PC-11 and of course the tow planes.

As you climb aboard the glider for your flight your pilot instructor will put you at ease before the tug plane starts to pull you into the air. Once airborne and released (at around 2000ft) you’ll be amazed at the view down below – you’ll see roads you never knew existed and watch the scenery change before your eyes as you glide over the Dunstable Downs.

It has to be said this is a very well equipped and friendly glider club where all members share a common interest – their passion for gliding. Indeed it’s very much a co-operative sport with several pairs of hands needed to launch and land a glider so you’ll see how all the comes together to make for a convivial fun and very active Dunstable gliding group that are only too pleased to welcome new members (and worth noting that you get three months’ membership to the club with these experiences).

Once back down on terra firma after your breathtaking glider flight experience over Dunstable you’ll have a debrief with the pilot and time to take those all-important photos. 

Don’t forget we also cater for nationwide gliding experience gift vouchers at venues outside of the Dunstable/London area.

Find out more and book your place today!

Gliding in Kent

Gliding in Kent

Gliding in Kent has a very long and proud history with hundreds getting airborne to soar over of the Garden of England through the years. Located on the crest of the North Downs between Charing and Challock this lively and energetic club in Kent is a great place to learn the graceful art of gliding.

This Kentish club is is in fact believed to have been the first gliding club to be formed in England on the 4th January 1930. Of course there was no time for leisurely pursuits such as gliding during the second world war but the enthusiasts got together again and reformed in 1956 with a renewed zest and vigour. The club has migrated all over the county  but gliding in Kent finally settled at its current location in 1961 continuously developing and upgrading the facilities and fleet to remain up to date and modern.

A very dynamic club it has an excellent club house and briefing room for budding glider pilots and for the 150 active members has seven twin seat gliders and around 30 BGA approved gliding instructors. There are 20 tug pilots on the books to keep the club gliding seven days a week in summer and every Wednesday and at weekends in winter too. With the mild climate of Kent it’s perfectly possible to glide all year round.

Many have said that gliding offers the best views of Kent and the coastline. In fact on a clear day you can look out of one side of the cockpit and see the Thames Estuary Whitstable and into Essex whilst from the other side of your glider it’s the views of Ashford the Kent coastline and perhaps even France that’ll have you utterly enthralled as you take a slow graceful 360 degree turn to take it all in.

We are offering introductory taster sessions half days or one day courses in gliding at this Kent club. If you opt for the taster you will enjoy one aerotow flight being pulled into the air by a Piper Pawnee tug plane leaving you to soar high above the cliffs like a giant seagull and your ride back to the grass runway. The half day experience gives you two flights and lets you try both aerotow and winch launch methods.

On the full day session you will become part of the Kent gliding family for a day. See the ‘log cabin’ that gets towed out to the launch area (and acts as mission control on flying days) meet the members have a chat and generally immerse yourself in the world of gliding. Your intensive day gives you an aerotow and three winch launches where you are hooked up to the cable the winch takes up the slack and you’re away rumbling and bouncing over the grass for what feels like just milliseconds before you suddenly lift away and everything goes quiet…save for the sound of the wind whistling.

Find out more and book your place today!

Gliding in North Wales

Gliding in North Wales

A really rather special place to take to the air you’ll delight in soaring over the hillsides around Llandegla when you have a go at gliding in Wales. With instructors who are keen to show those on taster lessons just how the sun and air alone can power your flight you’ll learn a lot on these lessons as well as loving the sky-high Welsh views.

This popular North Wales club (or Clwb Gleido Gogledd Cymru in Welsh) uses a winch (cable launch) to get you airborne and depending on local weather conditions and forecast you will have one extended flight or up to three shorter flights during your time at the airfield.

But this isn’t just a aerial excursion to see the sights of North Wales. Once you’ve launched gained height and settled in to your glider flight the pilot may very well hand you the controls so you will actually be steering the glider yourself as you soar like a bird with the sun and air powering you over stunning vistas. Expect to hear words like ‘lift’ ‘sink’ ‘pitch’ ‘roll’ ‘vario’ and even find out what ‘attitude’ (yes altitude not altitude!) and ‘strop’ means in the world of gliding.

One of the best things about choosing to try out gliding out this Wales club is that you become a member of the club for 28 days allowing you to return another day and get discounted flights if you find you’re really hooked on flying! If you are more tempted by powered aircraft flights and taster lessons are available too from our main flying section.

We think you’ll love gliding. This is the best of Wales and there are also great facilities nearby including a B&B and several fine pubs so why not make a weekend of your gliding lessons over North Wales and explore the local area afterwards too? And don’t forget to invite friends and family along to enjoy the gliding fun watching you from the ground.

If  Wales is too far to travel Into the Blue offers gliding lessons at centres across the UK so there’s bound to be a suitable location for you.

Find out more and book your place today!

Vintage Slingsby Glider Experience

Vintage Slingsby Glider Experience

Vintage Slingbsy glider flights – good old fashioned open-cockpit gliding now available! This is your chance to fly in a rare Slingsby T21 glider. The vintage soaring machine is still very much a favourite and it’s a real honour to be able to offer flights in a stunning example of the classic T21.

Known as ‘Daisy’ this T21 was built in 1951. Designed and built in the UK by Slingsby the very first T21s took to the sky in 1944. They were used by RAF Air Cadets for training right up until the 1980s proving that this graceful bird has real staying power. Now many are in the hands of private owners and glider clubs who lovingly preserve these wonderful machines.

These Slingsbys look quite different to modern gliders. Affectionately called ‘The Barge’ it’s easy to say why with that wide flat boat-like hull. Unusually the T21 has a side-by-side configuration compared to most gliders that are tandem with one person sitting behind the other. But the major difference is that this baby is open cockpit. That means you are completely open to the elements making a flight in a vintage Slingsby glider with its 54ft wingspan the nearest you’ll get to being a bird!

Resplendent in her RAF trainer colours Daisy is a magnificent sight in the sky. Loved by RAF cadets (and their instructor trainers) for being robust stable with rather sedate flying qualities the T21 is pure gliding joy. With her distinctive looks Daisy is a real head turner.

Your flight will be a winch-launch giving you around 10-minutes of soaring in the skies above Bicester. Being the elegant lady of a certain age that she is Daisy can only fly in clement weather so please be patient with her. If your booked flying date is cancelled you can choose to rebook or take a flight in one of the club’s modern gliders.

We have to say flying with one of the country’s oldest glider clubs at one of the oldest airfields (RAF Weston-on-the-Green is still an active RAF base too boot) in a classic vintage Slingsby glider is a true delight. Anyone who is into silent flight will absolutely love this experience. Buy your voucher now and book your seat in this historic open-cockpit vintage glider. It’s going to be quite a flight.

Find out more and book your place today!

Gliding North Devon

Gliding North Devon

Gliding in Devon lets you see the beautiful countryside from an amazingly serene aerial vantage point as you glide through the skies above this quiet South Western corner of the country. The small and friendly North Devonshire aero club offers modern sailplanes to get your gliding dreams off the ground and aims to make you feel part of the team for the entirety of your glider experience.

For the one aerotow flight and the full day gliding experiences this Devonshire club which is one of the oldest established in the county uses modern Blanik and Bergfalke twin-seater gliders that are very easy to control. Before being launched (the club has Piper Super Cruiser a Bellanca Citabria and even a Chipmunk as tug planes!) your instructor will run through the pre-flight checks with you as well giving you a safety briefing on the flight controls and instrument panels of these trainer sailplanes.

Once airborne you’ll soon start to get an aptitude for silent flight…no droning engines no smell of aviation fuel just the whistling sound of the wind as you are gliding effortlessly through the Devon sky. If you are keen to have a go the instructor will hand you the controls so you can fly the glider yourself and if you’re feeling really confident in your newfound winged abilities you can stay in charge for the remainder of the flight!

If you choose to be in the glider for three aerotow flights you can expect to spend most of the day at this friendly Devon club. This gives you the opportunity to really feel like part of the team working together to get a glider into the air – from manoeuvring the gliders on the ground and launch preparation to log keeping and administration you’ll see it all.

All aircraft used for these gliding over Devon days have valid certificates of airworthiness and all instructors are fully qualified and members of the British Gliding Association. For a different birds-eye panorama we also offer other gliding experience venues throughout the UK.

Find out more and book your place today!