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  1. #1

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    Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    Is there a difference between a glider and a sailplane? I know that I use the terms interchangeably every now and then, but I was just wondering if there really is a difference?

    Is motor assisted launch planes called gliders and sailplanes have no motor at all? Is that the difference?

    Just wondering...

  2. #2
    Moderator BarracudaHockey's Avatar
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    Same difference between a car and an automobile.
    Andy - Helicopter Forum Moderator
    AMA 77227 Leader Member- Contest Director
    www.JaxRC.com

  3. #3
    soarrich's Avatar
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    They're interchangable terms, but I think of mine as sailplanes because the go up, gliders only go down.
    Rich Border AMA 77727
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #2

  4. #4
    soarrich's Avatar
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    AMA 77227
    http://www.gatewayrc.org
    Helicopter Forum Moderator

    Nice number, mine's AMA 77727, I wonder who got 77777?
    Rich Border AMA 77727
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #2

  5. #5
    Moderator BarracudaHockey's Avatar
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    Hehe thanks. I've had it since I was 14. I even passed on getting a lower number when I got my CD.

    The downside is you need 3 packs of numbers to do both sides of a plane.
    Andy - Helicopter Forum Moderator
    AMA 77227 Leader Member- Contest Director
    www.JaxRC.com

  6. #6

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    "I THINK" a glider is a plane that once released from its method of launch, the flight will be a decending one with little ability to use lift from thermals. As a kid I flew full sized "gliders." They were open cockpit, tandem, and were nicknamed flying bricks. We were winch launched to about 800ft, and once off the winch it was a really quick flight, but perfect for training. Later I went to sailplanes. Sailplanes are able to use thermals to maintain or gain altitude. I could also have dreamed this up (except me flying).

    Keith
    Be an organ and tissue donor. Tell your family your wishes. It\'s your last chance to make a difference.

  7. #7
    Propwash in Pa's Avatar
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    Based on your (good) definition, I must be, not just a good pilot, but a great glider pilot. Based on yesterday's flights, I could not catch an updraft if I were standing over a steam vent.
    Hog Bipe, Edge 540, Extra 300,
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  8. #8

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?


    ORIGINAL: Propwash in Pa

    Based on your (good) definition, I must be, not just a good pilot, but a great glider pilot. Based on yesterday's flights, I could not catch an updraft if I were standing over a steam vent.
    Dare I say "I feel your pain." I flew yesterday too and was getting some great launches off of a winch. Even with these launches, the longest flight was 7.7mins, the shortest 2.5mins, and the average, 3.5mins[:@]

    Keith
    Be an organ and tissue donor. Tell your family your wishes. It\'s your last chance to make a difference.

  9. #9

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    I suppose, strictly speaking, that a 747 that has just lost power to all 4 engines could be classified as a "glider", but not a sailplane. Keith's definition is on the mark.

  10. #10

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    Most aircraft are capable of gliding - but a sailplane is designed specifically for the purpose.

  11. #11

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    Sailplane is the American term for a British Glider.

  12. #12

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    All sailplanes are gliders but not all gliders are sailplanes. Definition does not depend on the ability to climb without power. I recall reading about a P38 being used to research mountain waves climbing with both engines feathered. Must have been between 1945 and 1950.

  13. #13

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    Say, that pilot must have had a set of big brass ones!!!
    Zebraone
    AMA129570

  14. #14
    Semi Retired Aviator's Avatar
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?


    You bet he had big ones, but I bet they were stainless steel or titanium!!

    It's not difficult to set 'zero thrust' on piston engines, and a whole lot safer than shutting them down to achieve the same thing, particularly around mountain waves.
    Giver her some more power.......She won\'t take any more!

  15. #15
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    The "Space Shuttle" after being launched into space is nothing more than a very expensive glider during its return trip...

    Wouldn't you like to fly that baby...!

    Kevin

  16. #16
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    Iwas gonna say $ but the space shuttle reference kind of blew that out of the water!!
    Yes dear, I did glue my hand to the airplane to keep from dropping it.

  17. #17

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?


    ORIGINAL: Aquila223

    Sailplane is the American term for a British Glider.
    I've never had a doubt about the significant difference between a glider and a sailplane.

    Would you call a Waco Hadrian a sailplane?



    old git - - - - aka John L.

  18. #18
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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?

    I've never had a doubt about the significant difference between a glider and a sailplane.

    Would you call a Waco Hadrian a sailplane?
    Yes, http://aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/specs/waco/cg-4a.htm
    I'd like to see that in a rc kit...!

  19. #19

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?


    ORIGINAL: laurionk

    I've never had a doubt about the significant difference between a glider and a sailplane.

    Would you call a Waco Hadrian a sailplane?
    Yes, http://aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/specs/waco/cg-4a.htm
    I'd like to see that in a rc kit...!
    When I followed your Hadrian link I was interested to see that there were pilots who liked to fly it. I flew one a short time after WW2 and it was a terrible experience. Mind you it cost something in the order of One shilling and Three pence for the kit and had about 12" span. Seriously though they cost too too many lives on arrival at "terra firma", no chance to stretch the glide to find a decent landing ground!



    old git - - - - aka John L.

  20. #20

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    RE: Stupid question... What is the difference between a glider and sailplane?


    ORIGINAL: Dazzaz

    Is there a difference between a glider and a sailplane? I know that I use the terms interchangeably every now and then, but I was just wondering if there really is a difference?
    Azzaz,

    Technically, there is a difference...look up both terms on this aviation glossary link:

    http://www.aerofiles.com/glossary.html

    However, even the FAA uses both terms to mean the same thing. In the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR), in terns of Pilot Certificates, the term "glider" is used. In the flight Proficiency section of the same FAR's, the term "sailplane" is used.

    Ernie
    Sailplane
    \"I cant understand why Chicago gangsters have bulletproof glass in their cars, and I cant get it in my Spitfires!\" Dowding


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