I have the chance to count glider pilots among good friends of mine. They took me for my first flight without motor in one of the glider from the club they are members of. Amazing, this feeling to be carried in the air only by physic laws and without help of a motor. Here are some of the picture I shot this day at the club for gliding in Hagen/Iserlohn.
The gliders are stored in aircraft hangar, hanging at the ceiling and lying on the floor. Whereas they are in there, the wings are mostly took apart to save space. They are also protected by “socks” to avoid dirt and scratches on the wings surface (what would minimize the inertia of the glider in the air).
And the pilot cabin of such an aircraft looks like this, for a single person glider:
Gliders can be brought in the air by a “carrier motored airplane” (and so can reach a height of more than 1000m I think) or by means of a retractable cable. Due to the meteorological conditions (rain), it didn’t worth it to start with a motor airplane, so we used the cable solution. Here is the engine placed at the other and of the take-off runway: it owns a strong motor, capable of pulling the cable with the aircraft attached on it fast enough to let it reach about 300m height.
The weather was not ideal for gliding but it still was a really great experience. Thanks to Henning, Rebecca and all the club members!
photo credits: Herthings. These pictures are mine, so mind to mention the source if you want to use it.