About (Gliding)

About gliding is a blog that wants to push the knowledge and innovation of gliding forward.

This has been my passion for more than a decade. Perhaps you have already read some of my earlier articles, such as “The Cloud Making Machines”, or “Breaking through the 200kph barrier”.

Those articles and talks were only published sporadically through scattered dissemination. This website makes it possible to have structure, it will be easier to find information, and it has the potential for a wider audience. It will also push me to finish up lingering projects.

A wide range of themes is in focus: Technological innovation, analyzing extraordinary performances, state of the art practical strategies to fly faster and further, improvements to gliding mathematics and theory, rectifying common misconceptions, proposing and monitoring competition rule changes, searching for record-breaking opportunities, and discovering unexplored territories on earth and beyond. Safety & Accident prevention will be major and recurring topics.

Upcoming articles vary from Cheating in gliding competitions, over Hybrid-electrical tow planes, AI Glider Pilots, an Error in MacCready theory, Analysis of an IFR glider flight, the Potential of Crateus, to Promising methods in reducing gaggles and leaching.

In short: every story about gliding that is innovative, interesting, and if possible helpful.

Some articles have been gathering dust on my hard drive unpublished for years, others are in various stages of completion, and yet others are currently just concepts and questions roaming around in my head. Some articles will be scientifically rigorous, others will be napkin sketches. Some concepts will be already tested and proven in praxis, others would require millions (or billions) to even begin to try out.

In the beginning, there will be quite a rapid succession of posts, then settling down to probably about 1 a month — more frequent in November, less frequent in May.

Innovative and interesting are the keywords, but I also want to create something accessible. If an article is boring to the common addicted glider pilot, it has missed its mark. For this reason, I’ll try to separate the lighter parts from the very technical stuff. I will not succeed in that every time.

It is not the goal to give final answers to everything, but to put things out there to share knowledge, inspire people, and open debate. Comments, discussion, and criticism are thus very welcome.

I hope you enjoy reading this site,

Tijl Schmelzer