There is total silence. Gliding is a sport that protects the environment. The sport involves flying in an aircraft called a glider, which is light enough to sail through the air. The key is to make use of the upward currents in order to gain or maintain height. This is the issue.
The first aircraft were made of wood. Nowadays, they are made of very light materials, such as fibre glass, and they have very thin, long wings that can measure up to 20 m.
As there is no engine, they have to be pulled by a light aircraft up to a certain height. Then the glider is set free and the pilot takes control. He/she has to climb, move or land using his/her skill and the atmospheric resources. This requires a feeling, intuition and knowledge of the land in order to understand the thermal currents that enable a glider to remain in the sky for as long as possible.
You don’t need to be especially fit, nor do you need aeronautical or meteorological knowledge. There are no restrictions in terms of age or gender. The only requirement is a desire to have a unique experience.
Gliding is also a competitive sport. Competitions usually last several days. The trials are usually based on speed. Gliders can reach speeds of more than 160 km per hour.
There are four gliding categories. Club: low performing gliders (they are usually old and made of wood and material). Standard: gliders with a wingspan of 15 metres (from wing tip to wing tip) without flaps. 15 metres class: the same but with flaps. Open: any glider with a wingspan of more than 15 metres.
The Club de Vol a Vela d’Igualada-Ódena, at the General Vives airfield (Barcelona) organises first flights in two-seater gliders with an instructor, as well as introductory flights and courses for pilots.
Another possibility is the Centre de Vol a Vela La Cerdanya at the Cerdanya airfield and heliport in the district of Fontanals (Girona). Here you can do introductory courses, where you will study aerodynamics, the main controls, towing, landing and basic techniques for taking advantage of the upward currents. The course includes three flights in a glider, each one lasting 30 min.