Early Days


Gold Member
There has been a lot of discussion about the cable towed glider vs the boom glider and the advantages/disadvantages of each and on one of these videos I noticed something that I don't think had been mentioned about the cable towed version, and that was as the student got well trained and comfortable, he did a cable release right at the end of the tow and did a reagular landing. This also makes me feel that a HS even on a cable towed would give the more realistic feel of a powered landing during a cable release landing .


Steve Weir

Thanks for posting that video, it's the first one that I have seen of a glider in action. Was this the pilots first time? It certainly looked under control except maybe for the guys in the vehicle hitting the bumps! Would love to see more!


I can remember

I can remember

driving 4.5 hours each way to Herman Missouri to train in a towed glider with Willard Meyer. Usually there would be 3 or 4 of us getting training from him (I started with Charlie and Jane Mara) and we would take turns driving the tow vehicle and being a spotter who would watch Willard for hand signals to speed up or slow down etc.... It was very fun and I really enjoyed the short flights. In retrospect, I see they had limited value, you would only get 10-15 seconds of flight time and if there was any wind we either couldn't fly or could only fly one way down the runway.

I drove that distance to Herman for most of a summer and then I made an appointment and went down to Farringtons and trained with Tony Bolinger in an Air Command SBS trainer. As soon as I flew past the end of the runway I knew that this was the way to learn to fly a gyro. I was actually flying it after a couple hours, making all the turns, using all the controls and feeling out the aircraft. I became lifelong friends with Don and John Potter and spent many days going down for a quick visit to fly the 18A or R-22. (I never got very good with the R-22, for some reason I couldn't get past the cyclic control in that configuration). I bought a Super J-2 and took it down there to have them go over the machine and give it an annual. Don taught me and my friend Jerry Lookis how to fly that machine and we flew the hell out of it for a couple years until I got my my commercial and CFI in gyroplanes.

But I'd love to fly a glider again, I think that would be awesome!


21st Century Crankhandler
It wasn't my first day, but not far off it.

We had the turnaround pretty slick. In calm weather or neutral crosswind we got
40 takeoffs and landings in 20 minutes.

Then your head filled up, and it was time to take a break.

The speedbumps helped to keep the driver focused.

We learned a lot, and it was fun.


AR-1 🇺🇸
It's great seeing the interest being generated in the tow gliders. At one time there were a lot of pilots that were successfully trained in these, they should have not gone away, I hope to see a comeback in this type of training.

As far as the submarine, the pilot better hope like hell the sub doesn't have to make a quick dive.