Understand the thermal lift

The thermal lift

Glider pilots (these include also paraglider and hang glider pilots) use different types of lift. Today we will discover one of them: The thermal lift.

The Earth's surface is far from being the same everywhere: It is composed of forests, fields, cities, lakes or other types of surfaces that do not react the same to sunlight.

On a sunny day, these diversities will be the origin of zones of relatively warm and cold air.
Warm air being lighter than cold air will rise up and generate what glider pilots call
a thermal.

These contrasts of temperature on the ground are the origin of a phenomenon called convection.

How to use the thermal lift to fly

Glider pilots circle into these thermals to climb at speeds up to 5 meters per second. To illustrate this figure, in a good thermal. Glider pilots need about one minute to climb the height of the Eiffel Tower.

The power of thermal lift is incredible. Glider pilots have learned to use it to stay in the sky for hours and travel long distances.

They use birds, clouds or their sensations confirmed by instruments to locate this energy
and enjoy incredible sceneries in the peaceful silence.

This is a transcription of the video of "The Gliding Spirit"

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