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Gliders are light aircraft which achieve unpowered flight not only gliding through the air but by climbing using the rising air masses, the most common of which being the thermal. The designs are improving all the time and they have even taken a step beyond pure gliders. There are gliders with optional engines, which can be used to sustain flight or just launch the glider. The normal launch methods are to either be towed behind a powered aircraft using a 60m rope and be released once airborne or to use a winch with a powerful stationary engine to rapidly wind in 1000m of wire cable attached to the glider. The FAI which is the international governing body for the many airsports including gliding has defined quite a number of class for gliders. These include a two seater and world class which is a specific low cost and easy to assemble glider.

Wall Climbing TL 30
Wall Rappelling TL 30
Zipline TL 40
Commando & Type Net TL 20
Water Roller TL 20
Pressure Rocket TL 30
Lawn Zorb TL 30
Water Zorb TL 20
Bull Ride TL 30
Kids Paddle Boat TL 20
8 Obstacle Coure TL 40
Bungee Run TL 20
Bungee Trampoline TL 30
Human Gyro TL 30
Gun Shooting TL 20
Archery TL 20
Rafting TL 10
Paragliding TL 30
Quad Safari TL 26
4x4 Off Road Safari TL 32
Diving TL 23
Biking TL 12
Bungee Jumping TL 34
Microlighting TL 25
Go Karting TL 16
Hunting TL 28
Sky Dive TL 55
Canyoning TL 13
Sea Fishing TL 12
Sea Kayaking TL 23
Kitesurfing TL 9
Heliskiing TL 89
Jetskiing TL 16
Parasailing TL 23
Flyboard TL 24
Snowboard TL 27
Paintballing TL 15
Water Ski TL 11
Camel Ride TL 18
Hot Air Balloon TL 45
Horse Riding TL 18
Stand Up Paddle ( SUP ) TL 8
Shark Dive TL 19
Wakeboarding TL 13

These names actually include all light weight slow flying aircraft. They come in all shapes and sizes and include powered parachutes, powered paragliders, balloons, basic helicopters, hang glider style wings as well as the more traditional looking lightweight planes. It is all the more confusing in that the names and classifications vary in different countries. This is also the case for safety regulations which are very strict in the UK, Germany and Italy yet almost non existant in France and the US which requires no training or license for some of the classes. Since it began in the seventies this type of flying has grown rapidly and in affluent countries it accounts for 20% of the civil air traffic. There are now many sophisticated light weight aircraft on the market which are actually considered as high performance aircraft. These look like small aeroplanes and the common name for this group is recreational aircraft