During your time in the Air Cadets you will get the opportunity to go gliding. 135 Squadron organises regular gliding excursions at our local Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) which is based at RAF Kenly in surrey. The airfield is a famous wartime RAF station and has much history.
The Gliders flown at Kenly are the Grob 103, or the Viking as we know them!
As you can see they are twin seated and have no engine! Depending on your size and weight you may sit in either the front or back and once again the experienced VGS pilots will take you through your Gliding Induction training. These gliders are pulled into the air by a long cable that is winched in at high speed, this is really exhilaration and is faster than most cars can pull away!
The air cadets also run a fleet of Grob 109 (Vigilant) gliders. As you can see these are powered gliders that launch themselves to the required altitude before turning of the engine and then conducting a normal glider flight.
GIC is intended to give cadets a structured gliding experience over time. There are 3 levels of GIC, which you will go through in sequence;
During these induction courses you will be shown various aspects of the glider, including aerodynamics and the effects of the flight controls. You will be able to practice this theory when you take control of the glider and glide for yourself. After you have successfully completed the GIC course you will be awarded a certificate and a set of GIC gliding wings which are worn on your uniform.
Once you have completed your GIC training you may be offered the opportunity to partake in Gliding Scholarship (GS) course. This course runs either over a number of weekends or a continuous ten days. During this time you will be allocated 30-40 launches (flights), which, depending on your capability, should allow you to undertake a solo flight.
On successful completion of the GS course you will be awarded with a certificate & your GS gliding wings.
There are further gliding courses available to both staff and cadets, below is a brief summary;
After completing the GS to solo standard it is possible for cadets to go on to do the advanced course. It is aimed at cadets that show an ambition to either join the RAF or the VGS as a staff member. The AGT consists of 3 stages, the first two stages completed at the VGS and the third at the central gliding school. During the AGT cadets will learn advanced gliding techniques including soaring.
Staff & cadets can go on to receive enough training to be awarded their glider pilot wings. These cadets are normally those who have joined the gliding school as staff cadets. However, these wings are more commonly seen on adult staff members.
Staff can then go on to achieve their gliding instructors wings, but this is very rare. You'll mainly see these wings worn by the adult staff of the VGS.