About Motor Gliders
Motor Gliders can be divided into two categories: powered sailplanes and touring motor gliders.
A powered sailplane is a (typically high performance) glider fitted with an auxiliary engine, usually on a pylon which the pilot can extend or retract. With the engine retracted it is flown just like an ordinary glider and can soar in lift and fly cross country in the normal way. However if the lift fails instead of landing in a field the pilot can extend and start the engine and use it to remain airborne and maybe even to get home.
Most powered sailplanes are classed as "self-sustainers" or "turbos"- that is, they have sufficient engine power to remain airborne, but need to be launched like any other glider. Some, however are "self-launchers" and able to take off also. For pilot licensing purposes, no additional qualification is required to fly a self-sustainer, while under recent European legislation self launchers are simply treated as gliders with an alternative way of getting launched.
Touring Motor Gliders
Touring Motor Gliders (or "TMGs") are essentially small light aircraft designed to have a reasonable performance without the engine running. They can be flown "power-off" and even soared on good days. As such they are subject to rather less regulation than larger, heavier aircraft, and can be a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy power flying.
More to the point here, they are widely used in gliding clubs to supplement training, both as a means to extend flights while learning basic exercises, and for advanced training that would be difficult to arrange in pure gliders, such as cross-country navigation exercises.
Motor Gliding at Rufforth
The club owns an ex-RAF Venture touring motor glider which is used both for ancillary and advanced training for glider pilots, and also to provide training for members looking to qualify for the National Private Pilot's licence.
We also offer trial lessons in the motor glider.
York Gliding Centre