Good evening fellow aviators.
Continuing my tour of spectacular UK Autumn/Winter Soaring sites, I visited “Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club” at the weekend.
DLGC is a hill-top Gliding site nestled in the heart of the Peak District National Park. The airfield sits 1350ft above sea level with soarable ridges flanking its Western and Southern edges. Locally there are three more soarable ridges. To the North is Win Hill ridge, and Mam Tor ridge. To the East is the Froggatt Edge/Hathersage ridge. The wealth of available local ridges, combined with local wave effects, creates soarable conditions throughout the year, dependant on suitable weather conditions of course.
As it was my first time visiting here, I have taken a few pictures below to share with you all. Hope you enjoy them 🙂.
Being situated in a National Park, means even the views at ground level are special.
The airfield is generously proportioned, with take off and landings possible in Northerly, Southerly, and Westerly directions, dependant on wind direction.
The launch point is run a little differently here than at Bath Wilts. They run two Winch lines parallel to each other at DLGC.
Fear not dear club members, no need to put down your evening glass of gin & tonic, you are not seeing double 😉! The winch area is run a little differently here than at Bath Wilts. At DLGC they set up two winches side by side, and run the two cables from each winch to the launch point.
The cable retrieve land rovers are modified with extendable cable mounts so that they can tow 4 cables at a time to the launch point, this enables more Gliders to be launched per cable retrieve.
Fear not dear aviators, you may continue to sip your evening cocktail, you are not seeing triple 😉! This trio of hardy machines are the Glider retrieve vehicles used at DLGC.
This was my trusty steed during my visit 🙂.
This was the view from the cockpit while I was readying for launch on the Southern edge of the airfield. The port wing was resting on the ground when I took this picture, but I think you can still get a real sense of some of the undulating terrain of the airfield from this shot. The undulations of the airfield surface, and the spectacular terrain of the Peak District surroundings give this site an enticingly adventurous feel.
The moment you release from the winch and reach level flight, the beauty of the National Park surroundings washes over you.
The first few seconds of flight here are quite intense, as the view appears to become more and more beautiful as you survey the panorama.
It’s an emotional experience, and one I thoroughly recommend.
The waterway you can see in the picture above is Ladybower reservoir. The Derwent Dam, which separates Ladybower reservoir from the Derwent reservoir, was used for bombing raid training during the Second World War by the famous “Dambuster” Lancaster Bomber crews, in preparation for raids on strategic German targets. During training, the Lancaster crews would approach Derwent Dam just 60ft above the water of the Derwent reservoir! The Dambuster crews were said to have been specially selected for their prowess and ‘press on spirit’.
As you can see in the picture above, the fields surrounding DLGC are plentiful and generally not used for crops. This gives gives good ‘land-out’ options for Glider pilots. One weekend every year DLGC gives pilots the opportunity for real ‘land-out’ practice with one of their instructors in a local field.
An interesting facility at the DLGC is their Gliding Simulator. The two seater fuselage you can see above was converted from a Janus two seater trainer.
The simulator runs Condor 2 software, and utilises a three projector screen display system.
The simulator can be used for a wide variety of Gilding training including launching, circuits, soaring, and aerobatics. I spent a fascinating few hours with the simulator and club instructor Dave M.
Dave very kindly sent me a link to the BGA forum for Simulator use, as well as a report on Simulators by the Gliding Federation of Australia, and a handbook on Sim training produced by the French Gliding Federation. I would be very happy to share these with any club member who also has an interest in Gliding Simulators.
All in all dear aviators, I had a terrific time at DLGC 🙂.
Many thanks to all I met at DLGC. A special thank you to Andy W, Sylvie and John, for settling me in over the weekend and making me feel so welcome. A special thank you also to club instructors Dave M, Bryan A, and Chris R, for sharing with me their wealth of technical and local soaring knowledge 🙂.
If you visit a Gliding Club that sits on a hill-top, 1350ft above sea level, in the Peak District, in autumn, you will likely need to wrap up warm, but I promise you it will be worth it 😉.
Where should I visit next I wonder dear aviators….
This Bath Wilts aviators odyssey of spectacular UK Autumn/Winter Soaring sites continues 😎….