Gliding, or soaring as it is sometimes known, is a sport in which pilots will fly unpowered aircraft known as gliders using naturally occurring currents of rising air in the atmosphere to remain airborne.
Gliding began in the 1920s. At first the idea was to increase the duration of the flights but soon pilots attempted cross-country flights away from the place of launch. Improvements which have been made in aerodynamics and in weather phenomena have allowed greater distances at higher speeds. Long distances are now flown using any of the main sources of rising air. When conditions are good, pilots can now fly hundreds of kilometres before returning back to their starting point, very occasionally achieving flights of more than 1,000 kilometres (621 mi).
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