Basic flight training by gliders, Finland 1942 (Finnish Defence Forces Journal #62)

Basic flight training by gliders, Finland 1942 (Finnish Defence Forces Journal #62)

Gliding in Jämijärvi. Cinematography: Peronkoski
Editing: Peronkoski & Sukanen The Training Centre of
the Finnish League of Air Defense
in Jämijärvi — opens before us in the bird’s eye view. The Centre has been established in 1935 — and has since been repeatedly expanded,
as indicated by the many newbuilt facilities. In the school more than 1,000 youth
will learn the ABCs of aviation each year — and the school has received the full
recognition of the Defense Force’s High Command Glider training requires individual
teaching for each student — despite the ground school lessons
before the first practical training. Here a student is receiving expert tutoring
on the use of the various control surfaces — by which he will learn controlling
the attitude of the plane — which is important considering
that it will be single flying right away — unlike in powered flight
where you will fly with an instructor. What we see here is an ab initio trainer — which lands at the speed of just 30km/h — while the total weight of the plane is merely 90kg. The general stability of the plane is such — that should the student
become confused at the flight controls — the best way to recover
is just to let go of the controls — as the plane will be flying
totally safely even when uncontrolled. The student is preparing for his
first low jump flight. The safety harnesses are tightened — and the fellow students
are preparing the pulling ropes for a start. The rope consists of many strains of rubber — and this arrangement of launching is based — on the principle of rubberband guns — almost universally recognized
and valued by the young gentlemen. Gliding is never a solitary undertaking — but it will require the assistance of the whole company. Therefore the first and foremost rule for
the students will be: — “all for one and one for all”. Flight training will develop the interest in aviation — and by the hauling and manouvering of the planes — the youth will out of necessity
receive a lot of physical exercise — which in turn fosters health and vigour. Our student has now cleared the low jump glides — and is preparing for his first
straight long flight from the highest ridge. The aim of the flight for the student
is to fly straight — and to stay aloft for at least 30 seconds — which will allow him to take the next
more demanding exercise. Next, the student will be hurled into air — with the help of a car winch
and a 1,200 meters long cable. In this way heights of up to 300-400 meters
can now be reached — which offers a great opportunity to train turns — to the left and to the right — and in the final test
there will be flying figure eights — and a landing on a predetermined spot. The launcher and the winch operator now
exchange flag signals. After a while the student will be propelled into air — and his flight will be guided
from the winch car by flag signals. The student has released the cable — and now fully depends just on his plane
and his acquired skills. A beautiful landing right next
to the instructor in the car… We now move on to the most satisfying part
of the unpowered flying — namely flying on a high performance glider. Owing to the high altitudes,
we now require a parachute for safety — which is here being prepared. Our plane no longer has an open cockpit — but a sleek set of wings — a closed cockpit, and a refined aerodynamic design. This high performance glider now weighs 350kgs. The plane is no longer jolted into air — but towed into air with an engine-powered aircraft — as we can see from the attaching of the cable
connecting the two aircraft. The glider now detached and
dropped one wheel
in order to decrease drag. The glider has detached the tow cable — and is now being caressed just
by the smooth and pleasant currents of air. Alternating below and above the clouds — our pilot can stay aloft for hours — without any aid from any engines — since on a sunny day the atmosphere is filled
with both rising and descending currents — which the sailplane pilot will be utilizing. It has been possible to climb
to an altitude of 9,600 meters — to fly an endurance flight of 55 hours — and to cover a distance of 650kms over ground. Powerless flight and its various forms — offers aviation teaching and training to our youth — by cheap and totally safe means — already in their boyhood — and the initial training they have received — will turn them into men,
and into reliable guardians of our sea of air.

One comment

  • Wolkenstecher

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing!


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