The gliders

Gliders are divided in to classes for national and international competitions:

  • Standard Class – 15m wingspan gliders without flaps to change their wing shape.
  • 15m Class – 15m wingspan gliders with flaps to change their wing shape.
  • 18m Class – 18m wingspan gliders with flaps to change their wing shape.
  • 20m Multi-Seat Class – gliders must have at least two seats (most other classes are single-seat only) and the wingspan must not exceed 20m. Gliders may be fitted with flaps to change their wing shape.
  • Open Class – no limits.

This year we are hosting the National Championships in the Standard, 15m and Open classes, so there is a wide variety of gliders.

Glider types in the Standard Class


The LS8 has been the class leader for many years. The original design is noticeable by the curled winglets that were a real innovation when they were introduced. The design of the LS8 really seems to suit the UK weather conditions with performance well balanced for both thermal and straight line gliding at speed.

Discus 2

The Discus 2 is popular in continental Europe, it is arguably more efficient at high speeds than the LS8 but is considered to be more demanding to fly and harder to thermal. The most competitive ‘a’ fuselage types have a very small cockpit which is very cramped.

Glider types in the 15m Class


The ASW27 is a very good 15m glider, the design is more optimised towards high speed flying than the Ventus 2 but the gliders are light and competitive. We expect them to perform well if the weather is good.


The ASG29 is designed as an updated 18m version of the ASW27 (different length wingtips allow this glider to fly in both classes). The design is really a little too heavy for the 15m class if the thermal conditions become weak. However if the weather is good and thermals are strong, then these gliders will be contenders.

Ventus 2a

This glider is an older type but nothing has really ever replaced it as the popular choice in the UK for 15m competitions (the new Ventus 3 and JS3 might try soon). These gliders are exceptionally light and can carry lots of water ballast, so are ideal on the weaker days and still very competitive on the stronger ones.

Glider types in the Open Class

JS 1

The JS 1 is definitely the glider to watch in the Open Class. It’s won world championships and is one of the best performing open class single seaters in the UK, hence its popularity.