Ailsa’s new travel theme is simplicity, and she quotes Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Yesterday, hubby and I drove up the road to watch the annual Virginia Air Show. We were intending to actually buy tickets and go inside, but when we drove up, there was no inside parking. The parking in the roads around there was absolutely chaotic, so we decided to watch from the beach; much simpler.
It was a beautiful mid winter’s day, and we sat down on a sand dune to await the start of the show.
It was such a clear day, and we could see the city of Durban quite plainly, even though it’s about 8 km away.
After seeing a couple of jets doing their manoeuvers, I was quite unprepared for this wonderful sight. An AJS-1 glider was being tugged into the air by another plane.
It was the first time in many years that such a spectacle had been seen at the show, and I was totally mesmerised by its silence, and the simplicity of its beautiful lines. It was like watching a beautiful giant bird, as it silently soared overhead,
and even did some aerobatics, which weren’t all that easy to photograph.
Here you can just see the pilot and owner, Oscar Goudriaan. I read in a report that he said about flying in this stunning aircraft, “It gives me a great sense of freedom whilst also challenging my abilities. A good friend once said it’s like having a conversation with nature.”
A glider is a heavier-than-air aircraft that doesn’t depend on an engine to fly but uses thermals or rising currents of warm air to propel it upwards. It sounds like it works on very simple principles, but I’m sure there’s a lot of skill required to fly one of these. Oscar certainly made it look like simplicity itself, and I was enthralled. To my mind, this was the most elegant star of the show.
Wow, that is a crazy thing to do. You did fantastic capturing it in motion.
Yes, you’re right, Emily. I wish I’d actually been inside the airfield to see it land. 🙂
Great photos and has been so long since I have seen a glider. Would love to learn to fly one….oh well.
Thanks, WM. Flying planes is something I quite happily leave to others. 😀
I would be terrified to fly one–I’m sure the principles can be simple but math, physics, geometry and all that stuff was never easy for me. Great photos.
Glad you enjoyed the photos, TBM. I’m with you. 🙂
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Quite elegant. I can imagine the silence in a plane like that, no engine noise, just the rush of the wind…
Sounds quite spectacular!
Elegant is definitely the right word. 🙂
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Gliders are a joy to watch 🙂 I had a trial flight in one once, an older wood and fabric design. It seemed odd listening to the whistling of the wind as we turned and banked looking for occasional thermals to gain some extra lift. The most disconcerting thing is the approach to land – knowing you haven’t got an engine to give you a bit of extra lift if you’re coming in short, not that the instructor would have let that happen! Lovely images of a graceful beast 🙂
What an amazing experience that must have been. I was also wondering about the landing bit. It must take such a lot of skill, but what about the very first time one tries it? 😯
I’m sorry you had to sit in my spam for a while. 😦
Most definitely not your fault 🙂 The landing approach is a bit higher than that for a normal fixed wing aircraft and is controlled by spoilers on the upper wing surfaces which disrupt the lifting airflow. I think there is a very high level of training at gliding clubs so they all know how to handle the landing phase. But they tend to operate from large fields where landing can be in whatever direction best suits height and wind conditions (though they do operate from runways too). Totally different to light aircraft where there is a fixed landing direction on a single runway. I really noticed the difference though – so much lift compared to our old Cherokee which climbed very well on full power but glided like a housebrick 😉
such a perfect choice ad! my father used to fly a glider, he loved the freedom and silence … certainly a big improvement on the airforce planes he flew during the war …. so glad you thought to share it here 🙂
Thanks, Christine. I’m so glad my post brought back fond memories for you. 🙂
I’ve never seen a photo of a glider. Thanks for posting. That’s a new one to me.
Glad you enjoyed my pics, Issy. 🙂
I was totally mesmerised by its silence – yes, that’s the point: thank you for bringing back many memories of my youth!
Thanks, frizz. Glad you enjoyed. 🙂
really wonderful post , great photos , I can smell the mist in the air , and ( from my suitcase ! ) 🙂 see how gentle breeze caressing your face have nice day my friend with love maxima
Thank you so much much for your lovely comment, Stefan. 🙂
Truly, a wonderful day in Paradise. The only thing better may have been watching the gliders from the hammock with an appropriate adult beverage.
You know me too well, Frank. 🙂
Those gliders look quite amazing, as though they come out of a Sci-fi movie!
Looks like a lovely day, ad 🙂
Yes, the design is really beautiful. 🙂
Stunning. I can hear the sound track “Windmills of your Mind”. (And see the delicious Steve McQueen :-))
Wonderful movie and I love that song, footsy. Yes he was on of the best. 🙂
If I lived where you do I would not bother going to join the crowd at Virginia Airport, but rather sit just where you were… The glider must be such a thrilling aircraft to fly in… you, nature, the winds and the ground… must be a total adrenalin rush…
Yes, I’m sure you’re right, bulldog. It must be a fantastic feeling to be flying up there in almost total silence.
think you had the best seats for the show 🙂
Yes, we did feel we’d done the right thing, Tandy. 🙂
gak pernah bosan klo ketemu sama pantai..
jdi pengen ke sini 😀
Thanks so much, sari. We do have a beautiful beach here. 🙂
Wonderful! It must be the most awesome feeling to fly in a glider!
Yes, I also think so, Suzanne. 🙂
That must have been a awesome sight! Nice pix, ad. Simply fabulous!
Thanks, Gemma. Yes it was very awesome indeed. 🙂
Absolutely stunning! It looks so delicate and elegant.
Thanks, Debra. It was so lovely to watch.
Stunning machine and great shots! So beautiful against the sky – and silent. I would love to fly one of those…
Yes, me too, but it is just a daydream. 🙂
Great shots AD! Looks like you had the best view for sure hon. Thanks for sharing. 😀 *hugs*
Thanks, Sonel. Glad you enjoyed. 🙂
I love machines that are silent or nearly so…. and that don’t rely on fossil fuel to run. Great catch, Sylvia. I bet it was even better watching it out on the beach.
Thanks, Gunta. Yes, we had a really good spot, and it didn’t cost a cent to view. 🙂
Great photos! gliders are amazingly beautiful, sleek stylish, aerodynamic…
Thank you. Yes, they are all those things. I want one. 🙂
The beach is beautiful! Love the glider pics!
Thanks so much, Amy.
Wonderful sights to see a glider in real life. I would love to see one. Thermal helps keep the plan stays in the air for a long time but I think the hard part is to find where the thermal area is. Seeing big birds gliding around is one trick, I have be told.
Hahaha. Wouldn’t it be great if we did learn the trick? 😀
These shots are amazing. I’ve actually never seen a glider before and I love the way the wings curl upward. Very unusual! 😀
Thanks, Dianne. Yes it was beautiful to watch. 🙂
This is the best way to watch an air show! No people trampling all aver you, no parking hassles. Suits simplicity perfect
Thanks, scrapydo. 🙂
That last shot is awesome. I’ve never seen a glider before. Great example of simplicity.
Thanks so much, Lynne. 🙂
I think you had the best location and view after all
We certainly did, Dallas. It was perfect. 🙂
They used to be much more common here, now I rarely see one.
It’s the first time I’ve ever see one up close, Gilly.
I love when we plan and destiny provides a better way! Watching from the beach – so much more simpler and beautiful. Paradise!
Me too, Rebecca. It was far more blissful than standing in a crowded space with hoards of people and load speakers blaring. 🙂
what a glorious sight…gliders are just so cool
Thanks, Jo. Yes I think so too. 🙂
I’ve never seen a glider before. Thanks for sharing 🙂
You’re welcome. Glad you liked it. 🙂