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Encyclopedia > Lift (soaring)

Lift, or more precisely "static lift" is rising air used by soaring birds and by humans in gliding, hang gliding and paragliding to make extended soaring flights. There are five principle types of lift:[1] The lift force, lifting force or simply lift is a mechanical force generated by solid objects as they move through a fluid. ... A modern glider crossing the finish line of a competition at high speed. ... Hang gliding is one of the windsports. ... Paragliding (known in France, Spain and Portugal as parapente) is a recreational and competitive flying sport. ...

Rising bubbles or columns of unstable air from a relatively warm surface, especially when heated by the sun. The top of the thermal will be marked with a cumulus cloud if the air is moist enough. This is the type of lift most commonly used in modern soaring.
Convergence zone
The boundary where winds flowing from different air masses meet along a shear line. This creates a narrow band of soarable lift with winds as light as 10 knots.
Mountain wave
Atmospheric waves which can carry gliders into the stratosphere. With a wind of 25 knots blowing over an obstruction, and winds increasing with altitude, it is possible to reach heights of 10 times the obstacle height or more in the waves downwind.
Orographic lift
Rising air on the windward side of a slope that permits slope soaring known as hill or ridge lift. With winds of 20 to 25 knots, it is possible to soar at at an altitude up to two times the height of the obstacle.

Although thermal lift was known to the Wright Brothers in 1901, it was not exploited by humans until 1921 by William Leusch at the Wasserkuppe in Germany.[2] It was not until about 1930 that the use of thermals for soaring in gliders became commonplace.[1] Example of a thermal column between the ground and a cumulus This article is about the atmospheric phenomenon. ... Cumulus can also refer to Cumulus Media (also known as Cumulus Broadcasting) A cumulus cloud is a cloud belonging to a class characterized by dense individual elements in the form of puffs, mounds or towers, with flat bases and tops that often resemble cauliflower. ... Convergence zone usually refers to a region in the atmosphere where two prevailing flows meet and interact, usually resulting in distinctive weather conditions. ... In lockpicking a cylinder lock, the shear line is where the inner cylinder ends and the outer cylinder begins. ... This wave cloud pattern formed off of the Île Amsterdam in the far southern Indian Ocean, due to orographic lift of an airmass by the island, producing alternating bands of condensed and invisible humidity downwind of the island as the moist air moves in vertical waves and the moisture successively... What is a slope flying? 1. ... Ridge lift (or slope lift) is created when a prevailing wind strikes a geologic obstacle that is large and steep enough to deflect the wind upward. ... The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871–January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867–May 30, 1912), were two Americans generally credited with building the worlds first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903. ... The Wasserkuppe The Wasserkuppe (German: water peak) is a high plateau (elevation 950 m or 3100 ft), the highest peak in the Rhön Mountains within the German state of Hessen. ...


  1. ^ a b Welch, John (1999). Van Sickle's Modern Airmanship. City: McGraw-Hill Professional, pp. 856-858. ISBN 0070696330. “There are five kinds of lift which the soaring pilot may use....” 
  2. ^ Irving, Frank (1998). The Paths of Soaring Flight. City: World Scientific Publishing Company, p. 53. ISBN 1860940552. “Thermals were known to the Wright Brothers in 1901, but were first really discovered in 1921 by one William Leusch at the Wasserkuppe...” 

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