Hang glider photo icon
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What is Hang glider photo icon
A glider is a heavier-than-air aircraft that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its lifting surfaces, and whose free flight does not depend on an engine.
Most gliders do not have an engine, although motor-gliders have small engines for extending their flight when necessary and some are even powerful enough to take off.
There is a wide variety of types differing in the construction of their wings, aerodynamic efficiency, location of the pilot, controls and intended purpose. Most exploit meteorological phenomena to maintain or even gain height.
Gliders are principally used for the air sports of gliding, hang gliding and paragliding.
However some spacecraft have been designed to descend as gliders and in the past military gliders have been used in warfare. Perhaps the simplest and most familiar types are toys such as the paper plane and balsa wood glider.