Talk:Glider (aircraft)

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Proposed revision to introduction[edit]

Because of the extended discussions that took place on this subject, I am being particularly careful in proposing modifications to the introduction in case I say something that is unintentionally controversial. I have therefore made this proposal rather than directly editing the article.

Glider aircraft are heavier-than-air craft that are supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against their lifting surfaces, and whose free flight does not depend on an engine.[1] Mostly these types of aircraft are intended for routine operation without engines during at least some of their gliding flights, though engine failure can force other types of aircraft to glide.

There are a wide variety of types differing in the construction of their wings, aerodynamic efficiency, location of the pilot and controls. Some may have power-plants to take off and/or extend flight. Some are designed simply to descend, but the most common varieties exploit meteorological phenomena to maintain or even gain height. These types are principally used for the air sports of gliding, hang gliding and paragliding. Perhaps the most familiar type is the paper aeroplane.

Anyway, that is my attempt. I hope it is acceptable to one and all. JMcC (talk) 22:46, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good to me, and I think if there's no objections after 48 hours you should go ahead. The term "gliding flights" is a bit clumsy though. What about linking "routine operation without engines" to gliding flight directly and removing "during at least some of their gliding flights". AKAF (talk) 08:10, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Glider aircraft scope[edit]

It seems to me the purpose of this article is to cover all gliders, and to represent a top-level article for all gliders.

There has today been a series of changes that seem to me to no longer make the article do that, and my first inclination was to completely revert the changes, but I thought we should at least discuss it first.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 14:35, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm in two minds about the changes. Firstly I had the same reaction as you to deleting material, and I certainly tend to antideletionism, but the old article needed some tightening. However the original article was tending towards being too long, and the sections had a strange weighting. For instance the sections on spaceshipone and the space shuttle were each as long as the section on paragliders, which was probably unnecessary in terms of an overview article. I think that this article is going to struggle to be a top-level article (rather than just a quick overvier and list of themes) just because of the sheer number of sections. So I see Jmcc's changes as being philosophically about reweighting the article (per WP:UNDUE) and trying to keep down the number of subthemes to avoid the problems discussed of lack of article direction discussed in WP:LIST.
Now I personally think that re-entry vehicles and experimental gliders should be in two separate sections, because the part of the re-entry vehicle design which optimises for maximum drag is ignored here. This could also include material on standard round parachutes since the drag and stability aerodynamics are similar. However I am not opposing the philosophy of the new changes.
If you can re-include any of the old material while keeping the tightness of the current article, I don't think anyone is going to be disappointed. I think simply reverting is a bad idea for the reasons discussed above. AKAF (talk) 13:11, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I had to break off a few days ago before I had completed my revision, so some of it still probably looked a bit odd. However I think that at least some of the changes even at that stage are undeniable improvements and the wholesale reversal was probably just a gut-reaction. For example, I have now put enough text in all the sections that have photos, to pack them out, thus preventing the next heading starting before the photograph ends. I think it now looks a bit less of a 'pick & mix' effort as a result.
I admit to being in two minds whether rocket gliders and research aircraft was one section or two. The Bell X-1 was both and so I combined them. They are such as disparate group, it was difficult to say very much about them in common beyond referring to their existence.
For each type I have tried to give definitions and examples and provide links to the main articles throughout for those wanting the whole picture. I believe it is 'tighter' to leave out the incidental details, such as how to build a paper glider. These can be safely left for the main articles themselves. This is not deleting any information from Wikipedia; it is just keeping it where it was before and where it best belongs.
It is also very difficult to make the article look structured with too many photographs. I have therefore taken out the photo to illustrate rotary craft since they are a very rare type. The photo exists in the main article. I hope therefore that the article at least looks better and that User:GliderMaven is not too upset. JMcC (talk) 00:57, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Merge article with Glider (sailplane) article[edit]

added to article: {{Merge|Glider (sailplane)}} Northamerica1000 (talk) 11:19, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Strong oppose No reason/benefit has been given for a merger. Glider (sailplane) is a detailed article describing just soaring aircraft, whereas there are a wide range of unpowered aircraft in Glider aircraft. A merger would create an over-large article with a great imbalance in the level of detail about just one type of glider. JMcC (talk) 16:15, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
no need to merge but since the other article is about sporting/recreational aircraft it could do with a different name, we don't name articles "car (sports)" or "horse (race)". GraemeLeggett (talk) 18:07, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Re-naming is tricky, though suggestions are welcome. There was a long debate about two years ago with an intransigent user, who incidentally has now left Wikipedia after complaints about other dogged struggles. Eventually after arbitration, the names 'Glider(sailplane)' and 'Glider aircraft' were agreed upon. I agree they look like compromises, which indeed they were. The issue was that any unpowered aircraft is a glider, and that there are other non-aerial meanings among animals, groups and software. Originally there was a disambiguation page for the less common meanings (which I preferred), but there is some logic in a hierarchy with 'Glider' at the top, divided into a sub-sets including one for unpowered aircraft called 'Glider aircraft'. Note that balloons are also unpowered and so the name 'Unpowered aircraft' could not be used to describe the group of craft with wings. One of the aerial sub-set is what Americans, and occasionally us Brits, call a sailplane. Its name was chosen to distinguish it from military gliders etc. I hope that this gives the background to the odd name. JMcC (talk) 08:59, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I think I remember the discussion. Time has moved on though and it might help to define the article if it was called something along the lines of recreational glider, sports glider etc but it would need a broad input and that may be a job for another day. GraemeLeggett (talk) 09:22, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Insufficient support for change. Tag removed from article.JMcC (talk) 11:17, 28 July 2011 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved by WilyD. Cúchullain t/c 15:11, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Glider aircraftGlider (aircraft) – With Wolfkeeper long since banned, would anyone support the moving of Glider aircraft to Glider (aircraft)? Currently latter redirects to the former, but I think it should be the other way round. I have never heard the phrase "glider aircraft" JMcC (talk) 10:16, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Support the proposed move. The expression "glider aircraft" is not commonly used in my experience - when aviation people wish to refer to a glider they simply call it a glider (or sailplane), not a glider aircraft. When aviation people wish to refer to an aircraft that does not have an engine they might refer to an "unpowered aircraft" but never a "glider aircraft". I think the proposed move should go ahead. Dolphin (t) 12:03, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Support as per both comments above Tiggerjay (talk) 04:31, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose the current title is more like a categorization of unpowered aircraft, while the proposed title seems less broad, and in my opinion, should be a redirect to sailplane. -- (talk) 05:43, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I remember the last renaming 'discussion' well! I read the title of this article as plural and the lead reinforces that in the first sentence. To me it says 'gliding aircraft', 'types of gliding aircraft', 'aircraft that glide', 'aircraft that can glide' etc. It does seem to be the scope of the article but I agree that 'glider aircraft' is not a common or natural phrase but I can't think of anything better at the moment. 'Glider (aircraft)' to me would mean sailplane. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 09:08, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. This subject should be primary topic with the title glider. The DAB should be moved to glider (disambiguation). Columbia and Britannica both have entries on this subject entitled just plain "glider." The FAA's Glider Flying Handbook is 240 pages long, but never uses the expression "glider aircraft." Kauffner (talk) 11:38, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. We all talk about "gliders", only saying "glider aircraft" when necessary to clarify the context. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:07, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
    • Isn't that the point? There's no context in an article title. To me, when we talk about gliders, I'll first assume we're talking about sailplanes, before context becomes clear. -- (talk) 22:05, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
      • I have some sympathy but there are other considerations. A while ago "glider" in Wikipedia just meant an aircraft with an undercarriage used for the sport of gliding, but there were proposals to change this and the use of the word "gliding". I argued to keep the status quo, primarily to stop the title "gliding" being treated in the same way by analogy. "Glider aircraft" was the rather unsatisfactory compromise, hence my recent suggestion, but thankfully "gliding" was unaffected. If you are involved in the sport of gliding, it is easy to think that the word has no other significant connotations. However the term "glider" has been applied to other types of aircraft and there are also a wide range of other uses for the word, albeit of lesser importance. I therefore think my suggestion gets us closest to an acceptable arrangement. JMcC (talk) 10:59, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per Dolphin51. --Sp33dyphil ©hatontributions 01:04, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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