Gliders in the Military

The moment unpowered heavier-than-air flight became possible, generals began finding ways motorless planes could be used during combat. Sleek and stealthy, these gliders helped win the war and restore peace to the world.

Parachutes are nice for getting supplies and troops far behind enemy lines but they aren’t the most accurate vehicle around. They also struggle with heavy payloads. To win the war, more than bombs needed to drop with precision.

Gliders were the perfect solution. They were quiet and could be accurately deployed with an experienced pilot at the controls. Better yet, they could deliver multiple troops to a location simultaneously. Plus, they carried heavy equipment parachutes could not.

Usually constructed from wood, these gliders were generally considered expendable. Once grounded, they were disabled and left where they landed.

By the 1950’s, advances in parachute technology enabled large amounts of soldiers to be dropped in tightly controlled formations. Rotary aircraft could lift payloads far too large for unpowered planes. The army glider became obsolete.

Still, for a brief moment in history, the simple glider played a large role in how battles were waged, and how wars were won.