Countdown to the 13.5 Meter World Gliding Championships - Pociunai, Lithuania

The countdown to the First World Gliding Championships in the new 13.5 meter class is on! Pociunai, Lithuania is the host for this event. The unofficial training days are July 30-31 and the competition runs August 1-15. This new class brings a new dimension to glider racing, posing the question “is bigger always better?”

The craftspeople at the GP Gliders factory in Krosno, Poland, are working seven days a week, busily laying up wings for the GP 14 Velo gliders to be flown at the World Gliding Championships. The first production models of the GP 14 are to be flown by multiple time World Champion Sebastian Kawa of Poland and by local Lithuanian pilot Tomas Kuzmickas.

What to Expect from Pociunai – a Preview

Pociunai, Lithuania is the home to the largest gliding club in the Baltics, according to pociunai.lt. The site has hosted European Gliding Championships as well as the first Women’s WGC in 2001, and it will host the 34th World Gliding Championships in the Club, Standard, and 20-Meter classes in August 2016. Located in southwest Lithuania, Pociunai offers flatland flying over forests situated in a flat glacial plain with embedded small hills, or “rocky piles” by our standards. The sandy soil drains quickly if it’s rained upon and the high rocky points tend to provide efficient lift generation - as long as the sun comes out.

Big flights are certainly possible over this area. A 1,020 km flight was flown out of the Vilnius club in Lithuania on June 16. The 19 pilots who have registered for the 13.5 meter WGC include U.S. pilots Francois Pin, a perennial international competitor, and Tony Condon in his first international competition. Of course Sebastian Kawa is one to watch along with the four Italian pilots who have really embraced this new competition class. The trophy is named for the late Italian racing pilot and author Leo Brigliadori.

Learn all about the Pociunai airfield here. Yep, it's all in Lithuanian. Google translate will help. If not, just know that the main headline says "Welcome to Heaven".

Tim McAllister is competing in the Pre-Worlds in Club Class at the same time as the 13.5 Meter WGC, so we will be there and will keep you updated. Be sure to subscribe to this blog for the latest!

News from the GP Gliders Factory

We are receiving frequent progress updates and will continue to share them with you. The factory is running seven days a week to prepare for the WGC. The gliders are really coming together, and we expect to see them flying just in time for the competition.

The lay-up and attention to detail rival any of the established manufacturers, according to a knowledgeable source who recently visited the factory. The design features of the new GP 14 Velo include an entirely new aerodynamic design, the option for a slim or regular fuselage, and of course, the strong and lightweight construction in carbon fiber. We are just as excited as you are to see these new models, so we will be posting updates for you as soon as we can. Be sure to follow gpgliders on Facebook for more news.