S C I E N C E &
T E C H N O L O G Y|
Holland C. Ford
Astronomer, Arts & Sciences
Photos by Mike Ciesielski
Twelve years ago,
Holland Ford spied a group of gliders in
airfield near Frederick, Maryland. "I was absolutely seduced by
these beautiful machines," he recalls. Now a member of a glider
club, he flies a French fiberglass Pegasus, which boasts a
15-meter wingspan. "The best moments are when you get on the
windward side of cumulus clouds, and you ride around and between
them. You're playing around in these beautiful, billowing
clouds," says Ford, who goes gliding almost every weekend. A
motorized plane gives the glider a tow, then the towing cable is
released--and the rest is free (engineless) flight. Ford always
steers toward cumulus clouds, markers of rising columns of air
known as thermals. They can lift a glider 500 feet per minute.
"It's exhilarating," he says.
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SEPTEMBER 1997 TABLE OF CONTENTS.