Latest Posts

Becoming a World Champion Glider.

Gliding has really hit some new peeks recently:

That. Is. Insane. This man, Luca Bertossio, is absolutely incredible. If you listen to him talking at a younger age about what it all means to him, you get a sense of his appreciation for the poetry of what it is he does and the poetry of gliding in general. By being powered only by your own momentum and how you use the energy around you you become part of the movement of reality itself. You are in complete control. Everything is your responsibility, it requires that you have a deep and understanding relationship with the world.

“My passion started at about 11 years old after I realized that airplanes had a particular fascination on me. The truth is that my father works in Russia so every 4 months he was coming back to me. He would stay for a few days and then I had to go with him to the airport because he had to go back so when I was about this tall I realized I wanted to be on those airplanes (to have more time with him). I started with the idea of becoming an airline pilot. Then, as I was working as a tow pilot, that is the pilot who tows the gliders up, I wondered how it would feel to change roles in the sky. 

I tried the glider and I understood that I would not desire to be anywhere else than there! On the glider everything depends on the pilot, there are no filters or systems between you and this flying machine, everything is in direct contact, part of your skin. You just got two sharps wings engaged with your shoulders and if you go well or not, it’s just up to you. Glider was born to fly in a perfect way, it can ideally do it but it is up to the pilot to elevate it to that point!

The glider is a flying machine that transmits you the speed just from the sound it makes. It makes you understand that you got Energy in you through it. It makes you understand that there are energies and freedoms which are ruled by you, from your movements, from your eyes, from your hands, through a pure flying machine. This is glider aerobatics, the elements becoming a part of you and you being a part of them…”

Yeah, he knows the poetry. I personally have been struggling to figure out how to get my glider to the championships this year, there a long way away! Then I saw this:

timberpacking41

 

This is the work of the folks at www.timberpackingcases.com who it transpires are only around the bloody corner from me! Those guys can package almost anything in these timber packing shipping containers they make in their workshops. The work they do with timber is quite amazing and their packing cases are great. I drive past them almost every day but never really new what they did. Turns out, it was this! So they can get old Gladys packed up and ready to go in no time.

So there’s that! Easy peasy!  Sometimes the thing your looking for was right under your noise all along.

 

Why do we fly?

Being in the sky is not very much like being not in the sky. When you’re not in the sky you are so not in the sky. Like, can you imagine anything less like being in the sky than being on the floor? I can’t, apart from maybe being buried alive.

buried_alive

Pictured: Not flying.

When you are flying you are in the sky, just being in the sky. I really like being in the sky. I think it is because the ground feels so solid, so endless, so normal and so much like death. I don’t want to die. So I fly instead. When I’m on the floor I spend most of my time staring up at that beautiful sky, begging it to take me. I look at birds and butterflies and the like, I watch them flutter and fitter hither and thither. And I dream of being with them in the skies. Free at last, Free at last. Thank god almighty, to be free at last.

index

Freedom.

That is what I want to be. I want to be free. I want to be out there. I want to fly.

Thirteen ways to look at a blackbird By Wallace Stevens. 

I 
Among twenty snowy mountains, 
The only moving thing 
Was the eye of the blackbird.
 

II 
I was of three minds, 
Like a tree 
In which there are three blackbirds.
 

III 
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
 
It was a small part of the pantomime.
 

IV 
A man and a woman 
Are one.
 
A man and a woman and a blackbird 
Are one.
 

V 
I do not know which to prefer, 
The beauty of inflections 
Or the beauty of innuendoes, 
The blackbird whistling 
Or just after.
 

VI 
Icicles filled the long window 
With barbaric glass.
 
The shadow of the blackbird 
Crossed it, to and fro.
 
The mood 
Traced in the shadow 
An indecipherable cause.
 

VII 
O thin men of Haddam, 
Why do you imagine golden birds? 
Do you not see how the blackbird 
Walks around the feet 
Of the women about you? 

VIII 
I know noble accents 
And lucid, inescapable rhythms; 
But I know, too, 
That the blackbird is involved 
In what I know.
 

IX 
When the blackbird flew out of sight, 
It marked the edge 
Of one of many circles.
 

X 
At the sight of blackbirds 
Flying in a green light, 
Even the bawds of euphony 
Would cry out sharply.
 

XI 
He rode over Connecticut 
In a glass coach.
 
Once, a fear pierced him, 
In that he mistook 
The shadow of his equipage 
For blackbirds.
 

XII 
The river is moving.
 
The blackbird must be flying.
 

XIII 
It was evening all afternoon.
 
It was snowing 
And it was going to snow.
 
The blackbird sat 
In the cedar-limbs.

This week in Porsche: Le Mans, Forza, and more.

So, you’re going to have to hear me out here. I know Porsche is not the official topic of our group here. But we all also know that when we got together last time there was a bizarrely large amount of Porsche’s in the car park, and it was all we talked about all weekend over the intercom! So, it was proposed that we have some Porsche talk on here. And here it is! Our first ever…

This week in Porsche! This week: Le Mans, Forza, and more. 

Welcome to this week in Porsche news where we are going to be taking a look at whats going on in the world of Porsche stuff this great week. Every week is a Porsche kind of week here at the Porsche news desk where we pronounce Porsche with the A at the end (like poor-sh-a) PorschE. Something like that. It is great! We truly madly love Porsche’s around here, they add meaning and direction and purpose to our lives, and god know’s do our lives need them!

Sad_Man

So what’s been going on in the world of “Porsche! Porsche! Porsche!”(that is our new Porsche song, it is to the tune of ‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash) this week? Well? Well… what hasn’t been going on! The headlines this week have to be taken by Porsche’s amazing showing in qualifying at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in France, Europe.

porsche 1

Boom!

The Porsche team absolutely rocked through qualifying and will start the coming weekends Le Mans 24 Hours with all three of the top positions on the starting grid. They maintained their complete dominance in the last sections of qualifying and came through with flying colours to storm the front of the grid. All the engineers, team members, technicians and of course drivers must be ecstatic. Go team Porsche! In the number 18 Porsche Neel Jani hit 3.16 minutes which gave him pole position, the first Porsche driver to get pole position in the world famous race since Michele Alboreto way back in 1997 (that is 18 years ago now! Makes you feel old…). All of us here at the This Week in Porsche desk cannot wait for the race to come around and hopefully for Porsche to storm it and take the trophy. Yay for trophies! Yay for cars! Yay for Porsche!

porsche 2

Friends!

Get on your bike!

Take a look at this, and tell me: what do you see?

bike prosche

A slightly strangely finished Porsche 911 right? Or maybe a slightly pranked one? But there is a proper 911 under there somewhere right? Wrong…

bike porshce 2

That is a 911 made by a huge Porsche fan from Syria out of bike parts! His pet project was a pretty resounding success, and whilst it may not sound or move like a real 911, it looks pretty madly cool. Here at the desk though, we recommend that if you’re having some issues with your Porsche, you get some parts from a proper Porsche specialist, don’t just head to the bike shop and improvise!

Still… fair play!

Forza.

If you don’t know what Forza is, it is a game.

game

Exactly…

Specifically, it is a racing game, and it is a racing game criminally short of Porsches. As are almost all computer games actually. This is because of a deal struck a fair while ago between Porsche and EA, the makers of the Need for Speed games. The deal was that only Need for Speed would get to have Porsches in their game. The deal was struck and it stuck. This week however EA, Porsche and Forza, the best racing game on the market, have come to an arrangement that means they will release a ‘Porsche expansion pack’ for the Forza game. Good news for Porsche enthusiasts everywhere!

That’s it folks…

See you next time for more Porsche news from The Porsche News Desk!

Joy of Flying?

When I was 8 years old my parents took my and my older sister on holiday to America to visit some extended family. I don’t think I’d ever been more excited about anything. They said that my Auntie and Uncle in America had a swimming pool in their back garden, so I wore my swimming trunks under my trousers for the whole of the 15 hour travel over there so that when we arrived there would be no delay in my getting into the pool. Swimming is fun.

swimming_is_fun_tshirt-r4fb6c095e30c4d1bb3f33c62260cc27e_wio57_152

Swimming is fun

All I wanted was to be there, to be in the pool and in the sunshine of Florida, I wasn’t thinking about anything else. Then we got on the plane and my life changed forever. I remember sitting in that big seat, far to big for me, strapped in. My parents trembling beside me, trembling not from a fear of flying, but a fear of what flying with two overly excited children would be like. I think by that point in the journey they may have taken dying in a fiery blaze in the ocean just to make the experience of being stuck with their over excited and potentially insane children in a metal box of angry people end.

o-FAMILY-TRAVEL-facebook

LET THEM DIE!  WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST INTO THE FIERY DEPTHS OF HELL!

I strapped my self in beside my trembling parents and we waited. We waited. We waited. People were getting irritated but all I felt was this growing anticipation, this bubbling anticipation of what was to happen. It was only dawning on me then that we were about to fly. We were about to launch into the sky. We were going to be sitting in a seat in the sky. 

‘You’re flying!’

It is amazing. We were rolling down the runway, we were moving! In my mind this was not a sure thing, we could totally crash, I thought that it was still always a risk but people just really wanted to go places, so they just totally took that risk. I mean yeah, it’s like 50/50 wether we’ll make it, but I don’t want to not go to America for two weeks. By the way, I remember at 7 two weeks seeming like a lifetime, In my mind we were effectively moving to America for a short while, to live there, then moving back. It was great. But anyway, we went down the runway and we slowly pulled of the ground. And we went up, and up, and up, and just kept going up . And we were in the sky.

images

It changed my life, and is the reason I fly gliders to this day. Commercial air flights though, on the big Boeings with the big crowds, can just be a bit of a nightmare, and I’m wondering if it still holds any thrill or romanticism for me. I mean, the hassle  of it all, even getting to an airport is a nightmare, I live on Merseyside and the parking situation at liverpool airport is tough is better than many I’ve experienced. They seem to really rinse you on the parking, trying to pinch as many pennies as possible. And then its just check after check after check and, unless you’re supper rich, you’re crammed in and get very little from anybody. By the time you launch into the sky any joy has been squeezed out of it if you ask me. But I’m not asking me, I’m asking you. So: do you find any joy in flying commercially? What about your kids? Get in touch and let me know.

Why fly? Risk, danger and beauty. A look at our story with the skies. Part 1: Da Vinci.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

For a fair while nothing was known of Leonardo da Vinci’s obsession with the sky. He was known as a painter, responsible for the ‘Mona Lisa': the mysterious and beguiling beauty with the eyes that sing with mystery, and ‘The Last Supper': the bubbling scene of activity that gave many all an abiding image of their Jesus Christ that was more than just the man hanging limply from a cross, but show’d him alive and well, giving and living as perhaps he should be remembered if he is to be remembered at all. These were beautiful gifts, but not the gifts that we here at Airwave Gliders most appreciate. The gifts we cherish were not discovered in their entirety till around 1800 when his private notes and workings on a host of technology and mechanics where found. Key among these where over 500 ideas and sketches of ways that man could take to the sky. A dream that Da Vinci obsessed over more than any other.

glider

Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch for his ‘bat-wing’ design for a glider.

Almost all of his designs where for gliders, he wanted to take to the sky unaided by engine or force, he wanted to be part of the sky, he wanted to truly fly. Thats something we can all get on board with I’m sure. The feeling of being in a glider and gliding. Of being suspended by nothing but air, is a magical feeling. It is the best feeling. We are so privileged to live in a time where that feeling can be achieved, it was never achieved by Leonardo da Vinci, he had to live on the ground, frustrated and unfulfilled, this reality drove him to strive endlessly over these designs.

Da-Vinci-glider

Da Vinci studied birds and bats and in many of his designs the wings where made to flap, rather than the static gliding wings we now know to be more successful. Here the person is supposed to lie on their chest and operate the wigs with their arms. Exhausting!

We are all Da Vinci’s children when it comes to unaided flight. We are living in his dream, it truly is sad that he can not be here today to taste the wind, to soar through the skies. To take the risk and the danger for the beauty. To play a trick on god and come out smiling. That is flight: it is to fool gravity, to deceive the physical, to live outside of what should be: it is to dream.

And for Da Vinci, for us all, we’re still dreaming.