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How does a glider fly without an engine?



Gliders don't have an engine. They need help to get up in the air but then it's up to the wing design and the air flow to keep them flying. One way that gliders get up into the air is called an aero-tow.  A rope connected to a glider is attached to a regular plane. The glider pilot releases the rope when the glider is at the right altitude.  Then the glider changes direction away from the airplane and flies on its own. 

Another way to launch a glider is called winch launching.  The glider is attached by a long cable to a winch.  A winch is a machine that's used for lifting things. The winch is activated and pulls the glider until it takes off. Then the pilot releases the cable and flies off without any further help.  Once the glider takes off, the wings are the most important part.  They keep the glider up in the air by creating "lift" so that the weight of the glider won't drag it down.