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Gliding, in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as gliders or sailplanes
Powered-aircraft and winches are the two most common means of launching gliders. These and other launch methods require assistance and facilities such as airfields, tugs, and winches.
Gliding as a sport began in the 1920s. Initially the objective was to increase the duration of flights but soon pilots attempted cross-country flights away from the place of launch. Improvements in aerodynamics and in the understanding of weather phenomena have allowed greater distances at higher average speeds