Summer 2023

2023 Summer Overview

The summer months have been very busy: we hosted the Inter University and Varsity competitions, organized weekly evening flying days for our members, and planned the best dinner our club has ever seen to celebrate our 90th anniversary!

Standard Cirrus Restauration

A few months ago, CUGC took up the challenge of restoring a Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus glider. This wonderful sailplane is the property of Nick Laux, an alumnus of CUGC.

Varsity 2023

The 2023 Gliding Varsity Match was held at Gransden Lodge at the same time as the interuniversity competition, between the 1st and 9th of July. It was a Cambridge win, with 618 points against Oxford’s 605.

Interunis 2023

Interunis 2023, hosted by the Cambridge University Gliding Club, was a story of triumph and togetherness. Over 50 students from 9 universities took flight from Gransden Lodge Airfield, soaring to new heights and forging unbreakable bonds.

Avion A320 Simulator

Flavio was offered the opportunity to try out the Avion A320 NEO full flight motion simulator. Flying this as a one-off experience cost upwards of £500/hr. It’s a level D simulator: basically the closest you can get to the real thing!


2022-2023 Overview

This was an extraordinary year for CUGC. 7 new solo pilots joined our ranks, 2 obtained their SPL. We won Varsity and will be hosting both Varsity and Interunis competition in July 2023. We had the largest ever Freshers’ Squash and the total active membership count now stands at 61. We also organized weekly trial flights in both gliders and the motor glider.

CUGC Monday Flying

Every Monday during term time CUGC arranged instructors, winch drivers and ground crews to operate the airfield exclusively for students. CUGC also organises transportation to and from the airfield, covering all costs. Monday flying was a great opportunity to teach ground handling skills, qualifying new members as Launch Marshalls (LM) and Launch Point Assistants (LPA).

From Beginner to SPL in two years

In this story, Mabel, our secretary, reveals how she went from complete beginner to holding an SPL, all in just two years. A main theme for her is gliding as a team sport: from instructors, going above and beyond to help the students progress; to CUGC members, magically keeping the show running in the winter months; CGC members, coming out in freezing temperatures to volunteer as ground crew; and secret squads fixing the winch and maintaining gliders, all behind the scenes.

Motor Glider Trial Flights

Trial flights have always sold out in a matter of minutes. In the absence of a CUGC-owned 2-seater, it was necessary to find a way to increase our trial flight capacity. For the first time this year, CUGC was able to offer motor glider trial flights, thanks to Matthew Wang, our equipment officer and a qualified TMG pilot who started gliding with CUGC when he arrived in Cambridge.

Bringing back Weekly Socials

Thibaut, our social secretary, has reintroduced weekly pub socials! They have been quite successful with at least handful people coming regularly and at times a large group of 20 forming! We will be planning a formal for members and alumni in May, as well as several garden parties over the summer period.

Gliding, a Childhood Dream

One of our newest members, Jane, describes how her childhood dream of becoming a glider pilot came true at CUGC. She only arrived in Cambridge last October, but her strong motivation had led her to qualify as a Launch Point Assistant (LPA) and making impressive progress towards her solo. She also talks about how she received valuable support from the club, and the welcoming atmosphere she experienced.


Varsity Match 2022

The 2022 Varsity Match for Gliding was held at Weston-on-the-Green Airfield from June 17th to 19th 2022 — an away game for Cambridge. It was another year of Cambridge win, with 584 points against Oxford’s 302. The Cambridge team consisted of Charlie B, Charlie H, Brooke, Darren and Koji, and brought the CUGC ASW19, ‘CU’. The Oxford team had Siobhan, Azmi, Saru and Adam.

Interunis Competition 2022

CUGC took part in Interunis in July 2022, at Saltby airfield, hosted by Loughborough University and the Buckminster Gliding Club. This is a friendly competition between university gliding clubs, offering a range of different point-scoring opportunities, suitable for all levels. The premise is ideal for university clubs like CUGC, with our majority pre-solo or early solo membership.


Varsity Match 2021

The 2021 Varsity Match for Gliding was held at Gransden Lodge Airfield from June 22nd to 24th, a Cambridge home game. It was a Cambridge win, with 333 points against Oxford’s 279.The Cambridge team consisted of Charlie, Flavio, Matt, Eszter and Peter. Oxford brought Francesca, Aili, Siobhan, Tai-Ying and Azmi with Neil Swinton, the Chief Flying Instructor.

Interunis Competition 2021

After a year without expeditions, CUGC decided to take part in Interunis in July. This is a friendly competition between university gliding clubs, offering a range of different point-scoring opportunities, suitable for all level. The premise is ideal for university clubs like CUGC, with our majority pre-solo or early solo membership.


Gliders are remarkably capable machines. In 2020-21, an instructor at Cambridge Gliding Centre (CGC) offered Aerobatics instruction. CUGC member, Charlie Brooker, describes his experience learning about loops, steep turns and even more exciting maneuvers. After this training, Charlie successfully completed his Standard Aerobatic Badge for gliding, allowing him to fly these aerobatics solo.