622 Volunteer Gliding Squadron


Built as the Grob 103, the Viking is the convential launch glider currently in use in the Air Cadet Organisation. It makes an ideal training aircraft being as complex as a door hinge to fly, having few controls and instruments, is stable in the air, does not like to spin and is generally quite forgiving, making it an ideal aircraft for a training organisation. It has a modern construction being made from glass reinforced plastic (GRP) making it both strong and light. The VGSs launch the Viking using a winch to give a typical launch height of 1200 feet, although occasionally an aerotow is used to launch to 5000 feet. It can be used for all levels of training, and is the only aircraft currently in use which provides practical soaring opportunities.

The Viking is a fully aerobatic glider, and can be modified to fit "spin whiskers" allowing advanced instructor training in spin recovery. The aircraft has been gradually modified over the years to improve safety and visibility, including an improved canopy release system, modified seat safety harnesses, larger identification letters and the large day-glo orange panels on the wings.

The controls of the glider appear primitive to anyone who has seen the inside of a powered aircraft, and we only fly in clear weather (VMC), however such simple controls and instruments both assist the student with learning and also give a very real "seat of the pants" flying experience. The controls consist of a control column, rudder pedals, trim lever and airbrake/wheelbrake; the instruments consist of an air speed indicator, an altimeter (height), a variometer (climb / descent), a compass, a turn and slip indicator and a "G" meter.

The maximum acceleration the aircraft should pull during aerobatic maneouvres The minimum acceleration the aircraft should push during aerobatic maneouvres, however further restrictions are placed on the VGSs meaning we are not permitted to go below Zero g. The maximum height that we are allowed to fly to above sea level (AMSL), and whilst the aircraft would quite happily fly above this level the pilots would find it rather less comfortable without the aid of breathing apparatus.