Texas Glider Rally

Description: The 2010 Texas Glider Rally will celebrate the50th anniversary of glider flying in the Marfa area and honor the memory of Billy Shurley, local rancher, towplane pilot and long-time supporter of soaring activities at Marfa.

The long white wings of sleek gliders will flash against the blue spring sky as twenty of the soaring craft from across the USA gather at Marfa Airport. The annual Rally will be April 17 to 24 as the pilots explore the thermal updrafts and mountain wave lift that make Marfa, Texas, famous around the aviation world.

Strong rising air currents known as "thermals" begin in the spring when the warm air (and the turkey vultures) return to west Texas. "Wave" lift also occurs as the air flows up and over the mountains surrounding the Marfa Plateau. Good thermal conditions exist above Marfa year-round, but the strongest updrafts occur from April to October.

Several World, US and Texas State soaring records have been set at Marfa over the years. The pilots will attempt "personal best" and soaring badge flights, which qualify them for entry into the National Contests.

In 1969 Marfa hosted the largest National Soaring Contest ever held in the USA with 86 sailplanes racing around the Big Bend. The movie "The Sun Ship Game" was filmed by cinema verite director Robert Drew during that contest, and will be featured at the Marfa Film Festival this May.

Burt Compton, Master Instructor at Marfa Gliders will offer some rides and flight instruction during the rally. The public is welcome to visit the Marfa Airport on highway 17 to watch the soaring activities. Contact Marfa Gliders to coordinate rides and lessons in the two-seat gliders at (800) 667-9464 or visit the website: FLYGLIDERS.com
Location: Marfa Airport
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2022
Repeat Type: Daily;Until=4/25/2010 4:00am
Priority: 5-Medium
Access: Public
Created by: Joni Marginot
Updated: Friday, April 16, 2022 6:07pm GMT