Ask an Explainer


How many types of gliders are there?


There are many types of glides. Gliders are a type of aircraft that has all the major parts of an airplane except an engine.

The most popular glider is a toy made of paper or balsa wood. Paper airplanes are thrown giving them an initial speed. When the weight of the paper airplane becomes greater than the lift created by the wings, the paper aircraft will begin to descend to the ground.


Other types of gliders include hang gliders. Hang gliders are large piloted aircraft made of fabric. Sailplanes are a glider that looks like regular aircraft but again have no engine. There are pulled into the air by a vehicle then released. The largest and heaviest glider ever built is a Space Shuttle. For more information on gliders check out