Founded in 1966, Banbury Gliding Club is a friendly club operating two club two-seater gliders for instruction (see gliding trial lessons and Learning to Fly packages), two club single-seat gliders and around 20 privately owned gliders, launched by two powerful tug aircraft. The club operates at weekends and bank holidays throughout the year, together with some midweek days over the summer months, especially when suitable soaring conditions occur.
The members of the club vary from teenagers – it is possible to fly solo at age 14 – right up to those in retirement; Banbury Gliding Club members and gliding instructors come from all walks of life, sharing a common love for silent flight. Consequently, a real mixture of flying occurs at the airfield, with some flying their vintage gliders locally to the airfield, whilst others compete, flying cross-country in modern high performance aircraft, often for hundreds of miles; others enjoy aerobatics, instructing, or flying the tug aircraft that launches the gliders. Some may participate in local, regional or national competitions; an inter-club competition weekend is hosted by Banbury Gliding Club every year.
The Club operates on a ‘self-help’ basis, and does not employ staff, which keeps the costs of flying to a minimum for the member’s benefit. All work necessary to operate the club and ensure that members can fly is carried out by certified members where possible, including the daily operational tasks such as getting the aircraft out from the hangar and assisting at the launch-point; all instruction and maintenance is free from qualified & British Gliding Association certified club individuals. If you have a keen interest in experiencing the joys of gliding, you’ll fit right in with us.
Our home: Hinton-in-the-Hedges Airfield
Our aifeild, Hinton-in-the-Hedges, was built in 1940 by RAF Bomber Command and was active throughout WW2; dry all-year-round and large enough to accomodate several large runways, we are able to fly in most weather conditions and have a variety of cross-country options for the more advanced & adventurous glider pilot. The main pluspoint of our airfield however is it's proximity to the M40 corridor, giving easy access to Milton Keynes, Oxford, London, Birmingham, Bicester, Northampton and beyond. Free from built-up areas and man-made obstructions, Hinton-in-the-Hedges airfield provides an excellent and convenient base for gliding courses and trial lessons.
The Club was founded in 1966, as the Civil Service Gliding Club, and initially based at Westcott (Rocket Propulsion Establishment); over the next five years, the Club moved sites several times but came to Hinton-in-the-Hedges Airfield in 1972 and became known as Aquila (which is Latin for ‘Eagle’). In 2007, the club became Banbury Gliding Club to best reflect our relationship with the local community. Banbury Gliding Club continues to go from strength to strength, fuelled by a passion for silent flight and the enjoyment we get in sharing this with visitors through our gliding trial lessons.