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Is sailing a dinghy like flying a plane?

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy development
Forum Discription: The latest moves in the dinghy market
Printed Date: 17 Jan 21 at 3:19am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Is sailing a dinghy like flying a plane?
Posted By: 2547
Subject: Is sailing a dinghy like flying a plane?
Date Posted: 07 Jan 12 at 2:39pm
Following on from comments on another topic it struck me that sailing is perhaps as complex as flying.
You have to control your speed/lift by adjusting aerofoils, you steer with a rudder and the interation of the air over the lift/drive foils ...
You could argue that sailing is more complex as you also have a set of foils in a fluid to deal with plus you have a aysumetric loading on your craft requiing you to have to balance against the foils.
Of course flying you have all the air traffic control stiff but the phisical action of "driving" the plane (or perhaps glider) isn't dissimilar to flying.
If you want to go flying then you accept it is complex and you take lessons, plus of course the obvious downsides of getting it wrong.
With sailing if you crash you just get wet so we don't need the same training and certification but in terms of learning to "drive" a dinghy is it similar to learning to fly?

Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 07 Jan 12 at 3:41pm
More like gliding, maybe, seeing as the power source is the air? Never flown, though, so don't really know!

Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446

Posted By: craiggo
Date Posted: 07 Jan 12 at 5:10pm
Having held a glider pilots license and had a years pilot training in the RAF, I can confirm that there are a few similarities.
Like sailing, flying is best when you are able to keep your eyes out of the cockpit. Certainly the physics of flight and sailing are based on the same underlying principles of fluid dynamics, so I guess you'd expect some similarities.
I'd say that sailing a fast assymetric spinnaker boat downwind is probably the closest sensation to flying, in that you have to respond to the gusts and keep the boat balanced and upright while trading direction. In an aircraft you'll be adjusting incidence to maintain speed, and power to maintain height.

As you say the impact of getting it wrong in an aircraft is a bit more severe!!!!

Posted By: 2547
Date Posted: 07 Jan 12 at 6:14pm
I guess my point is that both are quite complex craft to master and as such can't really be compared to snow sports or riding a bike in terms to difficulty to master ...

Posted By: Stargazey
Date Posted: 07 Jan 12 at 7:41pm
I've rarely taken a parachute with me on a dinghy.

Posted By: 2547
Date Posted: 07 Jan 12 at 8:19pm
Originally posted by Stargazey

I've rarely taken a parachute with me on a dinghy.
Do you always take one on a plane?
That's not the point anyway ... it's about the relative complexity.
I'm suggesting sailing a dinghy is more like flying a glider (or plane) than riding a bike ...

Posted By: Max McCarthy
Date Posted: 07 Jan 12 at 11:02pm
The actual act of flying a plane is pretty easy (I have had flight lessons), but I suppose a boat sailing is pretty similar, with all the controls, and the actual complications all added on, like when flying properly with all the extra complications would probably be pretty similar to flying. Apart from if you make a mistake when flying you can die in many more situations then in sailing.

Vintage skol moth 3438

Posted By: r2d2
Date Posted: 07 Jan 12 at 11:08pm
At a "taster" gliding session I was told that there is a lot of crossover between sailing and gliding, and that many of the gliding club members were also sailors with a love for the dynamics of the wind etc

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