A brief history of the club
Founded in 1953 as the Coventry Gliding Club flying at Baginton, two pieces of the old wartine airfield at Husbands Bosworth were bought at auction in 1963. This disused airfield had been developed in 1943 and served as home to 85 Operational Training Unit. Wellington bomber aircraft were used to train new pilots who would then move on to serve with Bomber Command. After the war, the airfield became home to a Polish refugee camp. Some of the old buildings from that time, including the Tower, can still be seen on the southern side of the site.
The club moved to Husbands Bosworth in 1965 after members had built the first hangar with its giant 'up and over' door, along with a clubhouse erected from two post war prefabs. The club grew swiftly, holding a successful Regional competition in 1967 followed by an equally successful National Championships in 1968 - an event that catapulted the club into the top level in UK gliding. Two more hangars were built to cope with the club's steady growth during the 1970's. Club membership passed the 400 mark in 2000, leading to the erection of a new clubhouse, since extended. Throughout our time at Husband Bosworth, much of the building / development work has been done by club members.
One of our senior members, Keith Nurcombe has provided a more in-depth history of The Gliding Centre here.
The club operates seven days a week from early April to late September and on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the rest of the year.
Husbands Bosworth is a 1500 metre East / West grass airfield with a 300 metre asphalt strip that we use during the winter. There is also a 'boot' at the west end of the field that is useable for landings and is also used for camping and ground exhibitions from time to time
We are a very active airfield with gliders, powered aircraft, microlights and gyrocopters operating from the field. Please exercise appropriate caution around the airfield and make sure that any guests are properly briefed to ensure their safety. See our Guidance for Visitors page for more details
We enjoy hosting regional and national gliding competitions throughout the year. The World Junior Championship was held at The Gliding Centre in 2005. We also hold an informal key Task week every year for less experienced cross country / competition pilots to develop their skills.
We are proud to have one of the best and most modern club fleets in the country. The fleet is maintained to a very high standard and allows us to offer our guests and members a superb standard of service.
The fleet includes 5 two seat gliders (2 ASK21s, 2 Puchacz and a Duo Discus) that we use for abinitio and advanced training. We also have three single seat club gliders (2 Juniors and a Discus) and a Falke motorglider. In addition there are around 100 privately owned gliders in the club.
Our tug fleet of 3 Supermunks is the envy of gliding clubs throughout the country. We also have access to a number of privately owned tugs which supplement the club fleet at times of high activity, for example during competitions.
With 35 British Gliding Association (BGA) qualified and highly experienced instructors in the club, The Gliding Centre offers a complete syllabus of abinitio and advanced gliding and motor gliding training to our members. Our central UK location, with 7,500 feet of clear airspace above us, provides an ideal base for training flights .
Whether you're new to gliding or a seasoned pilot, our team will work with you to help get the most out of your gliding both now and in the future. For example, we provide coaching to qualified pilots to imrove their cross country flying. Cloud flying and aerobatics courses are also available.
Our modern clubhouse is the centre of Club activity and includes our restaurant, bar, office, briefing room, member’s kitchen and toilets. Member noticeboards are located in the entry hall. Outside of the clubhouse, we have a seating area and club barbeque facilities.
Jo Young runs our experienced and helpful office team. They are well versed in how the club works, and can help point you in the right direction on most topics. The office also stocks a range of flying and other items that you may need whilst on site. See the contact us page for our contact details and office hours.
Restaurant & Bar
The Flying Pan, run by Hilary Davey, is open most days and offers a great range of sandwiches, snacks, and home cooked food. Non-members are very welcome and we often have visiting model helicopter enthusiasts, cyclists and vintage car club members. If you are passing by the club, you're most welcome to pop in for a cuppa.
If The Flying Pan is closed, there are self-serve tea and coffee making facilities available in the member's kitchen.
The bar usually opens after flying finishes and is staffed by club members. It's a great place to relax with friends, and chat about the day.
Single and twin Club bedrooms are available at very reasonable rates. Our rooms are simple and comfortable. Linen is included but please bring your own towels.
Tents and caravans are also welcome by pre-arrangement. Contact us for information on availability. Male and Female shower and toilet facilities are located in the accommodation block. Rules for the use of the caravan site can be found here.
Hangers 1 and 2 are home to our club fleet of gliders, motor glider and tugs. The parachute store is situated at the rear of Hangar 1, together with weighing scales and the battery charging area.
Hangar 3 is home to East of England Sailplanes who offer maintenance and repair facilities to club and private aircraft.
Our recently built MT store houses our club ground vehicles including tractors, fire truck and buggies.
A Member's workshop is located at the rear of Hangar 2 and can be booked through the office by members for private glider maintenance work.
How We Operate
As a member club we have a small professional staff, including mid-week winch driver, tug pilot and course instructor. With the exception of our office and catering teams, everything else is done by our members working together to provide the high standard of activities that we enjoy.
This means that we rely on members to join one of our weekend duty teams (including instructors, launch point controllers, tug pilots, winch drivers, log keeper and ground crew). We train volunteers to a high standard and ask that they commit to a ‘duty day’ one Saturday or Sunday every five weeks. We’d be delighted to discuss how you can best join in.
From time to time we also ask members to join in with club development and maintenance projects. This allows us to maintain a superb facility whilst retaining very competitive membership and flying fees.
The Club is managed by the Committee, which is elected annually by the club members. The Committee is responsible for the conduct of the Club, and for appointing the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) who is accountable for all flying safety matters and for maintaining the high standard of instruction.
You'll find us a very sociable club, ready to welcome new members.
Throughout the year we hold a number of organised events and on most flying days you’re likely to find us chatting in the bar at the end of the day.
Every autumn the Club hosts an annual dinner to celebrate the year. It includes a prize-giving ceremony to recognise club members' achievements over the previous twelve months.
Our instructors run club expeditions throughout the year, where we take gliders to other UK gliding sites. Flying at other clubs helps broaden your flying experience and are also fun social events.
Each August we run an informal task week. It's a great opportunity for Club members of all experience levels to get involved and learn more about cross-country flying. We also welcome pilots from visiting clubs
We run a public bonfire and fireworks night every year with profits donated to the local Air Ambulance.
We hold a childrens' Christmas party each year with Santa usually arriving by air to the great delight of the youngsters!