Bannerdown Crest

What is Wave lift?

Similar to ridge lift is a phenomenon called 'wave lift'. This is a little harder to imagine.
It arises from the wind blowing against a hill, but this time the air comes back down (on the far side of the hill) and "bounces" off the ground and goes back up again, creating a very smooth upwards flow of air. Often, this form of lift is capped by a cigar shaped 'lenticular' cloud.

This wave may go back down and up again for several cycles, meaning that you don't actually have to be close to any hills to use it!

The furthest flights in gliders have been done using this lift - the best being 2463 kilometres (1530 miles) which was done along the Andes, all in one flight and one day!

Wave lift is also known to go very high - the world height record in a glider is just a little short of 50,000 feet!

Wave Lift