Thermal Flying

Cross Country

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Published August 2021, this new edition of this ‘thermalling bible” is thoroughly revised and updated, and packed with real-world advice on how to thermal efficiently. Clearly written, with hundreds of illustrations and photos. A classic.

Thermal Flying is the world’s best-selling guide to the art of thermalling and XC flying. Hundreds of photos and illustrations make technical concepts come alive and easy to understand. Technical theory is kept to a minimum while real-world experience and practical advice help you grasp tricky concepts easily.

Learning to climb well is probably the most valuable skill of all in free flying, but it can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Burki Martens’ Thermal Flying has been written as a guidebook, and whether you have one hour or a thousand hours’ airtime, you’ll find it incredibly useful.

Hundreds of helpful tips on:

  • Soaring, staying up and top-landing
  • Coastal flying and sea breezes
  • How to core thermals and get to cloudbase
  • Valley winds, mountain flying and magic air
  • Flying the flatlands
  • XC tactics from first flights to 100km
  • Thermal Flying has been published in 15 languages and has sold over 50,000 copies worldwide. This third edition brings the art of thermal flying to a whole new generation of pilots. Burki Martens is a multiple XC League champion and an excellent coach and communicator.

Thermal Flying Includes comprehensive instructions on:

  • How to predict and find thermals
  • How and where thermals form – sources and triggers
  • Different types of thermal models
  • Windward and lee-side thermals
  • The theory of temperature gradients
  • Vortex ring structure and lift distribution in thermals
  • How to read clouds and weather


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  • 5
    Thermal flying

    Posted by Phil on 18th Dec 2022

    Easily the best and most descriptive book I have read about paragliding. The endless pictures depicting the author’s points are invaluable. Very readable and practical. .