Science: Through the Thunderhead

It was typical summer weather last week as the South African gliding meet began on the broad plateau at Baragwanath. All morning thick cumulus clouds built up in the hot, dry air over the Rand. At noon, Swiss Engineer René Comte folded his wiry frame into the cramped, rubber-cushioned cockpit of his sleek Moswey (Buzzard) IV glider, fitted the bubble canopy in place and took off, towed by a sturdy little Tiger-Moth. With good luck he hoped to fly to Bloemfontein, 200 miles away.

When he was 1,200 ft. over Baragwanath, Comte cut loose his tow. Some ten miles to the south...

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