Sport: The Birds' Apprentices

In a sport once reserved for insects, a few preposterous fish, some webby mammals and the birds, some 60 glider experts from 19 countries last week silently swooped out over the dusty yellow airfield of Madrid's Real Aéreo Club. The two-week International Soaring contest, the biggest postwar meet, was coming to a flying finish. Each day at noon ranks of brightly colored sailplanes, eight abreast, were towed to a 1,650-ft. altitude by Spanish Air Force training planes. There, their long tow cables released, the motorless pilots sought out the thermals—rising warm air currents—on...

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