Author: Rob Thompson

Perlan Project

The scenic and highest 2.45 minutes of video footage of Airbus Perlan Mission II flight #52 on September 2, 2018. The highest altitude reached in the stratospheric wave was above 76,000 (pressure) feet which is above the U-2 record altitude of about 73,500 feet.

The high point for the pressurized high-altitude Perlan 2 glider with Chief Pilot Jim Payne and Pilot Tim Gardner was as they turned east over the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino at the one minute mark. They continue a gentle scenic turn for the next 1.45 minutes. The camera was a Garmin VIRB 360. The glare is from the sun at the extremely high altitude. The music is from Silent Partner. For more info about the flight go to…

Morning Glory Cloud Documentary

Secrets of a Strange Cloud – A video about the Morning Glory Cloud of Northern Australia

SMGFG occasionally bases our Dimona H36 in Burketown from late September to mid October to chase the famous Morning Glory clouds. If you are interested in joining us please let us know.

The remote Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, Australia is home to one of the world’s most extraordinary and spectacular meteorological phenomena, the Morning Glory Wave Cloud.

SMGFG instructor¬† Rob Thompson along with friend Russell White were the first glider pilots to soar the Australian Morning Glory Cloud. Rob is a video producer and his documentary “The Secrets of a Strange Cloud” film has been broadcast on SBS Television Australia at various times times early 2015.

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Cockpit Software

We have set up a Nexus android tablet in our cockpit with the XCSoar program installed (see

This is a great addition but as always we stress to our students that any instrumentation in a glider is SECONDARY to looking out the cockpit and feeling what the air is doing.

Morning Glory Cloud Trip

We are planning on having our Dimona motor glider based in the Gulf this coming September and October. If you are interested in flying with us please get in contact soon.
This video was filmed around Burketown in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland and features the amazing Morning Glory Cloud and the surrounding landscape.

Motor glider computer simulation

Here is a computer animation of a flight in a H36 Dimona motor glider like ours.

It is quite a realistic simulation. Our landings and much of the flight itself however are all generally carried out with the motor switched off. Except for the launching we mainly operate our motor glider as a pure glider.