Classic vintage style airplane graphic - Glider / Sailplane - makes great gifts for student pilots, flight instructors, private pilots, air craft owners and all who love aviation. Pilot, Plane & Aviation Lovers Gifts & Shirts. A Glider is a heavier-than-air aircraft that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its lifting surfaces, and whose free flight does not depend on an engine. Some gliders have engines for extending their flight, and some have engines powerful enough to launch into the air. There is a wide variety of glider types differing in the construction of their wings, aerodynamic efficiency, location of the pilot, and controls. Some may have power-plants to take off and/or extend flight. Some are designed simply to descend, but the most common varieties exploit meteorological phenomena to maintain or even gain height. Gliders are principally used for the air sports of gliding, hang gliding and paragliding but are also used for recovering spacecraft.