Welcome to SoaringCafe.com, the world’s first and foremost site for information, news, feature articles and events revolving specifically around and for the soaring community. Featuring the latest and most up-to-date information possible, SoaringCafe.com brings you a wealth of content that will help you keep abreast of world events, happenings, product reviews and interesting stories from soaring enthusiasts and practitioners around the globe. Plus, you can find the latest in technological advances in soaring equipment and planes that can help you become better informed when making decisions regarding your personal soaring activities. And for those just wanting to learn more about the sport, our in-depth feature articles will serve to inform and inspire you to possibly starting your own quest in becoming a soaring enthusiast!

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SoaringCafe.com provides you with:

  • A single source for soaring-related information – no need to search around the internet to find out what is happening
  • Up-to-date and timely – information is posted continuously rather than in publishing cycles
  • A user registry to enable you to write your own articles or features on anything soaring related – fun flights, contests, technology, discussions, reviews, articles, OLC reports, IGC reports, etc.
  • No limitations on content size – a quick 200 word post or a 5000 word technical article with equations, diagrams and photos are all welcomed and encouraged
  • The opportunity to help the environment – E-zines are green – no paper is used and the articles can be googled for future reference
  • Regular content featuring the progression of Dick Butler’s Concordia project, an endeavor to build a cutting-edge Open Class glider. Many people are interested in this and we will keep you abreast of his progress as he moves forward.

About Bill Elliott, Our Publishing Editor

Bill Elliott (WE)

SoaringCafe.com is the result of hard work and dedication from two world-class soaring experts – Bill Elliott (WE) and Rand Baldwin (NN) – both of whom reside in Huntsville, Alabama. Bill is a two-time U.S. 18m national champion with extensive racing and cross-country soaring experience. He represented the U.S. in the 18 meter class at the 2010 and 2012 FAI World Gliding Championships  Bill earned his airplane rating in 1981, but was looking for new challenges by 1989 when the lure of motorless flight induced him to join the Huntsville Soaring Club. After soloing in a Blanik L – 13, Bill began soaring cross country in the club 1-26, then bought a Duster followed by an HP-18 a few years later. It was with that HP-18 that he won the Region 5 South Sports Class Championship in 1995, his first championship.

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After taking a five-year hiatus to spend time with his family, Bill moved up to a DG – 300 in 2001, then to an ASW – 27 in 2002. This move prompted Bill’s soaring competition to kick into high gear! The past several years has seen Bill consistently place as the Region 5 North and South 15 meter champion. His fourth-place finish at the 2007 15 meter nationals earned him a slot as reserve pilot for the 2008 U.S. Team. After a win in the 18 meter nationals in 2008 followed by a third-place finish in 2009, Bill was selected to fly for the U.S. in Hungary at the 2010 WGC, finishing a promising 30th. He is also going to represent the U.S. team in Uvalde, TX in 2012.

All of Bill’s soaring accomplishments can be found here.


About Rand Baldwin, Our Editor

Rand in LS8 near Chilhowee

Fascinated by soaring since early childhood, Rand learned to fly sailplanes while in graduate school (at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics), and earned his private glider rating at Yankee Soaring in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He joined the M.I.T. Soaring Association in 1974, where he completed his Silver Badge and became a flight instructor. After moving to Huntsville in 1977, Rand flew and instructed on weekends at Eagleville Sailplanes south of Nashville, Tennessee. In 1985, he and a handful of other soaring enthusiasts organized the Huntsville Soaring Club at Moontown Airport. He has served as its president, newsletter editor, operations chief, and chief flight instructor. From the late 1980’s through the mid-90’s, Rand served as SSA Governor for Alabama and is now Alabama’s state recordkeeper.

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Rand chaired the 1996 SSA national convention in Huntsville and served on the SSA Board of Directors from 2000 through 2003. He owns an LS–8, which he flies in local, regional, and national competitions. Rand has set many Alabama and Tennessee state records as well as two U.S. national soaring records, including one multi-place record set jointly with Bill Elliott.

We invite you to register on our site and set up a user account if you are interested in posting to SoaringCafe.com. Having you registered also allows us to let you know, via email, about new postings that may be of interest to you. We appreciate your interest in our website, and look forward to living and exploring the incredible world of soaring with all who share our passion.

All of Rand’s soaring accomplishments can be found here.