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Dashing in color and full of character, vintage sailplanes show up a nondescript modern white counterpart at a vintage meet-and-glide. (Chad Slattery)

Vintage Charmers

Visit Mountain Valley Airport and soar with the wood-and-fabric fans of the Vintage Sailplane Association.

On the evening of the third day at Tehachapi, as steaks smoke on the barbeque and the sky darkens, Fronius glances at his TG-2, pauses a second, then confides with a grin: “When you fly an old glider, you can never lose. If you do really well and beat the modern sailplanes, it must be because you’re a superior pilot. But if you get shot out of the sky, and land after 10 minutes because you made some really boneheaded mistake, and the glass ships had a great flight—it was only because they had a superior aircraft. It had nothing to do with your piloting."

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