By circling in rising air called Thermals. This air rises because it has been warmed by contact with the sunlit ground and warm air is lighter than cold air so it is bouyant. Thermals tend to be shaped somewhere between a column and a bubble, rather like the stuff in those 1970's lava lamps. Check this for more info: http://www.gliding.co.uk/whatisgliding/soaring.htm
Contrary to popular belief the Wright Brothers were not the first to fly an aeroplane.By the time the Wright brothers got their flyer up in the air, flying was a hobby for New Zealand farmer Richard Pearse. Working single-handedly in his barn, he designed and built his own engine and flying machine. Datings suggest that Pearse made his first flight in March 1902.His remarkable success remained unknown until fairly recently. Orville Wright in Flyer I. was the first man to fly an aircraft that could take off and maintain flight under its own power...*However The first successful glider capable of flying a person was made in England by Sir George Cayley. He used this glider to fly his coachmen across a small valley,this glider had no capability to control the flying height or direction.*The first glider that can be piloted was made in Germany by Otto Lilienthal in 1891. Lilienthal made about 2500 glider flights between 1891 and 1896.The Wright brothers experimented with these gliders before developing their powered aeroplane.
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