The congress is always held alongside the competition, and many of the presentations attracted pilots, as well as those in Benalla specifically for OSTIV.
“Ostiv is the worldwide scientific and technical research organisation for sailplanes, and we try to promote technical progress of sailplanes,” Dr Radespiel said.
“We give advice to sport organisations like FAI and the International Gliding Commission to get many things right in the sport.”
“We had great evening presentations that attracted not only the OSTIV members, but also the pilots, team captains, and the public of Benalla,” Dr Radespiel said.
“We had lectures on sailplane design; the biggest ships you see in the sky now, how they will look in the future. So we had five great manufacturers for a podium discussion. They shared their views on what the open class will look like 20 years from now.
“There is a general optimism that sailplanes will be much better in the future,” he said, before joking “they will probably not land anymore!”
Dr Radespiel believed pilots could look forward to more access to knowledge about the weather, and progress in aerodynamics.
“There will be drag reduction, and very good progress in material science to make them lighter and more versatile, and there’s also strong discussion about safety,” Dr Radespiel said.
“In Formula One they improved safety so much that an accident would not be fatal anymore, and sailplanes have to become safer in case of a crash.
“There are a lot of things to be done still.”
Dr Radespiel started flying as a student with Akaflieg Braunschweig in Germany, at the age of 18. He built a sailplane himself.
“That is something I’m still really proud of,” he said.
“It’s still in Braunschweig, it’s more than 40 years’ old, and it flies! I fly it every year.”
Dr Radespiel said many OSTIV members were glider pilots.
“We have 300 members all over the world and most of them are fascinated by gliding,” he said.
“Most of them are glider pilots and I am one of these crazy people.”
Find out more at www.ostiv.org