Getting a glider into the air normally involves finding someone with a powered plane who's willing to give you a tow. Is it cheating if you bolt on a tiny jet engine to get you airborne?
Self-launching gliders have been growing in popularity, but most use a small electric or piston engine. Now in move guaranteed to satisfy hot-rodders everywhere, a New Mexico company called Desert Aerospace has fitted a glider with a tiny jet engine.
Both the glider and the jet engine are made in the Czech Republic, and the tiny 45-lb turbine provides 240-lbs of thrust to get you airborne at more than 900 feet per minute. Once you reach your chosen altitude, the engine folds into the fuselage and nobody will know that you're packing some extra power.
Desert Aerospace has flown a prototype of the new powered launch glider, but no word yet on price or availability.