A pit stop is a pit stop, right? The race car pulls in, the crew changes the tires, pumps in some fuel, maybe swaps out a busted body panel or squeegees the windshield, and off it goes for another heat. Only pit stops have become the focus of news lately for a number of reasons, whether it's because of mishaps (like the ones that prompted F1 to ban mid-race refueling), new time records (due largely to said ban) or interesting new ways to film the fast-paced action.
Although zero-emission air travel may sound like a thing of the future, gliders have a long history, which can be traced back to the birth of aeronautics. Before the Wright brothers famously outfitted their Flyer design with an engine-powered propeller, most early-flight concepts could be defined as gliders.
Early gliders were often launched from hilltops or towed behind a motor vehicle to achieve liftoff. Once airborne, it was the pilot's job to find pockets of rising air known as "thermals" t