Today in Transportation History – 1938: A Record-Setting Glider Flight in Eastern Europe

Polish aviation pioneer Tadeusz Góra made a record-setting flight of 359 miles in a PWS-101 glider (an unpowered aircraft dependent on air currents to stay airborne) between the village of Bezmiechowa Górna in southeastern Poland and the city of Šalčininkai in southeastern Lithuania. As a result of this achievement, Góra became the first-ever recipient of the prestigious Lilienthal Gliding Medal awarded by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.

Within just a few years after this historic flight, Góra distinguished himself even further as a fighter pilot for the Allied forces during World War II. He was awarded the Polish military decorations Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari Order and Cross of Valour for his heroism in battle.

Góra’s post-war life included serving as a senior instructor at the Zar Glider School near the Polish town of Żywiec. He died in 2010 at the age of 91.

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