Our Activity

Keio Soaring Club has two main goals in our activity. One is to obtain a glider pilot license, and the other is to win all student soaring competitions that are held annually.

Junior members aim to build basic flight skills through flight training with alumni instructors. First solo flight is the most important process for first-year students. In general, after sixty to eighty flights with an instructor, first-year students can fly a glider without an instructor. Second-year students acquire flight skills to become glider pilots and accumulate solo flight experiences. In addition to flight training, junior members aim to acquire the knowledge necessary for flight and soaring, for example, aerodynamics, meteorology, aviation law and so on. Junior members that have completed determined flight training and studies obtain a glider pilot license. Our first goal is that all our team members obtain the license.

Third-year students aim to improve their soaring skills, attain more altitude using thermals, and also learn many operation skills for the team. Fourth-year senior students participate in student soaring competitions and take full management responsibility for the team. Some students obtain an instructor license in their third or fourth year to coach the team. In soaring competitions, junior members take part as the team staff/crew. Our second goal is to win all student soaring competitions that are held annually.

During flight training camps, we usually stay at a boarding house near the glider port for three to seven days. We wake up at six o’clock, go to the glider port at seven, and conduct our flight training until sunset. We aim to efficiently increase the number of flights and guarantee safety at the same time. We usually have sixty to ninety flights as a team per day.


Contact Us

Taiki Ito, Representative of “Mita-Aviation (Alumini) Club”


+81 80 1170 0065


Kanami Watanabe, Representative of Keio Soaring Club


The History of Our Club

Since 1930, aviation activities of university students proceeded under the “Japan Student Aviation League (JSAL)” organized and managed by the Asahi Newspaper Company. Students who aspired to the sky joined through their alma mater (Keio as well), and enjoyed flying both powered airplanes and gliders. Unfortunately, due to World War II, these activities were forced to be suspended.

After the war, student aviation resumed purely as a sport. Several years later, universities such as Keio, Waseda and Hosei came to provide their own gliders such as the Primary and the Secondary gliders. However, among these universities, only Keio decided to build a high performance dual-seat type “Soarer”, searching worldwide for an updated training system. In addition, each club began to train their own instructors. In this way, student aviation developed steadily over the years. The most memorable moments in our initial years was the accomplishment of the Mita-I “Kawanishi-Go”. This glider, which we built, broke the Japanese record of the highest altitude gain. In the following years, we have made numerous successful flights, which will be described later.

Today, we are constantly developing our activities constructively and creatively. We are also striving for victory in numerous competitions and championships such as “All-Japan Student Gliding Championship”, “All-Japan Students Mountain Gliding Championship”, “All-Japan Freshman Students Gliding Competition”, “Tokyo Six-University Gliding Competition”, and the “Keio-Waseda Gliding Match”. 

Record of Victory

    Team victory    13

    Individual       20 (1983-2019)

    Team victory   30

As a result of our activities over the past 90 years, we are very proud to have “Mita-Aviation Club” with over 300 alumni, supporting and cooperating with our activities.


Below we present our 90-year history in five sections:

1. 1930-1941: Foundation of our Club

1930Keio University Aviation Research Club was founded with 15 student members. Club President PhD. Yukio Masui. Joined the Japan Student Aviation League and began flying with a second-hand, single engine small aircraft provided by the Japanese army. Five other universities (37 students in total) also join the League.

1934The 1st All-Japan Student Flying competition 

1938Glider flight training begins alongside motor planes.

1941Outbreak of WWII

JSAL was dissolved on the orders of the Ministry of Education, and all aviation activities were consolidated under a single organization called the “All-Japan Flying Association”. 

1945All aviation activities are prohibited by the order of the General Head Quarters of Allied Forces. 

2. 1952-1960: Resumption and new foundation, post WW Ⅱ

1952As the GHQ lifted all prohibitions, all aviation activities including air sports resume. JSAL also resumed flying, focusing only on glider sports. 

At this period, Keio renamed itself as the “Keio Aviators Club” and decided to build (including the design) its own high performance two seater glider as Mita-I “Kawanishi-Go”.

“Mita Aviation Club” was organized by alumnus to support it.

1955The 1st All-Japan Student Gliding Championship.

1956Mita-I “Kawanishi-Go” glider complete to build and makes a successful maiden flight.

             Then, named “Kawanishi-go” in memory of Mr. Ryuzo Kawanishi who was graduate from Keio University and contributed old Japanese aircraft industries.

1957Our First in-club student instructor is born, and begins providing training for other student members.

1958In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Keio University’s founding, the Mita-I “Kawanishi-Go” flies over the Keio University Hiyoshi Campus.

1960 Mita-I “Kawanishi-Go” achieves a new Japanese record of high altitude gain ascent flight.  

3. 1961-1980: Period of growth, breakdown, and reconstruction

1961The 1st Keio-Waseda Gliding Match

Establishment of the Keio High School Aviation Club.

1962-1964 Three consecutive victories in the All-Japan Student Gliding Competition.     

1964-1971 Our (Keio) Aviation Club, achieves continuous success.

1969Officially accepted into the Keio Athletic Organization under the name of “Keio Soaring Club”. 

1973The occurrence of two severe collisions and crashes caused all activities to be suspended for several months.

1973-1977 A Complete reconstruction of the coaching staffs and gliders for as the next step to in further growth of the Club.

1974A club Super Intendant visits Wikery, Australia to study current flying techniques and the latest flight training skills. 

1978Accomplishes a new Japanese record for altitude gain at Black Forest, Nevada, USA.

198050th Anniversary celebration

4. 1981-2000: Second Growth period: Continuous growth and establish of a solid organization.

1998The 1st Tokyo Six University Soaring Championship.

Victory in the 1st Freshman Gliding Championship.

1999Publication of the “Glider Text Book “edited and written by our club- instructors.

5. 2001-2020: Established its position as the leading/head organisation in Student Aviation community

1995-2002 Eight consecutive victories in the All Japan Student Gliding Championship

2008In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Keio University's founding, a formation of three motor gliders flew over the Keio University Hiyoshi Campus.

202090th Anniversary.

 Announced commemorative events are as follows;

1. Purchased LS-6 High performance single seat glider.

2. Commenced the “Enforcement of Human Ability Project”

3. Challenge to SDGs.

4. Extend activities internationally.

5. Proceed with the “Glider Culture Friendship Exchange Program” with Oxford University, UK.

6. Participate in the 2024 World Junior Glider Championship.

7. Publication, “A history of 100 Years of Keio Aviation. 

The History of Student Aviation

The history of student aviation in Japan began around 1930, with the establishment of the “Japan Student Aviation League” consisting of eight universities at first. At the beginning of the 1930s, gliders were introduced to student aviation, increasing their awareness in Japan. Many students gained interest in gliders, and the first All-Japan Student Gliding Championship was held in 1934.

However, due to the outbreak of World War II, what started as a hobby turned into a training organization for aircraft crews. Also, student aviation activities were completely prohibited by the government. It was a difficult period for student aviation. After the war, students were able to purely enjoy gliders as a sport and hold annual competitions. Currently, the Japan Student Aviation League consists of 59 colleges/universities, 719 students, and 270 instructors. Moreover, the league has been designated as a training facility for glider pilots by the government. Therefore, students are able to obtain a glider pilot license through the activity of the league.


Keio Soaring Club takes part in 5 competitions a year. Every competition is supported by the Japan Student Aviation League, which means our opponents are mainly gliding clubs from other universities. Our team train daily to be successful in all 5 competitions, and we have carried out victory in all of these competitions a number of times in our history of 100 years.


As with most glider competitions, we compete over the travel distance, and the speed with which a pilot completes an aerial route. We have 5 sets of “Tasks”, which involves flying around a series of pre-set turning points.

For example, Task 27 has a total distance of 27km. The 3 tasks are Task 24, Task 27, Task 39, with the numbers indicating the distance of flight (km). 4 out of the 5 annual competitions are based on the travelling distance, followed by the time taken to complete it. On the other hand, The Freshman Competition is mainly for second year students, where we compete our level of control in a two-seater glider. An instructor is seated behind and marks each category. 

Details of each Competition

The Tokyo Six-University Gliding Competition is participated by six universities that form a league and compete in other sports as well. The Kanto Region Student Gliding Competition is a competition for universities located in eastern Japan. The Keio-Waseda Match is “the Varsity match” between the two most prestigious private universities in Japan. Lastly, the All-Japan Student Gliding Championship is the largest and the final competition of the year. As it is a nationwide competition, student gliding clubs throughout Japan gather at Menuma Glider Port. 

As stated earlier, our ultimate goal is to hold all 5 titles from these championships.