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By Charlie Romeo
#403323
Here"s the thing....when you become an experienced hg pilot, your joy factor is at a peak, low stress/high reward for most flights. If you honed your skills to our latest xc topless models it can be amazing what can be achieved in even "tough" conditions. So why was i becoming less hungry for my three dimensional fix?...I really enjoy the flying,with usual air time of 1.5 or 2hrs.After a bit of soul searching ,i concluded that it was all becoming too much effort.I am soon 62yrs young :wink: and 36kg of topless glider manoeuvring around off the verandah,up onto the 4wd ute and a possible part carry up a site was becoming risky because of lingering old non hg injuries. So,besides the weight issue,there was two more factors at play here...I wanted easier roll control {small sites and weaving around pg till i get above em} and an easier to land glider ie slower flairing speeds and smaller field capable.We have a lot of "put ins"around my local area that even the punter"s balk at. I hope i"ve got quite a few yr"s left in me and i still enjoy my hg so the answer is downgrade...Now i have looked at what is needed for me and which is it?...A high performance intermediate or an advanced intermediate,perhaps a recreational hg.Since my current hg weighs 36kg in the bag{no packing or bags 2kg less},an aspect ratio of 7.5:1,10m span, 13.5squ.m sail area,130deg nose angle and a powerfull vg....a good glider for an older pilot must surely have lower figures for all but the sail area,correct? Now i looked at int or adv/int from 5 manufacturers,all kingposts ,2 i figured were too advanced for my figures, being over 7.0 a/r and plus32kg If i had $7000Aud plus, theGecko or Sport3 ..they sure sound great and their specs seem about right,however for a third of that cost i am about to look at and test fly a 2nd hand Sting3 154, 26kg,5.7a/r,9.1m span,14.3squ m,121nose angle and apparently an efficient vg. You have a lot to consider when getting a glider,{even more when buying second hand} so if i can feel good in this noticeably lower spec wing i"ll be a happy,chappy....I will let youse know.....Please don"t tell me how much i am going to miss my glide angle :lol:
By cheesehead
#403324
When choosing my current glider, I had the same desires and concerns as you--including the prices of the current newest wings. I've been flying 30 years and have been satisfied with every glider I've owned. Now I've got a like-new Ultrasport that I acquired for a very low price without having to do much searching. I actually owned an Ultrasport from approximately 1998 to 2005. I was happy with it, so I expect I will be so again with this one. Yes, I've heard how sweet the U2 and Sport 2 are, but given my finances, it's not worth thousands more $$$ to me to own one of those. I had and enjoyed a Falcon 1, Eagle, Saturn, and Predator in the time between my Ultrasports. The Predator is cool, but my days of flying advanced gliders are over.
#403330
Well said, one more thing i realized, you need to be more current when flying a high performance glider, i am quietly confident this glider is the One.... Time will tell, at least the test fly should.
:)
By blindrodie
#403334
Charlie I'm willing to bet the U2 160, tuned to your requirements would be a dream for you to fly. Don't be afraid to look at a wing similar to what your needs are and buy used. As I've stated before, I fly heavy on a 2005 U2 145. It screams through the air when I want/need it to and lands just as slow as my old F1 Falcon 195. I'm 59 and not getting younger BUT I still stay in shape and have yet to worry about landing too fast, at least on this 145. If I could just find some one who thinks their U2 160 is a bit big and they want to trade...........

8)
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By DAVE 858
#403336
I think the answer to the conundrum lays in what you want out of a hang glider. I know a guy who flys a T2C, never flies XC and does not perform aerobatics. He insists on flying this thing despite the fact that he continually breaks metal & occasionally himself. If all you wanna do is cruise around the valley & have a safe landing, U DONT NEED A T2C TO DO THAT! I think that for a lot of people there is a stigma associated with "stepping down" in performance. Are we really stepping down though? I figure it to be akin to surfers with different surfboards for different conditions. I don't understand why hang glider pilots are so attached to having to fly the blade wing all the time. Must be an ego thing... IDK.
#403338
When you dream of flying, do you dream of going up and down like a yo-yo, or zooming across the sky like a bird? Is flying vertical or is it horizontal?

I once fell for the "fun glider" myth and bought a mid-level recreational wing. Felt like I was flying a rock. They don't glide, they plummet. Flying isn't just about being high - it's also the freedom to travel through the air. Recreational gliders do not travel through the air. Horizontal motion is more flying and more freedom than vertical motion.

I hate to hear of pilots going backwards in hang gliding performance. What's the end result - a paraglider? Or maybe not flying at all?
#403341
I will try with one reply to respond .....As i wrote Blindrodie, the Sting3 IS a second hand glider which i set up in the village hall yesterday arvo.....too wet anywhere else, well cared for and low[ under 50 hrs]....Hell,i even like the sign on the double surface.... ""live more". Thanks for your thoughtful advise but landing speed was only one of my four concerns....besides my topless only lands fast in no wind :wink: ..my clip in is 95kg, here"s some shots from yesterday..Good points Dave858.....As for an opinion on what is flying Miraclepieco?....our soaring disipline is the best....we can smell the wind,feel the air,climb,dive and simply cavort in the sky,you can touch a sand dune or a cloud at the top of a thermal...A fantastic glide angle is only part of the joy of free flight,if taking a downgrade keeps a pilot experiencing their joy, kudos to them.
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User avatar
By NMERider
#403352
The title of this thread makes it sound like impotence and little blue pills. I know there's a 'morning wood' joke in here somewhere.
Charlie Romeo wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:28 am
....the Sting3 IS a second hand glider which i set up in the village hall yesterday arvo.....too wet anywhere else, well cared for and low[ under 50 hrs]....Hell,i even like the sign on the double surface.... ""live more"....
The glider looks pretty darned nice to me and that quote is catchy. Every time I fly my Falcon 4 195 I land with a considerably bigger smile on my face than my T2C 144. Although my topless is very well tuned and handles great, it feels like a lead brick compared to my Falcon or Sport 2 155. I try to pick the glider that best matches my current physical condition along with the weather and flying site. If I was really that concerned about speed and L/D I'd get my glider rating and join the local club which has a Discus with a 44:1 L/D. I find flying sailplanes every bit as much fun as hang gliders. I have yet to get my PG training but that's coming, so I can do hike & fly X/C along with numerous other pilots all over Southern California unlike the HGs that are now nearly extinct or fly mainly solo. I have done plenty of short X/C on a Falcon and real X/C on a Sport 2. That 18# weight saving along with the easier handling and vastly superior launch and landing options are a nice plus. I will eventually buy a Sport 3 155 but there's no pressing urgency since I have fun on my other gear and I don't compete. I have been doing stepping down a notch or two thing for 5 years now and know many others who do the same.
By Lazypilot
#403358
Is it possible to get T2 performance and also have fun handling? If not, why?

I don't much care for the experience of flying a topless blade wing. My Sensor was converted to king posted from topless, and I think it is more fun to fly, but what is the reason for this?

Is it possible to build a glider capable of a flat glide that has "fun" handling qualities?
#403359
Interesting reply,very similar thoughts to mine JD...discounting any innuendo in the title :lol: ....I"ll have a try at answering two of your questions Lazypilot but i think you probably know the story already....Two words, aspect ratio...
That is what all our topless gliders have more of than our intermediate wings, which have more of than our beginner wings and they all have less of than our rigid wings which also have less of than our sail plane brothers. So what is fun handling, one word, quick. In other words,the lower the a/r {narrower span} the quicker the handling on a modern designed hg....seems to me you can"t have both....we fly our blade wings {myself 10yrs now} and they can be tweeked to suit your prefered style...but when you step back to a lower a/r wing after a long time in your topless its almost an epiphany to rediscover the fun in a quick handling hg. An answer to your last question is that precisely at the moment some hg manufacturers are trying very hard with their mod a/r wings and clever designing to still have quite surprising performance and a measure of more fun....for myself,i dont think i "ll mind being one step behind these new breeds if only its a little bit :wink: Perhaps someone familiar with the Sensor could answer your second question...
User avatar
By NMERider
#403361
Lazypilot wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:36 am
Is it possible to get T2 performance and also have fun handling? If not, why?

I don't much care for the experience of flying a topless blade wing. My Sensor was converted to king posted from topless, and I think it is more fun to fly, but what is the reason for this?

Is it possible to build a glider capable of a flat glide that has "fun" handling qualities?
Convert a topless glider into an un-certified king-posted glider. Replace the sprogs and hardware with something all-composite and no metal including the cables or covert to 3/64" diameter reflex bridles. The lighter crossbar will also help tremendously. Reducing the overall weight by 10# and greatly reducing tip inertia will make a huge difference in handling. Use a harness with a good reserve since the glider may not pass certification.
User avatar
By NMERider
#403369
Blue_Seleneth wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:54 pm
Jonathan, just curious, how do you think the hypothetical kingposted topless would compare to a Fizz?
I've never flown a Bautek glider but they sure look nice. Offhand, probably similar.

In many ways modern hang gliders are way overbuilt and that is contributing to the demise of the sport whereas modern PGs weigh very little and have much shorter projected spans and lower projected aspect ratios yet are getting solid 10.5:1 L/Ds with amazing X/C performance that too frequently leave the topless HGs stuck.

If I fly a cocoon harness with a large and reliable reserve chute then why do I need a bomb-proof hang glider unless I plan to fly in heavy turbulence? It isn't just the setup and breakdown hassles that have killed hang gilding. They are too heavy and they don't need to go any faster than 40mph. There's no reason not to have a 15:1 L/D hang glider that handles as easy as a PG but has a VNE of 40mph. The X/C potential would be mind blowing especially if the glider had an empty weight of 45# or less. There is no reason this cannot be accomplished today but the sport is hamstrung by its own insular and inbred, elitist culture which is also the foundation of the sports forthcoming obsolescence. It isn't the manufacturers who are to blame. The issue that has undermined hang gliding is it's own culture coupled with the fact that the sport is a victim of its own success. The very success of the development of the sport by the early 80's also laid the groundwork for its doom. Once it was shown just how readily accessible X/C flying and general soaring was with readily available materials and technique then other sports exploded while hang gliding imploded.

Then came the advent of aero tow-based task racing in which case glider weight made little difference since essentially we were all flying foot launched sailplanes.

I grew up in an era where my X/C capable hang glider, harness and everything were easily transported on one shoulder up 2,000' vertical of single track hiking trail. That's just not even remotely feasible with modern equipment.

Whose to say that a delta frame hang glider cannot be built that weights under 30# and uses a shark-nose technology airfoil with only a few battens and no leading edge Mylar and 2oz./yard^2 laminate sail fabric? Let's say it has a 33' span and 190'^2 but a true double surface non-undercambered airfoil and minimal billow. There are other ways of controlling pitch than by use of sprogs, washout struts or reflex bridles. Adjustable Fletner flaps may accomplish this along with mind-boggling roll/yaw control. Or the wing can have a true pitch stable or near-neutral pitching airfoil with internal reflex supported by static pressure.

So the L/D is say 12:1 but the low speed handling and sink rate far more than compensate for this. Assuming it can be done correctly, the fun factor would be off the charts. It really doesn't have to break down any smaller than 20' long so much as it needs to be feather light. A prototype could be fabricated at 1/4 or 1/3 scale and real-world test analysis would work. This is how I used to engineer my full-scale hang glider back in the 70's and the method worked.

I have been listening to know-it-all naysayers along with delusional dreamers in the sport since I began building scale models in 1972. It's too easy to build a working scale prototype and test it and find out what's possible. Will any of this ever be realized? Not by me it won't. I gave up on all that in the early 80's.
#403370
I like that thinking!
Also, people take for granted that they should use "speed bar" basetubes that must be heavy because of the built-in bending loads. A simple straight basetube is loaded in tension only, and can be a lot lighter.
#403372
One quibble: higher-end paragliders have as much or more span than a T2C.

Your mention of hiking up with a cocoon gave me a brainstorm. Give the cocoon a heavy-duty belt like frame packs have, and your hybrid hiking harness/pack could help a lot with toting heavy things up the hill. Surely someone thought of that by 1973...

But yes, make the glider lighter, lower sink rate, and lots more nimble to turn. They say part of the genius of the Carbon Dragon is to make frequent, rapid course adjustments in response to the air, faster than any conventional double-surface weight shift hang glider can do. Refusing to enclose the pilot is a drag my aesthetic favors, but with slow sink and nimbleness, very good things should be possible.
User avatar
By NMERider
#403376
Blue_Seleneth wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:50 am
One quibble: higher-end paragliders have as much or more span than a T2C.
I'm aware of this and those gliders tend to be useless in the real world. The Ozone Zeno is the benchmark I use to measure everything else. Its aspect ratio isn't that high: http://flyozone.com/paragliders/en/prod ... fications/
Your mention of hiking up with a cocoon gave me a brainstorm. Give the cocoon a heavy-duty belt like frame packs have, and your hybrid hiking harness/pack could help a lot with toting heavy things up the hill. Surely someone thought of that by 1973...

But yes, make the glider lighter, lower sink rate, and lots more nimble to turn. They say part of the genius of the Carbon Dragon is to make frequent, rapid course adjustments in response to the air, faster than any conventional double-surface weight shift hang glider can do. Refusing to enclose the pilot is a drag my aesthetic favors, but with slow sink and nimbleness, very good things should be possible.
You can't measure fun. It's simply not quantifiable yet it's the very essence of what keeps the sport alive. Sadly, we live in the Strava Era where every aspect of living has devolved into a statistics-driven bragging rights and d--- measuring contest. This attitude needs to be killed and I mean dead like smallpox, black plague and polio. There has to be a way to maximize our individual fun and enjoy it on a group level too. I see PG pilots do this every time I'm out there and I see hang gliding pilots engage in bragging fests and pissing contests. Which would you rather be a part of? I'll take the positive camaraderie over the toxic d----measuring contest culture. We are talking about a high performance hang glider that operates at a much lower speed than say a topless hang glider and because of this, it can be far lighter in weight which would help the sport on so many levels it's ridiculous. But pilots need to demand it all over the world unless one of us can win a MacArthur Genius Grant in order to fund such a project.

The competing next-generation intermediate gliders: Gecko, Sport 3, Fizz, et al, are a good start in this direction. I believe even more weigh can be shed by hybridizing the technology and keeping VNE down. Hopefully this happens while there's still time.
By cheesehead
#403392
Lazypilot wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:36 am
Is it possible to get T2 performance and also have fun handling? If not, why?

I don't much care for the experience of flying a topless blade wing. My Sensor was converted to king posted from topless, and I think it is more fun to fly, but what is the reason for this?

Is it possible to build a glider capable of a flat glide that has "fun" handling qualities?
!st manufacturer to design it will get rich. This has been the goal for 40 years.
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