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This forum is dedicated to discussions on how to grow the sport of hang gliding. We will take a methodical approach to collect data and come up with implementable ideas on how to increase our numbers. This includes effective marketing, lead generation, site access issues, improving regulations, lack of instructors, lack of sites, etc

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User avatar
By foamkiller
#257746
well i am still h1.9 and have flown my falcon 106 times still no broken down tubes a magic iv a fledge IIb , a old standerd & my airwave formula 154 on a
trike for 20 hours ! I will remain a ushpa member just to be a p.i.t.a.

h 1 for ever with a F.U. endorsment ( regon 9 sucks)

Rich . H master rating got with a case of beer !
what a deal
:mosh:
User avatar
By Windlord
#257777
"For the love of the sport" yep, that's where we came from.
If the instructor could make a sale of equipment, then that was a plus, but not a priority.
Wing, harness and helmet set me back $550, at that time, and well worth it. Of course the wife didn't like it. :mrgreen:
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#257796
My $.02 ..... more flying sites where non-pilots can watch flying being conducted is the key to more people entering the sport. Out of sight - out of mind.

Or.... GoPros that stream HD video live to the Web - where anyone can watch from anywhere @ any time. Dreaming on......
:popcorn:
User avatar
By Dontsink
#267937
I,ve been an airline pilot for 15 years.Recently i started looking for the simplest,most pure way to fly.HG seems to fit the bill...but does it really?.
The weight and bulk of the HG gear are the reason i'm taking a PG course( don't shoot me please!).
Compared to HG a PG is not very exciting at all,it floats rather than flies...but the setup i'm going to get for PG is below 10 kg ALL included and fits in a backpack.So i can hike a beatiful mountain and fly,and that is exciting for me.
Why am i posting this?, so you'd know my personal reasons for choosing a balloon-like,collapsable,slow PG over a sexy HG.
I think my reasons apply to lots of people that are shying away from HG into the perverse folds of PG.When i researched HG i was very surprised to find that beginner- intermediate gear was still Alu,steel wires and dacron.That's so eighties,no wonder they are heavy!.
Maybe ( probably) i'm an ignorant just for asking this but...wouldn't a high- tech materials simple wing save a lot of weight?.Is there an engineering reason( other than cost) that makes it undoable?.
If they ever make a hikable HG i'll jump into the sport,meanwhile i'll float-collapse around the sky in my PG.I will probably take an HG course just to try it but i cant't see myself really getting into the sport.Who knows...
Just my two cents,don't nobody get offended eh!.
User avatar
By Dan Harding
#267939
Dontsink wrote:I,ve been an airline pilot for 15 years.Recently i started looking for the simplest,most pure way to fly.HG seems to fit the bill...but does it really?.
The weight and bulk of the HG gear are the reason i'm taking a PG course( don't shoot me please!).
Compared to HG a PG is not very exciting at all,it floats rather than flies...but the setup i'm going to get for PG is below 10 kg ALL included and fits in a backpack.So i can hike a beatiful mountain and fly,and that is exciting for me.
Why am i posting this?, so you'd know my personal reasons for choosing a balloon-like,collapsable,slow PG over a sexy HG.
I think my reasons apply to lots of people that are shying away from HG into the perverse folds of PG.When i researched HG i was very surprised to find that beginner- intermediate gear was still Alu,steel wires and dacron.That's so eighties,no wonder they are heavy!.
Maybe ( probably) i'm an ignorant just for asking this but...wouldn't a high- tech materials simple wing save a lot of weight?.Is there an engineering reason( other than cost) that makes it undoable?.
If they ever make a hikable HG i'll jump into the sport,meanwhile i'll float-collapse around the sky in my PG.I will probably take an HG course just to try it but i cant't see myself really getting into the sport.Who knows...
Just my two cents,don't nobody get offended eh!.
The day that you launch and the wind picks up and you can't make the LZ in your bag, is the day you'll wish you had a HangGlider, "my $ .02 worth
User avatar
By mattboy
#267945
Being a pilot, you know how rough and turbulent the air can be. Hiking up a mountain and flying off sounds like a great dream, but you don't know anything about the air around the area. You could be jumping into a huge sink, collapse your wing and die. And you know what people would call it? Pilot error.

Flying at safer and known locations where people know what areas are more safe to fly means you'll be at an established HG/PG site anyway, no hiking required.

I'll keep the rigid body and strong wires, crap happens and air can be really rough. There was a PG pilot that died at our local site here from a wing collapse going XC not too long ago. He was experienced and knew what he was doing. As convenient as PG is, I just don't trust the air to be smooth enough to keep me "safe."

That being said, I'd LOVE a quick short pack option for a hang glider. You could even ADD weight if you could give me an easy 6-7 ft. package as it's not the weight, but the length that makes it inconvenient. Yes storing my 18 ft. is a pain, but it's something I'm willing to sacrifice for a little extra insurance in the sky. I get where you are coming from though and I think MANY people are making the same decision as you for the same reasons.
By kermit
#267946
Dontsink wrote: Maybe ( probably) i'm an ignorant.
.

Yep
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#267948
mattboy wrote:Being a pilot, you know how rough and turbulent the air can be. Hiking up a mountain and flying off sounds like a great dream, but you don't know anything about the air around the area. You could be jumping into a huge sink, collapse your wing and die. And you know what people would call it? Pilot error.

Flying at safer and known locations where people know what areas are more safe to fly means you'll be at an established HG/PG site anyway, no hiking required.
Hey fellow Washitonian! I disagree a wee bit regarding your conclusions. In defense of my bag head pals - when they walk up a hill they're observing the conditions the entire time - more so than riding in a vee-hickle. Also, I'm EXTRA keen on flying a new hill. I'll trade 5 minutes off a new hill for a couple of hours off the tried and true one. You can also think of it this way - if you go XC you're flying new hills pretty much all the way. The site may be established but the route may not be. One more observation in our parts (eastern WA) is that we hangers and baggers fly together often and many of us fly both (not me - yet). The more of us in the sky the more we can see how the air is behaving. There are a lot of times one can't fly a hang where one can fly a bag. Sure, wind is the key. Luckily we don't get a heck of a lot of wind in our area + we have some wide open spaces (lots of land to be drug across!). We're a small group (20+) and we help one another out. Bags are not the enemy - they are allies - brothers of the sky. When I see them off flying before I'm set up is the only time I'm angry with them!

Sorry that I've divulged from the scope of the post. But, when folks see flying, bag or hang, they are more likely to get interested in one or the other sport. Since many of us fly both (or intend to) - what's the difference. We support both industries. Not everyone is cut out for one sport but they may be for the other. With more of us regardless of what we fly we have larger work parties on new sites, more driver possibles, etc. etc. We're also lucky that we have many potential new flying sites. Only thing holding us back is our total numbers. I'm hoping that changes as we fly new sites near areas known for outdoor recreation.

Out - Steve
User avatar
By Dontsink
#267955
kermit wrote:
Dontsink wrote: Maybe ( probably) i'm an ignorant.
.

Yep
Ok,so enlighten me pleaze.
Why do non-competition HG's look like windsurfing gear from the 80's?.
My hypoxic,airline pilot sized brain says that carbon fiber,kevlar,mylar and pricey bits of titanium are light,strong and look great with my sunglasses...
User avatar
By mattboy
#267957
ChattaroyMan wrote:
mattboy wrote:Being a pilot, you know how rough and turbulent the air can be. Hiking up a mountain and flying off sounds like a great dream, but you don't know anything about the air around the area. You could be jumping into a huge sink, collapse your wing and die. And you know what people would call it? Pilot error.

Flying at safer and known locations where people know what areas are more safe to fly means you'll be at an established HG/PG site anyway, no hiking required.
Hey fellow Washitonian! I disagree a wee bit regarding your conclusions. In defense of my bag head pals - when they walk up a hill they're observing the conditions the entire time - more so than riding in a vee-hickle. Also, I'm EXTRA keen on flying a new hill. I'll trade 5 minutes off a new hill for a couple of hours off the tried and true one. You can also think of it this way - if you go XC you're flying new hills pretty much all the way. The site may be established but the route may not be. One more observation in our parts (eastern WA) is that we hangers and baggers fly together often and many of us fly both (not me - yet). The more of us in the sky the more we can see how the air is behaving. There are a lot of times one can't fly a hang where one can fly a bag. Sure, wind is the key. Luckily we don't get a heck of a lot of wind in our area + we have some wide open spaces (lots of land to be drug across!). We're a small group (20+) and we help one another out. Bags are not the enemy - they are allies - brothers of the sky. When I see them off flying before I'm set up is the only time I'm angry with them!

Sorry that I've divulged from the scope of the post. But, when folks see flying, bag or hang, they are more likely to get interested in one or the other sport. Since many of us fly both (or intend to) - what's the difference. We support both industries. Not everyone is cut out for one sport but they may be for the other. With more of us regardless of what we fly we have larger work parties on new sites, more driver possibles, etc. etc. We're also lucky that we have many potential new flying sites. Only thing holding us back is our total numbers. I'm hoping that changes as we fly new sites near areas known for outdoor recreation.

Out - Steve
My point was that accessibility isn't really an issue as there are usually roads up to established (and safe) take off sites. Maybe there are a bunch of take off sites available that are only possible to hike to, but I imagine that's the exception rather than the rule.

When flying XC you're taking new routes, but hopefully you have plenty of space between you and the ground to account for any surprises.

I've got no problem with paragliders or flying together, I'm just saying that you need to know the conditions when/where it's safe to fly as much as possible. I've also outlined some of my reasons why I chose HG over PG, but mean no disrespect to anyone.
User avatar
By AirNut
#267959
Dontsink wrote:I think my reasons apply to lots of people that are shying away from HG into the perverse folds of PG.When i researched HG i was very surprised to find that beginner- intermediate gear was still Alu,steel wires and dacron.That's so eighties,no wonder they are heavy!.
Maybe ( probably) i'm an ignorant just for asking this but...wouldn't a high- tech materials simple wing save a lot of weight?.Is there an engineering reason( other than cost) that makes it undoable?.
Interesting that you should ask this question! The founder of our sport (arguably), John Dickenson, recently made the same kind of statement as yourself. This is the guy who had a great passion for flying and aircraft from a young age, and designed and built the first modern hang glider in 1963 (as you say, all aluminium, wires and nylon). His recent statement (last year) was that HG manufacturers need to develop a lighter-weight, smaller and more portable hang glider aimed at beginners or we will lose those beginners to PG. He even said that, if starting today, he himself would take up PG rather than HG for the same sort of reasons that you've outlined.

IMO manufactures do need to put a bit more effort at the beginner end of the scale, rather than the high-end competition side of things (although winning competitions is very important to a manufacturer). Although the newer tech of carbon fiber etc etc can be found in the top-end gliders, there's really nothing like that (that I know of) at the beginner end. Whilst modern competition gliders have leaped ahead from what they were like in the 80's, beginner gliders have hardly changed since then.

Unless we make HG more accessible to newcomers (in perception as well as reality), we'll continue to lose people like yourself to PG.
User avatar
By TomGalvin
#267963
Dontsink wrote:My hypoxic,airline pilot sized brain says that carbon fiber,kevlar,mylar and pricey bits of titanium are light,strong and look great with my sunglasses...
All those materials ARE used to varying degrees on different gliders. It's a matter of balancing function and price for the current market. Aluminum and Dacron still makes business sense for the majority of the recreational market.
User avatar
By Dontsink
#267964
"Interesting that you should ask this question! The founder of our sport (arguably), John Dickenson, recently made the same kind of statement as yourself. This is the guy who had a great passion for flying and aircraft from a young age, and designed and built the first modern hang glider in 1963 (as you say, all aluminium, wires and nylon). His recent statement (last year) was that HG manufacturers need to develop a lighter-weight, smaller and more portable hang glider aimed at beginners or we will lose those beginners to PG. "


That's what surprised me when i looked into HG gear.In other sports that rely heavily in equipment performance(Skiing,MountainBk,Windsurfing etc) there has been a trend starting about 10 years ago towards high tech but user friendly products.Often as expensive as the top-notch competition-only stuff,they provide the weekend warrior with the latest designs and materials , but adapted to low- medium abilities and aspirations.
Why not in HG?,i think hang gliders have plenty enough performance and cool factor,they just need less weight and bulk in an easy to rig/ derig system.
Anyway,i will most probably take a beginner HG course later this year,maybe all the problems i see now will disappear on my first clumsy glide...
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#267966
Dontsink wrote:His recent statement (last year) was that HG manufacturers need to develop a lighter-weight, smaller and more portable hang glider aimed at beginners or we will lose those beginners to PG. "
And I say, "So What?!" One of the most avid hang pilots in our area started on paras and now has 2 hangs - a topless and a rigid (and still flies paras on rare occasions). Why not just think of the para as a portable hang glider? If you end up wanting more performance you can get a hang. I plainly think there is a bias between the two, paras and hangs, that is kinda foolish. They are way more similar than they are different (if you consider all types of aviation). If the sport of paragliding grows so does the sport of hang gliding. Any sort of alienation between the two hurts them both (short of common sense physical separations due to flight parameters, launch and landing requirements, etc.).
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#267970
mattboy wrote:My point was that accessibility isn't really an issue as there are usually roads up to established (and safe) take off sites. Maybe there are a bunch of take off sites available that are only possible to hike to, but I imagine that's the exception rather than the rule.
Once again I respectfully look at your point from a different perspective. Established (and maybe safe - as safety is in big part judgement) take off sites happen to be in locations where there are roads since those locations are the easiest places to get to. Last time I looked around on Google Earth there are far more hillsides, mountain tops, ridges, etc. without roads to the top of them than with roads. A lot of these places would make sweet launch and flying sites - and can be if you have a para as opposed to a hang. Sure you can pack a hang just about anywhere you really want to fly. I used to do that in the Beartooth Mountains of MT. But, you're not going to do that very often. With paras that option is much more attractive. One of the sites I have my eye on to establish is in a natural area that allows no wheeled traffic - just foot traffic. I'm a hang pilot only but will begin working on the site just so paras can fly it. Since it is close to town it could generate interest in flying paras. And, some of those would-be para pilots will skip paras and go to hangs - maybe the other way around too. So what?! I'm convinced we're better off with both sports than with only one - and we should champion them both.

I'm not ranting on here to belittle anyone on this org. I really like this place and the sharing of ideas, techniques, etc., etc. But, in some ways I feel us hang pilots are killing the goose that's laying golden eggs (paras). I even think there could be a successful hang gliding school that was designed to start students on paras then move them to hangs - or not if the student wished to stick with paras. In a couple of years the para guy/gal may choose to get a hang. If the sports are integrated more there's a dang good chance of that sort of thing being commonplace.

Do I want to take this "argument" to the extreme and start actively getting para pilots to join hg.org - NO WAY! I also like it here because I don't have to wonder what "glider" means when someone is talking about one. I know it is a hang and that's where my own personal flying interest lies.
User avatar
By mattboy
#267977
ChattaroyMan wrote:
Do I want to take this "argument" to the extreme and start actively getting para pilots to join hg.org - NO WAY! I also like it here because I don't have to wonder what "glider" means when someone is talking about one. I know it is a hang and that's where my own personal flying interest lies.
*Sigh*. What argument? All I'm saying is be careful what you jump off of, and into, have a bail out landing zone and don't fly alone, that narrows it down a bit. Just because you have more freedom doesn't mean you should kill yourself with it! So when you become a PG pilot scoping out those hilltop, for heavens sakes be careful! :ahh: :surrender:

There are plenty of PG pilots here at Tiger Mountain. Can you hike it? Sure! Do most pilots hike it rather than take the bus? No, they'd rather be in the air. Yes technically they have more freedom to fly unknown or hard to get to sites, but I'd be curious to know how often they actually do.
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#267985
mattboy wrote:*Sigh*. What argument? All I'm saying is be careful what you jump off of, and into, have a bail out landing zone and don't fly alone, that narrows it down a bit. Just because you have more freedom doesn't mean you should kill yourself with it! So when you become a PG pilot scoping out those hilltop, for heavens sakes be careful! :ahh: :surrender:

There are plenty of PG pilots here at Tiger Mountain. Can you hike it? Sure! Do most pilots hike it rather than take the bus? No, they'd rather be in the air. Yes technically they have more freedom to fly unknown or hard to get to sites, but I'd be curious to know how often they actually do.
Yeah, didn't really use quotes there all that well. Better called a discussion. I come from the old school where we weren't all that careful. We were explorers and experimenters (even if we thought, or were told, otherwise). More freedom doesn't mean stupidity. I expect that a pilot who heads into the unknown will do so with some background investigating and a darn good knowledge of their own skill level, capabilities. But, if there is some danger involved in the unknown - that never slowed down humans for very long. Mishaps have paved the road for furthering all sorts of endeavors.

If there's a road to the top .... I'm taking the road. It there's no road to the top - no one is taking the road. When it comes to hard to get to sites.... who cares how often they are flown. I'll bet the dude or dudette who flies the places has a grin that won't quit! I still have a grin from some of the places I've flown 30+ years ago that I'll bet no one has flown since (unless it has been a para pilot). When I flew those places people knew I was in there and knew when I was going to fly - usually early or late in a day. Did I have some mishaps? Yeah. But I walked away from them + gained one heck of a lot of respect for mountain conditions. I credit those experiences for being alive now. I also credit those experiences for my drive at finding and opening up new flying sites now.

What I'm saying somewhat is that we are all adventurers or we simply would not be flying. The more we embrace that notion (with ample knowledge of what we're doing) the better off the sport is (be it hangs or paras). To bail on trying out a new place goes against what I feel is our unspoken oath.
User avatar
By Sawnoff
#268635
Hi All,

I was sitting in front of the tv here in Western Australia watching the golf tournament at Torrey Pines when suddenly they were showing HG's (and PG's) flying along past the golf course. My first thought was " Great site, Fantastic views, I'm JEALOUS!!! :drool: Then it dawned on me that hang gliding was being broadcasted to the world on tv. :mosh: And they kept on showing clips of HG's, PG's throughout the broadcast. Awesome!!!
Perhaps if someone knows of a professional golf tournament coming to or near their local site, one could get as many HG's flying and on international tv also. Just a thought. Was great to see both my passions at the same time.
Mike
By Reefsider
#268645
I love this idea! I've also thought there is a lack of TV coverage of the sport. If people watch fishing and snowboarding TV, i bet they'd watch a show on hang gliding!
User avatar
By Markdiederich
#372050
just talk about it with people and remind them how long you've flown safely either they are struck w the bug or not.. you can lead to water ya know..
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