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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 uvflyer
#350960
Well I think it still is quite unknown. Almost all people I tell about it don't know exactly what it is or call it 'some kind of parachute'.

I've got to admin that I haven't really thought about the existence of hanggliding before I saw some youtube videos :?. I knew paragliding and saw a hangglider in Far cry (videogame) a few times, but never it didn't really stick. I've looked into airsports because I badly wanted to fly. Looked into normal planes (recreational planes), but the costs are real high. I've looked into sailplanes, but I didn't like the fact that your very dependent of other people, helping out a whole weekend and maybe don't even fly. So I youtubed some, found paragliders and thought, woow, that might be something I may be able to do. Clicked a bit more on some recommended videos and then HG came in, awesome, that is something I want to do, something I'm looking for, flying in the position a bird flies! Showed it to a friend and he was the one saying come on, let sign up for lessons. I hold of for a year a signed up. Unfortunately he has no money at all anymore due to studying (abroad). Hope he hops on on short therms.

All of my friends are saying that they want to do it because they think it's awesome, but nobody actually does. I think that everyone is scared of by the time they hear what it cost. The entry costs are simply very high and there aren't many students/young people just buying houses with 7k to spend on a hobby. Guess HG is something you really have to want, to do it and find a way to do it.
User avatar
By littlepilot
#350961
uvflyer wrote:Well I think it still is quite unknown. Almost all people I tell about it don't know exactly what it is or call it 'some kind of parachute'.

...........

All of my friends are saying that they want to do it because they think it's awesome, but nobody actually does. I think that everyone is scared of by the time they hear what it cost. The entry costs are simply very high and there aren't many students/young people just buying houses with 7k to spend on a hobby. Guess HG is something you really have to want, to do it and find a way to do it.
I agree with you completely. I go to a private school in New Hampshire, so many of my friends are very well off (one's father owns samsung, another the Hoffman group and mini cooper, the list goes on). Whenever I tell them the base cost of learning to fly THEY say that it's too much (but getting audi r8's for their birthday's isn't?). The cost of hang gliding is very scary, but it is next to impossible to change. The thing I always say is that compared to the costs of other vehicles of aviation, hang gliders are very low and therefore in the long run more affordable. Sometimes it works.

I think it is truly about appealing to their childhood dreams of flying through the air like a bird, just like yours.
User avatar
By uvflyer
#350987
Really strange that those type of rich people say hanggliders are expensive :crazy:.

I actually thought HG is pretty easy on the costs, I mean you can fly!! for that amount of money!! Driving a motorcycle with a suit, license and a second hand bike has pretty much the same costs.
User avatar
By combat.is.hell
#350996
uvflyer wrote:Well I think it still is quite unknown. Almost all people I tell about it don't know exactly what it is or call it 'some kind of parachute'.
Well, I've been flying FLPHG mosquito over my house for the past 5 years. My neighbors see my hangglider (live, in-your-face, 30 meters over their heads, with me waiving at them happily) at least once a month on average. You can work out the maths how many times they have seen a hangglider. Then they introduce me to their friends when we are doing BBQ and say that "he loves flying and regularly flies that parachute banana thing over our area". Even if they saw me the day before, they will at best be unsure as to what it was they saw.

They do not confuse the name of the flying device (hangglider-paraglider). They confuse my hangglider that they see so often with some paraglider that they might have seen at a beach 2 years ago doing ridge soaring. They are basicaly unable to comprehend what they are seeing over and over again. And in case you are wondering: most of them have college/university education and are totally normal functioning individualls.

Most people don't know and will never know what hanggliding is and there is no real reason why we should try to explain - goes in from one ear and comes out of the other.

The majority of people I have seen coming into the sport and staying have been aviation enthousiasts who were dreaming of flying most of their lives. As soon as they want to move from being just enthousiasts to actually flying, well, there is information out there.....
User avatar
By littlepilot
#351003
uvflyer wrote:Really strange that those type of rich people say hanggliders are expensive :crazy:.

I actually thought HG is pretty easy on the costs, I mean you can fly!!
I agree with you. It is not the bad on the costs. I got my whole setup for around 2,000.


@combat.is.hell. : I agree with you as well, many people won't get it but it always worth even a little bit of time to try to explain it, even if all that is said is "naw...its the triangle one."

I also want to acknowledge again that I was lucky in that I was raised with aviation and a lot of hang gliding in my life. So a lot of the knowledge about the sport i take for granted.

:mrgreen:
User avatar
By TjW
#351310
uvflyer wrote: All of my friends are saying that they want to do it because they think it's awesome, but nobody actually does. I think that everyone is scared of by the time they hear what it cost. The entry costs are simply very high and there aren't many students/young people just buying houses with 7k to spend on a hobby. Guess HG is something you really have to want, to do it and find a way to do it.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I picked up hang gliding at 17, over the summer. When I came back to school, people said they thought it was cool, etc.
But as for actually going out to the hill and learning -- none of them actually did that.
And there wasn't any cost involved, other than gas to get out to the training hill.
User avatar
By dayhead
#351335
It all started out innocently enough.

My "gateway drug" was a 10 cent balsa wood glider given to me by my father when I was probably 5.

But unlike most other kids, my dad showed me how to warp the wings and tail, what balance meant.

Almost twenty years and many toy airplanes later, I bought a Pliable Moose standard. I was a jaded Cessna 150 pilot.

I was so happy to get the Pliable Moose. I related to it as a model glider big enough to ride on.

If we're gonna be "pushers" we need to learn to get 'em young. Start an after school indoor model plane club in the school gym. Once they understand, on the gut level, that flight is possible and understandable, they will want to hang glide.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
Don't expect a reversal of the trend until we improve our technology CONSIDERABLY.

Think I'm wrong? You gots another think coming. The popularity of paragliding is the only evidence I need point to.

P.S. That new Alpha thing ain't the answer.
User avatar
By TomGalvin
#351339
dayhead wrote: I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
Don't expect a reversal of the trend until we improve our technology CONSIDERABLY.
Improvements in what ways?

P.S. That new Alpha thing ain't the answer.
I have not seen one yet, but from the description it's a step in the right direction.
User avatar
By littlepilot
#351350
dayhead wrote:
I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
Don't expect a reversal of the trend until we improve our technology CONSIDERABLY.

Think I'm wrong? You gots another think coming. The popularity of paragliding is the only evidence I need point to.
In terms of the advancing technology, check out some of the foreign hang glider manufacturers and their million dollar racing machines i.e. Icaro Laminar, Aeros Combat, Moyes Litsepeed, Airborne Rev.

They are the maximum of performance! and price.....haha

But I do agree with you on the paragliding piece. I don't know anything about paragliding, but there is something about it which makes it more popular. Just look at the back of the USHPA magazine, there must be a 20:1 ratio of new P1 to H1

thats my piece.

littlepilot

:surrender:
User avatar
By dayhead
#351356
I hoped for these responses. They are good ones.

So just what am I getting at?

I know that "out of the box" is a tired cliche, yet it's the best one for the job.

The modern HG was developed about 35 years ago. Since then, we've witnessed some very nice refinement.

For some very good reasons, the basic "Rogallo", (or to be politically correct in some circles, the basic "Dickenson"), HG structure was adopted in the early seventies. We've stuck with it through thick and thin, and who knows, maybe we should continue to do so.

But then again, maybe we oughta take another look around.

I'm not gonna deny having some ideas. I do refuse to share them at this moment. All I ask is that we put our thinking caps on, and just be open minded about possible approaches to what many of us see as a "problem".

Hint: It's all about increasing convenience, by reducing weight (dramatically) and set-up/breakdown time and effort, and perhaps packed bulk as well.

Steve, just another lonely voice in the wilderness.

P.S. What's that famous quote about a prophet in his own land?
User avatar
By TomGalvin
#351366
dayhead wrote: Hint: It's all about increasing convenience, by reducing weight (dramatically) and set-up/breakdown time and effort, and perhaps packed bulk as well.
So a 30lb, 10 minute setup, 5-7ft package?
User avatar
By dayhead
#351379
Tom-

Sounds good. Would be nice to halve the set-up time.

30 lbs may be doable, 40 a lot easier to get to.

The actual numbers will of course vary with performance level desired, and the price.

I think minimum performance should be an L/D equal to or greater than the highest performing PG's.

Convenience and perceived safety is what sells PG. We'll need to place consistently safe landability up near or at the top of the list.

Keep the thinking cap on. You're on the right track. Never say 'can't'.
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#351384
How is what done?

Is this a thread about how to paraglide?
User avatar
By TomGalvin
#351394
dayhead wrote:Tom-

Sounds good. Would be nice to halve the set-up time.

30 lbs may be doable, 40 a lot easier to get to.

The actual numbers will of course vary with performance level desired, and the price.
My main design goal is Hike and Fly, which would also meet many of your objectives. I'm willing to trade off price, and setup time for weight and size.
User avatar
By littlepilot
#351398
TomGalvin wrote:
dayhead wrote:Tom-

Sounds good. Would be nice to halve the set-up time.

30 lbs may be doable, 40 a lot easier to get to.

The actual numbers will of course vary with performance level desired, and the price.
My main design goal is Hike and Fly, which would also meet many of your objectives. I'm willing to trade off price, and setup time for weight and size.
I'm fully with you on the hike and fly. My second flight was on a steep and what becomes an arduous hike when you are carrying a hang glider and harness (thank you tom for carrying mine that time). The entire "hike and fly" area of the sport is OWNED by the paragliders.

In terms of weight saving design, maybe we should look into high pressure rubber tubes that can be filled with little canisters of compressed air instead of battens. I know that they are already lightweight but it would sure cut down on set up time to just stop at each "batten" and quickly (3-5 sec. per batten) blow up each rib.

We already know that compressed air can be very rigid, look at the kitesurfing equipment.

And maybe we look to rigid wings for help with the pack length. They already put what SEEMS like 1/3 of their leading edge on during setup.

oh dear...I've started rambling again...and I'm only 17... ahhahahaha

@dayhead: Don't we already have a L/D better than most PG's?
User avatar
By dayhead
#351399
aeroexperiments wrote:How is what done?

Is this a thread about how to paraglide?
This is the "How to grow the sport of HG" forum, and the question is simply "How do we do that?" paraphrased a bit.

Obviously there is no one simple answer, and the comments so far illustrate that.

I've only introduced another facet to whatever the answer(s) may be: The role that our current technology, or 'state of the art', plays in our current condition of little growth in our numbers.

I'm playing the role of 'involved casual observer'; while I'm old enough to not have much stake in the eventual outcome, I'm still very interested in seeing HG survive.

So yes, I do have a dog in this fight. Perhaps you will recall a rather long thread over at the Oz Report a few years ago, titled "A marriage of technologies". I started that topic with the suggestion that perhaps some of the deficiencies apparent in both of the personal flight foot-launched disciplines could be dealt with by some kind of blending, where the best features of both could be retained while improving safety and enjoyment.

Now, it could be that I'm crazy and barking up the wrong tree. Or, maybe, just maybe, I've got a point worth considering.

Not all that long ago I was playing casual observer at one of our club's parties. There were a half-dozen or so wanna-be's watching the action with interest, and asking questions about both of the approaches to personal flight.

At the end of the day, the wanna-be's were all gathered around in the PG camp. And understandably so. They had witnessed the obvious convenience, and the PERCEIVED safety, and gentle landings made by our frameless brethren.

In contrast, some of our most experienced HGers ably demonstrated that landing a modern blade wing could be an intimidating prospect, although entertaining for the rest of the HGers present.

All I'm trying to do here is point out how things look to the uninitiated casual observer, and perhaps plant a seed, that just might sprout into a foot launchable glider, with some framework in it, that addresses our "problem".

I'm not supplying specific ideas, because I believe that at this stage of the game it is more important to hash out the philosophical questions, get an order of hierarchy of our List Of Compromises established before we start cutting and trying, assuming that we decide to at least try.
User avatar
By littlepilot
#351401
dayhead wrote: Not all that long ago I was playing casual observer at one of our club's parties. There were a half-dozen or so wanna-be's watching the action with interest, and asking questions about both of the approaches to personal flight.

At the end of the day, the wanna-be's were all gathered around in the PG camp. And understandably so. They had witnessed the obvious convenience, and the PERCEIVED safety, and gentle landings made by our frameless brethren.
I've got it! We need a daily pastry courier for the HG pilots on flyable days at popular sites. problem solved.

On a serious note, even though that was kinda a good idea :drool: ,you are absolutely right about the landings. Its up to each of us to improve our landings (always) and in effect promote the sport of Hang Gliding.
User avatar
By AndRand
#351405
dayhead wrote: So yes, I do have a dog in this fight. Perhaps you will recall a rather long thread over at the Oz Report a few years ago, titled "A marriage of technologies". I started that topic with the suggestion that perhaps some of the deficiencies apparent in both of the personal flight foot-launched disciplines could be dealt with by some kind of blending, where the best features of both could be retained while improving safety and enjoyment.
...
At the end of the day, the wanna-be's were all gathered around in the PG camp. And understandably so. They had witnessed the obvious convenience, and the PERCEIVED safety, and gentle landings made by our frameless brethren.
...
All I'm trying to do here is point out how things look to the uninitiated casual observer, and perhaps plant a seed, that just might sprout into a foot launchable glider, with some framework in it, that addresses our "problem".
There is a frontier, seldom seen by a casual observers - the collapse.

Something that in HG is only a distastrous event in very unfavorable circumstances while in PGs quick collapse and quick getting out of collapse, with (several) hundreds feet altitude lost is required. There is also a discussion on PGs with reflex airfoil (for self-stability) that this requirement makes this type dangerous (it can be set to be quite resistant to collapse but... when it happens it happens (almost with no chance to resolve it).
And the launch thing - if watch for once PGs starting in non stable crosswinds, thrown here and there, you would change your mind ;)

I think HGs have room for improvement - if some could ever make full-carbon extra thin single surface wing, no wires, no tubes but Aframe (joking) it would be a blast - sailplane rigidity, topless L/D, floater speeds, :drool:
User avatar
By red
#351409
dayhead wrote:At the end of the day, the wanna-be's were all gathered around in the PG camp. And understandably so. They had witnessed the obvious convenience, and the PERCEIVED safety, and gentle landings made by our frameless brethren.
In contrast, some of our most experienced HGers ably demonstrated that landing a modern blade wing could be an intimidating prospect, although entertaining for the rest of the HGers present.
All I'm trying to do here is point out how things look to the uninitiated casual observer.
Dayhead,

I agree. I flew Fledglings for two decades, and there is nothing better than the ability to slam on the air brakes, as you flare to a good landing. In all that time, the Fledgling nose touched dirt (not a whack) only on a few occasions, and it had to be a downwind landing with non-runnable terrain. I thought I had invented something there, until I found the same wisdom in the Owner's Manual.
RTFM, sometimes. :lol:

Here is my vote for HG airbrakes, which people will soon discover can also be used separately for some serious turn authority, as well together, for glide-ratio control during the approach. In a pitch-over event, pulling the airbrakes kept the glider from going past vertical, which saved my bacon more than a few times. Flaring will be easy and fun, of course.

Better landings will attract new pilots, certainly more than the usual assortment of whacks seen at popular LZs.

:mrgreen:
By Xpanse
#351421
combat.is.hell - I share your thoughts.
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