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By Roadrunner
#398888
o-k, I am recalling my first Glider here. My first Hang Glider was a Wills Wing Falcon One-225 Tandem. I had a great Time flying it, and landing it.

So That was many years ago. It was way back when Dan Fleming was alve. For Dan was the Wills-Wing Dealer who ordered my Glider for me.

Well I just saw an opportunity to write something regarding Hang Gliding.
So good luck with your Quest to get a Glider.

I just want to say that my Falcon was a good Glider.
User avatar
By Maineiac
#398940
Notwithstanding the sales competitors commentary, and you both have your reasons, I'd like to hear more about the Sport 2 vs. the Freedom X (or otherwise, but sport topless intrigues the crap out of me) vs. the Gecko. My inclination is toward the Sport, but kinda because I've been around WW since the '70's. Although I've seen Steve Moyes do things . . . the guy could fly a picnic table and gain altitude. My hook in would be around 210 (jeez, I hope, if I start working at it now).
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#398962
TomGalvin wrote:
AIRTHUG wrote: Disclaimer here is that I hate the Freedom.
Have you flown one yet, or are you just doing the arm chair thing?
No I have not flown the freedom Tom. Tom Galvin, former Mountain Wings instructor, whom whacked a freedom in sledride conditions during a landing-video-analysis clinic... due to inadvertent adverse yaw.

And look- Greg Black of Mountain wings, Tom's instructor, former employer, and buddy, is the very next comment. What are the chances folks? LOL

And Tom, if you want to quote me, include the context and do not simply extract less than 10 words from a paragraph and add your own rhetorical question that would be meaningless if you had included the following words as well.

Here, let me help:
AIRTHUG wrote:
Disclaimer here is that I hate the Freedom. Not that it isn't a fine glider- I just think the premise is *STUPID*. It takes all of the compromises we accept in a higher performing (better gliding) glider, and incorporates them into a single-surface glider that will always be significantly handicapped in glide performance. It might go a little better than a Falcon at higher speeds, but no one's been able to PROVE that. And if it does, it certainly aint a big difference. And to gain that slightly better glide (assuming it does what they say it does), the owners have to pay more money, put more battens in and out every time they fly it, put curved tips in and out, and deal with a heavier glider. It's less yaw-damped, and less roll-stable than the Falcon. Can't speak for pitch stability because it's not certified. (www.hgma.net) So yea... I get that people like them, and I agree they look slick. But not so slick that I'd pay more, to work harder and fly less :lol: :crazy:


I added some bold this time around, so you don't miss the part where I say THE NORTHWING FREEDOM IS A FINE GLIDER.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, and you think I'd change that statement if I flew one?!

Regardless- I may be many things, but as someone that knows me well, you know I'm no armchair pilot. I haven't been putting together as many videos or grabbing as many photos as of late, but dangit, armchair pilot ?! Me? That hurts me feelings, seriously dude. Wow...

As for Greg and his name calling and smack talking- he actually refutes nothing I said. Falcon is lighter, sets up and breaks down quicker, costs less, slows down better (which makes soaring easier, by the way). He says Falcons are stiff in handling?! Should we ask if HE has flown one? Or when the last time he flew any hang glider? 'Cause I've been back living in the Ellenville area for, what, 4 years now... and I have seen Greg fly ONCE. And I don't miss many flyable days... Oh, and Greg whacked his Freedom that day, too. Probably due more to being un-current, not the glider's fault. He's to busy teaching 5, 10, 15 new students at one time, he's unable to keep sharp those skills he's teaching. Makes sense to me... about as much sense as paying more for a single surface glider that weighs more and has more parts to put in and take out and isn't any "better" at doing what that genre of glider is designed to do. Makes almost as much sense as an $8,000 topless single surface!

Seriously though, folks... hang gliding is a small niche, and smaller still is the list of hang glider designers and manufacturers. Anyone that has worked in R&D, fabrication, production, product design, etc can tell you... time and manpower are extremely limited resources. It's been shown that North Wing (Kamron) can certainly design fine hang gliders. But is North Wing creating gliders that support the hang gliding community's health overall... or are they choosing to allocate their time and resources into making silly designs that might appeal to a smaller group within hang gliding... but damned if I don't see that a bit like stealing time and revoking what could be from our beloved past time! What could Kamron have designed, if he didn't make a topless single surface... and I hear he's just about ready to release another size, which if anyone doesn't know, is much more involved than simply scaling up/down the existing one... there's generally lots of testing and adjusting to get it just as the designer would like.

Was it just to prove that he could? Because I have no doubt Steve Pearson (Wills Wing) could design a better gliding single surface, or a topless single surface... but WHY?!

Which brings me back to my original comment- I'm sure it's a fine glider, and I know there are some die-hards out there... but for a new pilot, the Falcon is pretty much always the best balance of features vs compromises. Same for anyone wanting a second "floater" wing like me with my Falcon... it just single surfaces better :lol:
User avatar
By DMarley
#398976
Wow. Lots of love and real professionalism emanating from that Ellenville area. Perhaps I'll keep it floored next time I'm passing through.
User avatar
By AlaskanNewb
#398977
mtnwings wrote:90% of my students buy the Freedom and finish their training on the Freedom. Comments I have heard are: " Why have you made us fly that Falcon, this Freedom is so much easier to fly"
We train on Falcons and Condors but when it is time to buy I want my customers to fly all that are available and choose for them selves what they are more comfortable in. The Falcon when stalled or flown too slow wants to wrap up or spin in, the Freedoms will not do this, they mush and still fly straight and slow.
It is true that the Freedom is very light handling and very responsive . Here is why some pilots feel the Freedom is harder to tow and the opinion of pilots that HAVE NOT FLOWN the Freedom. Most new tow pilots train on the Falcon, a very stiff and stable glider, great for training but not for getting lots of airtime and it will wear you out. These pilot hop into a Freedom for the first time and are all over the place, usually because they have not been versed on the light handling and quick response of the Freedom. Every student of mine that has gone down to Fla to learn to tow exclaim how their Freedom was on rails when they got towed up, this is because they know to fly with their finger tips and not over control. It's more of the pilot not knowing the glider (what does PIO mean?)f Why does the Freedom usually clean up at the single surface comps, which are all tow event? Why do most all professional tow parks now us the 220 Freedom for their tandems? because that are not wearing out the tandem pilots and they can do more tandems without needing a break, they freakin handle sweet and nice.
I was going to respond the Ryans off the wall ramblings but I know that most all of you know he has never flown one and really has no idea what he is talking about, I call him " Trump Voight", or maybe " Voight Trump" either one "all lies" LOL, Love ya Ryan.
And if you ever installed the curved tips on a Freedom you would know how effortless it is.
Come visit my training hill on any given weekend and watch five, Ten and sometimes fifteen new students training on their new Freedoms and and you will see for your selves how sweet these gliders are , I invite you to do this and fly one your self before you spout off with all these untruths and second hand info that you " heard" about the Freedom. The Freedom has been out for five or six years now, I have sold a hundred of them, why are none found for sale? Why is the resale price so high on them if one does show up used? Why is the used Freedom gone in one or two days after being posted for sale? It is the best value period. Next to the Gecko it is the best glider on the market. besides, it looks so cool, all gliders should have curved tips. If you buy a Falcon you will spend all your time wishing you had a Freedom and wondering why that guy with a lot less experience is fo much higher than you. Didn't fly one? then shut up.
BYW, The Freedom if purchased in the stock configuration is , no VG, no Mylar cloth or any of the other options that are available will find the Freedom light, easy to set up, balanced on your shoulders and sweet to fly. The cool thing about the Freedom is that you can buy V.G. ( buy a new glider with out this option?) Why? Add heavy Mylar or race cloth and the glider gets heavier just as the Falcon does when you add heavier cloth. It does have a higher aspect ratio which means more wing span and more performance, a few LBS but who cares when you have a single surface glider that fly along side the Sport but with sweet single surface characteristics, very light pitch pressure and fingertip control. Why do MOST pilot that fly the Freedom land and yell out " I WANT ONE OF THESE!!!" Try one then talk about it, not before you fly one, If you say you didn't like it you are flat out lying. Mr Trump. Also ask yourself, do you want to buy a glider you will out grow in a few months like the Falcon or a glider you will want to own forever?
Greg
If you get tired flying a falcon you need to go to the gym.
I don't see how that is even possible.
By blindrodie
#398978
Perhaps I'll keep it floored next time I'm passing through.
Regardless of this thread, that would be a big mistake IMHO... :twisted:

8)
By blindrodie
#398979
If you get tired flying a falcon you need to go to the gym.
I don't see how that is even possible.
Improperly trimmed and/or setup and even the Falcon will fly like a truck...

8)
User avatar
By AIRTHUG
#399006
DMarley wrote:Wow. Lots of love and real professionalism emanating from that Ellenville area. Perhaps I'll keep it floored next time I'm passing through.
Greg is just Greg. He owns & operates the "other" hang gliding shop in this area, in addition to my dad's Fly High Hang Gliding (www.flyhighhg.com)

Fly High is the area's Wills Wing dealer, and therefore Greg sells the other brands. Can't blame a guy for promoting what he sells (and not what he doesn't)... although I know my dad is a dealer for the other brands as well, he (and I) just feel WW offers the best product line and supports the pilots best- maybe Greg feels the same way about his offerings, and he's not just pushing what he sells, but selling what he favors. Regardless, all is cooler here than it probably sounds. Greg's just an ass sometimes :rofl: It's ok though, all we have to do to avoid him is fly... 'cause I meant it when I said he doesn't :lol:

Debating hang glider manufacturers and design preferences is a bit silly in the end, because variety is good, and consumer choice is good. I do like that people like their Freedoms, whether I "get it" or not. Happy pilots make me happy, too. I do believe, truly, the Falcons are better "single surface" class gliders, and so I do try to express that when appropriate... like I said, happy hang glider pilots make me happy... and most pilots- especially newer ones!- will be happiest with a Falcon (again, IMHO).

Ellenville is a fantastic flying site, too... so you'd be really remiss to speed on by on a North-West day... but that's up to you :surrender:
By dencor
#399007
mtnwings wrote:90% of my students buy the Freedom and finish their training on the Freedom. Comments I have heard are: " Why have you made us fly that Falcon, this Freedom is so much easier to fly"
We train on Falcons and Condors but when it is time to buy I want my customers to fly all that are available and choose for them selves what they are more comfortable in. The Falcon when stalled or flown too slow wants to wrap up or spin in, the Freedoms will not do this, they mush and still fly straight and slow.
It is true that the Freedom is very light handling and very responsive . Here is why some pilots feel the Freedom is harder to tow and the opinion of pilots that HAVE NOT FLOWN the Freedom. Most new tow pilots train on the Falcon, a very stiff and stable glider, great for training but not for getting lots of airtime and it will wear you out. These pilot hop into a Freedom for the first time and are all over the place, usually because they have not been versed on the light handling and quick response of the Freedom. Every student of mine that has gone down to Fla to learn to tow exclaim how their Freedom was on rails when they got towed up, this is because they know to fly with their finger tips and not over control. It's more of the pilot not knowing the glider (what does PIO mean?)f Why does the Freedom usually clean up at the single surface comps, which are all tow event? Why do most all professional tow parks now us the 220 Freedom for their tandems? because that are not wearing out the tandem pilots and they can do more tandems without needing a break, they freakin handle sweet and nice.
I was going to respond the Ryans off the wall ramblings but I know that most all of you know he has never flown one and really has no idea what he is talking about, I call him " Trump Voight", or maybe " Voight Trump" either one "all lies" LOL, Love ya Ryan.
And if you ever installed the curved tips on a Freedom you would know how effortless it is.
Come visit my training hill on any given weekend and watch five, Ten and sometimes fifteen new students training on their new Freedoms and and you will see for your selves how sweet these gliders are , I invite you to do this and fly one your self before you spout off with all these untruths and second hand info that you " heard" about the Freedom. The Freedom has been out for five or six years now, I have sold a hundred of them, why are none found for sale? Why is the resale price so high on them if one does show up used? Why is the used Freedom gone in one or two days after being posted for sale? It is the best value period. Next to the Gecko it is the best glider on the market. besides, it looks so cool, all gliders should have curved tips. If you buy a Falcon you will spend all your time wishing you had a Freedom and wondering why that guy with a lot less experience is fo much higher than you. Didn't fly one? then shut up.
BYW, The Freedom if purchased in the stock configuration is , no VG, no Mylar cloth or any of the other options that are available will find the Freedom light, easy to set up, balanced on your shoulders and sweet to fly. The cool thing about the Freedom is that you can buy V.G. ( buy a new glider with out this option?) Why? Add heavy Mylar or race cloth and the glider gets heavier just as the Falcon does when you add heavier cloth. It does have a higher aspect ratio which means more wing span and more performance, a few LBS but who cares when you have a single surface glider that fly along side the Sport but with sweet single surface characteristics, very light pitch pressure and fingertip control. Why do MOST pilot that fly the Freedom land and yell out " I WANT ONE OF THESE!!!" Try one then talk about it, not before you fly one, If you say you didn't like it you are flat out lying. Mr Trump. Also ask yourself, do you want to buy a glider you will out grow in a few months like the Falcon or a glider you will want to own forever?
Greg
Sent you a PM. :goodidea:
User avatar
By Jason
#399008
AIRTHUG wrote:Can't blame a guy for promoting what he sells (and not what he doesn't)...
who are we talking about here..... :twisted:

honestly Ryan, go take a flight on one.

I agree with a lot of what you say, faired xbars- topless single surface etc etc etc seem like wasted efforts to me......you get a lot more with second lower surface for lower weight/faster set uptime.

however, curved tips really don't add much to see up time, and the basic freedom that I flew (granted it was at the time "full race" had light pitch and roll pressures and was generally a great glider, it was really just a curved tip mylar sail single surface, with light handling, and reminded me of the old harriers

is it a great first glider...maybe not as good as a falcon, as i said the newest falcon i have flown is my Falcon 2 Tandem and its at least a decade old now.....(jesus)

i suspect its a little less stable, and for someone new, the lighter pressures may not be the best thing, but.......it was never really marketed as an entry level glider, but a single surface for someone that wanted a glider that flew more like a topless without the weight/setup/hassel

id love to have one personally for hiking up lookout, but id take a falcon/mailbu/eagle as well
By mtnwings
#399022
Yes, it's true Ryan, I have not flown this year and not once last year. My back surgery went great and I WILL fly again this year, thanks for asking.
Mountain Wings is once again the only flight school in Ellenville, since 1980 I have been doing this and I own it all, free and clear, My own mountain launch ramp and flight park including my 3000 sq ft pro-shop and museum, all paid for and proud of it and I did it without selling Wills Wing. Why is it for sale? I am 62 1/2 now and I might want to have a life with my wife to be Susan. If I can;t sell it to someone that will keep the brand going and make it grow I will keep it until I am too old to do it, I love this sport. Why did two of your flight schools fail Ryan? One in Utah and the one your daddy gave you? Not as easy as it looks is it Ryan? Money? Yeah right, not in this sport, not in the north east. and every penny I made went back into the business. I teach and I mow, sometimes I mow and I teach, one of my training hills is 30 acres, lots of mowing.
When someone says "untrue facts" about the brand and product I sell, especially someone that claims to be my friend, someone without a dealership and sells nothing or doesn't teach, well, I get upset and go into the defensive mode. Guess I should have learned or "grown up" but I haven't. Why would you continue to say things that hurt my business Ryan? . That hurts me. All gliders are fun and safe, that is all that matters. When someone asks me what glider is best I tell them my opinion then insist that they fly the competitions gliders first and then come fly the glides I carry. Guess what? When the customer does that he or she will almost 100% of the time buy a North Wing. Why is that? You will never suggest that one of your customers fly a North Wing, why is that Ryan? Because you know you will be saying goodby to this customer.
It's true I do not fly a lot anymore, this is sad but I have been doing this since I was 16 and that's a long time, not sure if you will ever log as many hours as I have or flown as many different gliders, this is ok, you are a fantastic pilot and have learned from one of the best, your dad, Your a stubborn ass but for some reason, (maybe because i us to baby sit for you when you were in a stroller) I still love you Ryan, and when I get into the air again it will be you, me and your dad on top of the stack, just like old times. God I miss flying.
By blindrodie
#399024
Good post...

Always good to read both sides. Glad to see you two are together in the same sport. It's pretty special and I believe you both know it. Thanks for that...

Full disclosure, I sell all brands. It's survival man. Of the sport and my flying future.

8)
By KevinB
#399044
I trained foot launching Alpha and a Falcon gliders. When it came time to buy a glider my instructor said start off with a single surface, so my choices boiled down to a Falcon and a Freedom. I found eight people online who said they had flown both (not the same as arm chair speculation) and all of them preferred the Freedom. So I bought a Freedom 190.

The first time I flew my Freedom, it was from a little ways up the training hill, and I sailed much further and faster and smoother than I did with the Alpha and Falcon gliders. It was like somebody had buttered the air for me and pushed me to a spot 40 percent beyond the mark I normally landed at. I was ecstatic.

I now have about 60 hours on my Freedom and over 600 flights and I'm still in love with this glider.

Kamron at North Wing does a fantastic job designing and building these gliders.The rubber safety edge on the back of the down tubes is like heaven compared to the metal back edges on the Alpha and Falcon. My Freedom has a nose ring that I tie down with. A number of Wills Wing pilots have all noticed these nice touches on my glider and tell me they wish Wills Wing would put these kinds of things on their gliders.

The glider has a placard on it that says HGMA CERTIFIED.

North Wing is very responsive to it's customers. I've been able to order anything I've wanted from North Wing both through a dealer and directly.

The manual advertises a seven minute setup time for the glider. When I first bought it, it took me thirty minutes to set it up. Some of us were joking that North Wing probably found a Green Beret somewhere who could set the glider up in seven minutes. It didn't take very long to be able to set it up in fifteen minutes. But now that I'm more familiar with the glider and have learned to eliminate wasted movement setting the glider up, I can easily beat ten minutes.

This glider is heavier than the Falcon gliders. But for the extra weight I get a smoother ride.

I love the wing tips. Oh sure it would be nice to not have to bother with them, but the higher aspect ratio (more lift) and tighter wing with thinner tips (less drag) is totally worth it. I can step up to a wing end and have the tip installed in ten seconds, so inconvenience is not an issue.

I've told you a lot of good things about a Freedom. In case you do or have bought a Falcon, I will say this. After flying my Freedom for twenty three hours I went back to flying a Falcon for ninety minutes, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how well it was doing on the hill for me, and that I could be very happy with both gliders.
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#399053
About the certification from HGMA.... or Wills Wing. Same thing. Last time I checked, there were only a handful of gliders that the HGMA had recently (last 5-10 years) certified, and all most every one of them were, guess what, wills wing gliders. Kamron has his own test rig, and he tests every one of his gliders and powered wings. He'd be silly not to.
If HGMA was not a subsidy of wills wing and was COMPLETELY independent of that manufacturer, then perhaps we could put more stock in the value of those certs. But, with the HG market so small and really only two main USA HG manufacturers, it'd be hard for a certification agency (other than an over-payed bureaucratic gov't cesspool) to keep it's doors open. And I'm certainly not bashing WW.

One of the many things that kept me from purchasing a NW horizon II was the small diameter keel tube. The thing looks like a spaghetti noodle compared to a Falcon's keel. While setting-up an example, I was amazed at the flexibility of that keel as well (NW). Obviously these gliders fly well enough and as far as I am aware pilots do like them enough to keep them, so perhaps the keel tube choice on the Horizon is not relevant.

I'd like to hear your experience with your Freedom while on aerotow. That was THE major detractor for me, hearing that the Falcon is a good deal easier on tow than the Freedoms.
#399057
the Hang Glider Manufacturers Assoc (HGMA) used to include more manufacturers

but with manufacturers such as Flight Designs, Pacific Windcraft/PacAir, UP, Sensor, etc being dead or essentially irrelevant Wills Wing is the only one left in the assoc


that said, HGMA and Wills are different legal entities with different budgets revenue etc
#399060
And did you ever suspect that businesses and corporations own their own buildings and assets, but rent those from their own shell corporations to keep their moneys 'in-house'?! (most likely like ushpa, even though they claimed that they sold the ushpa building but now rent it) It happens ALL the time. Same with WW. As far as I am aware, up until the other year of so ago, the two were located in the same manufacturing facility, and Mike Meier is the president of both, both entities use the same test vehicle, etc, etc.
Sure, they have different books. Again, that happens ALL the time. But it does not mean that they are controlled and operated by different people.
North Wing and most probably Airborne have their own test vehicles, and do their own dynamic testing.
Airborne hasn't had anything tested by HGMA since 2003 and have nothing in their current catalog that is certified by HGMA.
North Wing just recently had their Freedom X 14.5 'certified' by HGMA and has had their Liberty 145 cert'd in 2013, the tandem Freedom 220 in 2011, and an old Horizon ET 188 (is this an HGMA typo, or perhaps the 188 is no longer made?) which could be the Horizon ET 180 that is still in manufacture. However, none of the other NW sizes and models are cert'd by HGMA, nor of course all their many powered wings, just like Airborne.
But of course, ALL of WW models and sizes are certified by HGMA. As you would expect for a company wishing to keep their interests (HGMA) alive.

The point is that even though HGMA may 'legally' be separate from WW, they are physically one in the same. Do the certifications really mean much? Doubtful, as each of the the main three players have their own testing facilities and vehicles, and would be ridiculous for their respective reputations to release gliders that could not perform within an acceptable flight performance and safety envelope.
Every other hang glider manufacturer uses DHV to certify their gliders. (Not saying that the DHV certs are better or worse, just ) It also appears that the DHV is more separate from the manufacturing companies. Though that may not be the case in reality.

Again, I am not slamming HGMA nor Wills Wing. I believe them to be a wonderful company and great people.
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