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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 Blue_Seleneth
#403208
Seriously though. I spent a few weeks in the Sequatchie Valley, mostly kicking rocks, watching paragliders soar. I think in a typical day there are twice as many hours in which a paraglider can soar vs. a hang glider. Why on earth would a soaring paraglider pilot switch to a sledder-wing? Why would a new student choose to study hang gliding when he can get twice the airtime in a paraglider?

I put the projectile vomit guy here, because I'm really impressed with the range he gets. :puke:

Bug fart thermals and mysterious micro-lift lines are real, they're just useless to me on my U2. You know what I'm going to say; we all know it. I want a hang glider with min sink of 100 fpm or less. You can't roll one that big with pure weight shift, so some kind of wing warping will be required. Someone will say that's not a hang glider, but when I'm boating around and that critic is on the ground, I won't care. While I'm fantasizing, make it no more work to set up than a Sport 2, and under $7 Grand new. Preserve the hang gliding experience, while getting just as much air as a paraglider. Then we'll be equipped to actually compete for pilots. By the intercession of St. Francis Rogollo, someone please make it happen!
User avatar
By SlopeSkimmer
#403227
Blue_Seleneth wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:50 am
Seriously though. I spent a few weeks in the Sequatchie Valley, mostly kicking rocks, watching paragliders soar. I think in a typical day there are twice as many hours in which a paraglider can soar vs. a hang glider. Why on earth would a soaring paraglider pilot switch to a sledder-wing? Why would a new student choose to study hang gliding when he can get twice the airtime in a paraglider?

I put the projectile vomit guy here, because I'm really impressed with the range he gets. :puke:

Bug fart thermals and mysterious micro-lift lines are real, they're just useless to me on my U2. You know what I'm going to say; we all know it. I want a hang glider with min sink of 100 fpm or less. You can't roll one that big with pure weight shift, so some kind of wing warping will be required. Someone will say that's not a hang glider, but when I'm boating around and that critic is on the ground, I won't care. While I'm fantasizing, make it no more work to set up than a Sport 2, and under $7 Grand new. Preserve the hang gliding experience, while getting just as much air as a paraglider. Then we'll be equipped to actually compete for pilots. By the intercession of St. Francis Rogollo, someone please make it happen!
Can I get a 4 wheel drive Prius too?
By Lazypilot
#403230
Mikey sez: "Can I get a 4 wheel drive Prius too?"

You'll be able to buy one of those and a better glider as well when it BECOMES AVAILABLE. It will become available as soon as the pilots stop taking no for an answer, imagine what our flying would be like if the attitude of "That's pie-in-the-sky dreaming, it can't be done" had prevailed in 1975. Instead we kept trying, and although there were a lot of crashes the OPTIMISTS won out, and now we have gliders with 1/3 or better of the sink rate of my Standard.

Ignore the comments of the nay-sayers, their words won't get us better technology, which is necessary to make Hg as attractive as Pg.

So long as pilots continue to believe that our present technology is the final say of what ultralight gliding and soaring is we will not get a choice.

Toyota (I have a toy Yoda, he's a tan tabby) will make a 4WD Prius when the market demand becomes great enough. In the meanwhile you get the 2WD version. And when market demand gets great enough you'll get a choice of flying apparatus, not just the "hang" glider we now have.

I well remember my days of dragging my Pliable Moose 18' Standard back up the hill for another sled run--even though there was plenty of lift to soar a MODERN Hg.

We soar easily now in conditions that only slightly improved the performance of a Standard. And we can soar with our T2's and Litespeeds in conditions that only extend the glide of a Falcon. Better sink rates come with better drag reduction and lighter weights, the Pg's reduce drag by merely slowing down, which is only possible by reducing weight, AND BY providing the pilot with good solid AERODYNAMIC roll control.

HGer's have to get creative and explore ways of reducing drag by methods other than just slowing down, although slowing down will always be the ticket for coring those "mouse pharts". Tight radius turns with minimum bank angle result from modest spans and lighter weights.

"Modern" is a word that doesn't stay still. Saying "This is as good as we can do" places a huge Drag on the creative and imaginative mind, and here is where Drag Reduction is most important.

Those with extraordinary athletic aeronautical skills don't want to see flying get easier because they'll no longer have all the bragging rights, they don't want to see the Abolition of Man. Making flying more accessible and safer for more people is the ticket for further growth, as well as expanding our performance envelope so I don't have to pull battens while watching the Pg's soaring around me.

I just took off my Otto Lilienthal T-shirt and hung it so I can admire the genius of a man who had never seen a man fly, who was told by only God knows how many people that it wasn't possible. He was no pussie, he didn't have to see someone else do it first before he gave it a shot. He made up his mind that it could be done and despite many failed attempts he kept on plugging away at it, for Christ's sake he made his own training hill. Yes he had engineering training, but most importantly he was an OPTIMIST. He wouldn't take no for an answer, a lesson for all of us.

"Mike Jefferson
USHPA #76175 H-4
AUA #1005 Master Pilot, Advanced Instructor, Tandem Instructor, Regional Director
US Hawks #63 (all previous ratings recognized)
I'll join any organization that promotes hang gliding!"

Ultralight soaring is based on technology. Wanna see it grow? You wanna "promote"it? Then start by getting your head out of the sand and look around with a critical eye. Be willing to say "There's gotta be a better way", and the least you can do is refrain from making comments that serve only to add Drag to the inventive creative imaginative minds that see things you can't. Otto ignored the naysayers, as did the Wrights and Chanutes and Curtis's, and as a result of a POSITIVE ATTITUDE we now have a wonderful activity to enjoy, one that will become even more enjoyable, as did Hg over the years.

Keep an open mind. Watch what you say, your words have a lot of power. Start by dropping the word "hang", all it does is encourage you to stay IN THE BOX. Seeing the Box as the only reality will never let you get the hell out of it.

Of course, since the present reality is serving you so well you may be as happy as a clam. I can't flare worth a damn, but I still wanna fly, as do many others. Stay outa my way.

O.U.F.M.A.S.A.---Optimists United For More And Safer Airtime. Don't let the Basterds get you down, they are only castles burning.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#403237
Steve Pearson and Mike Meier, the boys from Wills Wing, specifically make a Hang Glider for Paraglider People. It is called the Wills Wing Alpha and comes in two sizes, 180 and 210.

They are BBWs, Big Beautiful Wings.

I can’t imagine a glider being easier to fly than a Falcon, but the Alpha is reported to be just that.

Any where a paraglider can go, an Alpha can go too and beyond. An Alpha is an easy 100+ mile glider.

Challenge yourself.
By Lazypilot
#403250
I'm sure that your enthusiasm for the Alpo is contagious and the Pg er's are gonna flock in droves to get signed up.

It's only fair for me to state where I'm at on this subject so there won't be more confusion.

I've flown weight shift controlled, positive G loads only flex wings for many (40+) years. I am bored with that type of aeronautics, and I've had to learn the hard way that if I'm bored with Hg then I'd better find a new hobby, or "sport" if you will.

So I'm just gonna give up some of the perks in Hg, such as portability and short set up and breakdown times. In exchange it is my endeavor to end up with a glider that:

Takes full advantage of the FAR Part 103 legal limits. This means my new glider (notice it's missing the "hang" word) might weigh as much as 254 lbs, the maximum allowed for a POWERED ultralight. Gravity powered ultralights can weigh 154 lbs. I can be legal with only a chainsaw motor that weighs maybe 25 lbs. I don't see in the regulation any prohibition against launching a motorized ultralight from a hillside with the motor off, do you?

While the 154 lb limit is plenty enough (it must be, most un-powered ultralight gliders weigh less than 70 lbs.) I like the idea of having almost 100 extra lbs to play with.

I won't be flying as often as my buds with their Hg's will be, but I'm good with that. But I'm really looking fwd to launching Crestline using a launch dolly and one mean bungee catapult so I can be the ONLY GLIDER PILOT on the ridge when it's screaming 45+ mph.

That's right. Hg pilots nowadays don't even bother showing up when it's solid overcast and strong winds, except maybe for the super horny H-2's and 3's. So I will be the only guy there, no traffic to worry me, and more lift than I could ever need.

So what if it takes 90 minutes to set it up. I won't be thinking about that as I pull straight up from a vertical dive going 62 mph and performing a beautiful zero G arc-over. Yeah, you heard right. My glider won't be dependent on positive G load for control, uh-uh. As long as there's air flowing over it I'll have control of it.

I'm looking fwd to repeatedly performing one tail slide after another, getting the rush from the violent whip stall that won't damage my glider at all. And I'll be comfortably seated-- maybe get a drivers seat from a wrecked luxury car, whaddya say? If it's really really cold outside I'll fit the optional canopy and gas heater, gotta have fresh hot coffee with my Reuben sandwich while while I'm practicing my 4 point rolls.

Aerodynamically balanced controls will require only minimal effort from me, so I will stay up a long time and watch the now obsolete weight shift flex wings flopping around trying to squeeze out a decent loop. If for some reason I need to get down quickly I think an inverted flat spin will be the ticket.

Or maybe just fire up the chainsaw motor and go land on top. After all, the LZ won't be a pleasant place with all those jealous pilots in it. :P

Where can I get a Breathalyzer for my keyboard?
User avatar
By red
#403251
Lazypilot wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:52 am
This means my new glider (notice it's missing the "hang" word) might weigh as much as 254 lbs, the maximum allowed for a POWERED ultralight. Gravity powered ultralights can weigh 154 lbs. I can be legal with only a chainsaw motor that weighs maybe 25 lbs. . . . Where can I get a Breathalyzer for my keyboard?
Campers,

Oh, no, Lazypilot has become drunk with Power! :lol:

Seriously, Lazypilot, have you looked at the Carbon Dragon and ULF-1? Not hang gliders, sure, but not exactly aerobatic ships, either.

You won't need 90 minutes to set one up, but you will need a trailer. Either one would need about a year of full-time homebuilding. I mention these things as two obstacles that need to be avoided.

Good luck on your quest. Your success would draw in a lot of HG, PG, and sailplane pilots. I do hope there is a prone option, though, even if you launch and land seated. I do that anyway, now.
User avatar
By red
#403269
Lazypilot wrote:This means my new glider (notice it's missing the "hang" word) might weigh as much as 254 lbs, the maximum allowed for a POWERED ultralight. Gravity powered ultralights can weigh 154 lbs. I can be legal with only a chainsaw motor that weighs maybe 25 lbs. . . .
Campers,

All you need now will be cubic dollars, and maybe some patience while it gets built, and ships . . .
. . . oh, yeah, don't forget the trailer

http://en.a-i-r.de/news/

:mrgreen:
User avatar
By entelin
#403270
If it needs a trailer, and has to land on wheels, I would just go into sailplanes, why bother? Among the big appeals of hanggliding to me is that you can pretty much put them down anywhere, I don't spend much time thinking about where I'm going to land, the moment you start landing on wheels this becomes a much more significant concern.
Blue_Seleneth wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:50 am
I think in a typical day there are twice as many hours in which a paraglider can soar vs. a hang glider. Why on earth would a soaring paraglider pilot switch to a sledder-wing? Why would a new student choose to study hang gliding when he can get twice the airtime in a paraglider?
It's a good thing that's completely untrue then or else we might actually have an issue. PG's have a slight edge in extremely weak conditions, but HG's have an edge in basically every other case, and can fly in higher winds when PGs are grounded. I mean granted, I don't know that area well, but the difference in what is required for a HG to soar and PG to are not large. In any case, you could always do both, grab a PG for days that are so crazy light that it's the only possibility (probably wouldn't even collapse on a day like that!), if I took up PG that's how I would use it for sure.
Blue_Seleneth wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:50 am
Then we'll be equipped to actually compete for pilots.
PG's numeric dominance over HG comes from many factors, imo mostly perception. PGs are seen by non flyers as being safe by default, "They are parachutes right? I did that once off the back of a boat!". Whereas everyone knows hanggliding is dangerous, "It's what stuntmen do while going off ski jumps, and in the 70's I knew a guy that....". A lot of people get talked out of taking up hanggliding if they mention it, I doubt this happens much in paragliding. You could prove this to yourself actually, just ask people about each sport separately and see what they say, it will be various versions of the above for the most part. Sure some former HG pilots switched to PG, or fly both, but I'll bet if you asked most paraglider pilots who started on paragliders if they considered and weighed both sports, and then decided against hanggliding based on valid reasons (weight, storage, transport, etc), I bet most did not. Most I suspect find out about paragliding somehow and take it up, and I'll bet that's true with hangglider pilots as well.
By zamuro2
#403282
IMHO PG dominance comes from convenience. Most prospective pilots would trade convenience for performance. The PG just represent a better compromise for most pilots. It is hard to compete with a wing that you can put in a back-pack.
By Lazypilot
#403289
red wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:08 am
Lazypilot wrote:This means my new glider (notice it's missing the "hang" word) might weigh as much as 254 lbs, the maximum allowed for a POWERED ultralight. Gravity powered ultralights can weigh 154 lbs. I can be legal with only a chainsaw motor that weighs maybe 25 lbs. . . .
Campers,

All you need now will be cubic dollars, and maybe some patience while it gets built, and ships . . .
. . . oh, yeah, don't forget the trailer

http://en.a-i-r.de/news/

Hi Red! Goober sez hey!

In discussing the BNG (Brave New Glider) design I occasionally fall into the trap of designing a glider that would appeal to the Hg community at large, where weight, portability, set-up/break-down are important. This is fun to mull over but it's not right.
I'm going to be 66 on July the Fourth. While I do feel fairly healthy, I know that I have, at best, a decade left to fly.

I shudder when I think of how fast the last one went by.

I live 9 hiway miles from Crestline launch. My days of driving all over the place to fly are essentially over, I'm just not into that anymore. I ain't dead yet, I still appreciate long legs and short skirts, although I praise the Lord that those are for someone else and I can be a leering old phart without guilt.

The thing is that the BNG is for me, and me alone. I really don't care if I do have to buy a used boat trailer for it, and I really don't care how long it takes to assemble or how many trips from the trailer to the set-up area. It's a hobby, not a job, and there's no clock to punch.

It took a few months to catch on, but now I know that being retired means I don't own a calendar or a watch. What day it is or what time it is means little to me.

What is important to me is: That after waiting 40+ years for someone else to do it I'm gonna have to do it. Big job for a lazy pilot, designing and building a glider that can slow down, speed up, perform rolls and loops and spins with ease, as well as thermal while inverted. All with a G.E.D., I never finished high school, but did make it through the Spartan School of Aeronautics, after swearing to the president that if I graduated I would never bend a wrench on his airplane. :thumbsup:

I took a few of the obsolete glider frames out into the yard and laid tubing out on the ground, just to get a feel for how I want to make the thing. Styrofoam fuselage sections with holes and channels to put tubing in, 3 or 4 foot long sections of wing hot wired from foam and having several big diameter leading edge tubes and cross bars glued in to them. Prolly fiberglass the whole shebang too. I'll have a place to put a small chainsaw motor, just in case I go over the 154 limit I can call it a powered ultralight and get credited another 100 lbs, not that I think any official with a scale is gonna come around. And if he does, "Ok sir, just write me the citation and get outta my way I'm ready to launch!"

Hey if anybody has any carbon tubes to donate my tired old back will be grateful.

A retractable wheel that extends down behind me and supports most of the weight, a couple of fiberglass poles to help keep the tips out of the bushes. My legs out the bottom and I run a bit, she lifts and I step on a stirrup that pulls a seat forward and I sit down comfortable like, and the wheel gets retracted up into the belly scoop.

Belly scoop?!

Oh, I guess i forgot to mention that once the basic lay-out is determined, I'm gonna form foam panels to glue on it so it looks like a P-51B, complete with D-Day invasion stripes paint job. Some realistic looking cannon and computer generated sound effects and no one will try to bluff me out of any thermal. And the entire empennage will be red of course....

Maybe you've heard of the RC glider class called PSS, or Power Scale Slope. Rc gliders styled to resemble a powered airplane, I've seen Mustangs, Spitfires, Lockheed Constellations, F-14's complete with swinging wings, you name it they've done it. They are typically "hardcore" slopers, heavy and fast, needing a strong wind on a steep hill. It's where the slopeheads go when they're burned out on the easy stuff the rest of us fly, it's a place where "performance" is a relative term and sissies need not apply. If ya wanna see some scary fast slopers try the Cajon Pass. Bring a helmet. If you bring a Hg they'll love it, as you're unloading someone will say "Hey look! A target!!" Put it back on the truck, the Cajon Pass is a venturi, if it's 15 at Crestline it's 35+ at Cajon. I've flown HG there, yes I once was young and full of piss and vinegar, I'm much happier now...

I was looking at some PSS gliders and it occurred to me that by using a yardstick instead of a ruler I could make one and I would fit in it, right where the radio servo stuff normally goes. A four longeron forward fuselage will be stout enough for me, I'm only 140lbs. I'll finally have the tail assembly I've wanted since 1977, no movable tail surfaces, I'l go "wingeron", with a stick for the right wing and another stick for the left wing. Move 'em individually for turns and rolls, together to slow down or speed up. The FAA says I can stall as high as 27 mph, if it ain't blowing 18+ on launch I'll have to use my Secret Weapon, four big bungees that get stretched one at a time up to the glider, unless of course I use the Jeep, then I can prolly stretch 'em all together. I'm hoping for 0 to 27 mph in a 50 foot pull.

I don't want to go sailplanes, I just want a 103 legal glider that I'm securely strapped into, with a cabin heater and a good stereo and NO RADIOS or GPS or instruments of any kind, just the hill and the wind and the glider and me. That will put the fun back into ridge running in gale force winds, where I'll be the only guy there, no damn jellyfish or slow Hg's! Suits me just fine!
Every time I've flown a slope glider since I took up Hg I've said to myself "Self, why are you so damn lazy? When are you gonna wake up, throw those weight shifty pieces of crap in the trash and build a man-sized one of these go fast slopers? Dontcha wanna fly upside down once in awhile? Dumb flexies with only 60 degrees of bank, and 30 of pitch? Where you pay with your life for being a little slow over the top of that loop? Tumbles! Self, I don't believe that you, the guy that always wanted to really fly, is degrading himself like this! The guy the FAA wrote Part 103 for is busting his ass trying to get a wing back down into a core, as if he'd never heard of good leverage wing warping, as if the Wrights hadn't concluded it was a dead-end street 115 years ago!"

I'll bet that a lot of the guys HGing would easily give up a little convenience if they only knew what it's costing them. And this wanting to fly "like Superman"---Well if your neck muscles look like a barrel I guess an 8 hour proned out flight is Ok, but I lost interest in that a long time ago. I'm looking fwd to not needing an expensive harness.

Hang Gliding evolved in a predictable manner I suppose, I hung in there a long time but now I'm simply not satisfied with it. But then, I was never a "sportsman", I don't care for that term. I'm an Aeronautical Enthusiast and Philosopher, I hate motors of any kind including motorcycles. I sail the damn boat right up into the slip, taking pride in a "spot landing" without ever starting the motor, that's how I feel about them. I nowadays walk 4 miles round-trip to the post office and grocery store, I hate starting the 14mpg Jeep.

You guys can be thankful that I'm likely the only HGer that thinks like this, you won't have to put up with this talk very much, the status quo is good enough for most, just not for me. Way too limited, it was Ok for the first decade or two but it's just a pitiful wreck as far as i'm concerned. Positive G only. After over 40+ years. We outta be ashamed of ourselves, I know I'm ashamed of it. You'd think it really is Rocket Science, but have you ever gone to a homebuilt airplane convention? Plumbers and accountants build 200 mph airplanes in the house and tear out a wall to get it out to the airport, and we think it's crazy to build a simple glider!

I don't mind being flamed on the 'net, in fact I'm proud of it. So flame away, I was voted least likely to succeed and they were right I guess, "They say I'm crazy but I have a good time, life's been good to me this far....".

I would be quiet, but if I don't yak it up I'll never "git 'er done", I have to shame myself into it. It would be easier by far to just shut up and drag the Sensor or Harrier out from under the house, but we all gots to take a stand sometime.

God and Nike both say "Just Do It".
User avatar
By flybop
#403339
As for pg's having more soaring opportunities: At my home site more often than not it is too strong for the pg's and the hg's fly. However, it is very common for the conditions to get light enough for the pg's to go very late in the afternoon. This window is often very short and the pg's end up with a relatively short, low ride. Just the other day several sank out in minutes as we were breaking down. This happens often enough that some of them must have some gears turning.

I have had several pg'ers mention this to me and wish they could fly in stronger conditions. One new to the area pg pilot loudly expressed, "I want to do that!", when a very experienced hg zoomed very high, very quickly after launching in some strong conditions. His pg buddies gave him a kinda annoyed look.

So far I am not aware of any pg cross overs locally. This year I am going to try to be more proactive with a few and try to turn them from the Dark Side.
User avatar
By adyr
#403365
Why on earth would a soaring paraglider pilot switch to a sledder-wing?
Well, when I started hang gliding, I had quite a bit of experience with paragliding.
We have a place where the wind is often too strong for a paragliding. I was looking into speedwings but since you can hurt yourself quite easily with one of those, I gave up the idea.

Hang gliding was something that I knew it allows flying in stronger conditions. It also appeared safer to me since the wing does not collapse. I've got plenty of collapses with my paraglider and I am not particularily fond of them.

So I started learning. It was a slow process, we have very few instructors in the country (I even went to Hungary for some towing lessons), the places nearby are not very good for beginner hang glider pilots, there is no other hang glider pilot in the area, so it took me a while.

I also continued flying my paraglider, due of convenience. For the hang glider I need retrieval, not all places where I can fly the paraglider are all right for me with the hang glider, not always I have the patience of carrying/mounting/dismounting the hang glider...

Despite this, last year I had more hours of flight with the hang glider than with the paraglider.
Here is a portion of one flight:



Two and a half hours. There were very few paragliders flying during that time, the wind was too strong for them, they were in difficulty... it's not necessarily true that you can get more airtime with a paraglider than with a hang glider.
By dshman
#403388
Anything that collapses while thermaling or in turbulence is not safe period. If your life is worth the price of a paraglider then so be it. I can afford the safer option and my RX PRO can hang in most lift with PG’S then I run away from them jumping from thermal to thermal. Slow is good for lift but doesn’t serve well in glide. Most of the PG ‘s success is because they fly so slow they land in places we wouldn’t even consider. I dont think it makes them any safer, just puts them in deeper odds of developing situations we choose to avoid.
User avatar
By magentabluesky
#403389
No Hands Hang Gliding
James Bradley wrote:Among those commitments was one by Steve Pearson of Wills Wing, to create a beginner hang glider model that is much easier to launch and land.
I don’t know how much easier it can get?

No-handed launch – Condor You Tube Link

NO HANDS – Alpha 210 You Tube Link

Wills Wing Alpha - Willy Dydo showing the Alpha 180 in Santa Barbara You Tube Link
By cheesehead
#403391
dshman wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:48 pm
Anything that collapses while thermaling or in turbulence is not safe period. If your life is worth the price of a paraglider then so be it. I can afford the safer option and my RX PRO can hang in most lift with PG’S then I run away from them jumping from thermal to thermal. Slow is good for lift but doesn’t serve well in glide. Most of the PG ‘s success is because they fly so slow they land in places we wouldn’t even consider. I dont think it makes them any safer, just puts them in deeper odds of developing situations we choose to avoid.
Regarding your first statement: I'm biwingual. PG since 1999 and no accidents yet. "Not safe period"? I don't fly the PG in rowdy conditions or winds that can blow me over the back into rotor or obstacles. So to me PG is NOT "not safe period."
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