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By davisstraub
#221694
Re the constant force pulley that holds up my head and helmet: http://ozreport.com/geararticles.php#Neck%20Support

http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=896

Sorry if these are seen as advertisements, as I am only responding to a request here. You can just do a search on the Oz Report web site for neck AND pulley.

I am extremely happy with the pulley and it has worked well for years. My neck does not get sore even after ten hours in the air. If you get a sore neck there is absolutely no reason not to fashion one of these.
Last edited by davisstraub on Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By noman3
#221700
pjwings wrote:Hey all!

I am really bummed about this neck pain issue! :ahh: My neck starts to hurt after about 30 minutes in the air. By the 2 hour mark I am heading out to land because the pain in my neck is making it no fun :surrender:

Has anyone else had this issue and then overcome it? I only get out to fly about once a week, twice if I'm lucky... not enough time to build muscle reliably. I am seriously considering setting up a harness hanger in my living room so I can hang around prone while reading, watching movies, etc.

I've also heard about pilots using head support attached to the helmet. Has anyone had experience with these? Anyone got any good designs?

Thanks!
PJ

i always fly with my harness heads up like im going to land when im thermaling.I only go heads down when im traveling.Being heads up in a thermal helps dirty up the airflow and helps you stay in a thermal easier.Also flying around heads up helps me keep a eye on traffic because you know how it is,once your going up all the thermal sharks hone in on you!
User avatar
By CAL
#221715
noman3 wrote:
pjwings wrote:Hey all!

I am really bummed about this neck pain issue! :ahh: My neck starts to hurt after about 30 minutes in the air. By the 2 hour mark I am heading out to land because the pain in my neck is making it no fun :surrender:

Has anyone else had this issue and then overcome it? I only get out to fly about once a week, twice if I'm lucky... not enough time to build muscle reliably. I am seriously considering setting up a harness hanger in my living room so I can hang around prone while reading, watching movies, etc.

I've also heard about pilots using head support attached to the helmet. Has anyone had experience with these? Anyone got any good designs?

Thanks!
PJ

i always fly with my harness heads up like im going to land when im thermaling.I only go heads down when im traveling.Being heads up in a thermal helps dirty up the airflow and helps you stay in a thermal easier.Also flying around heads up helps me keep a eye on traffic because you know how it is,once your going up all the thermal sharks hone in on you!

i was reading Dennis Pagens secret of champions, one of the comp pilots said the very same positions you mentioned, but he did mention that when you are going up in a thermal your body is more streamlined in that position :thumbsup:
User avatar
By pjwings
#221891
Thanks all for your input. I like the idea of rocking up to thermal then going prone to glide. My harness makes it tough to adjust on the fly. It has a string and cleat system which is functional but not something I can operate when I'm wrestling with a thermal or really in chunky air at all.

Windsmith, thanks for your detailed response. I think you hit many valuable points here. There is an internal frame that comes right up behind the shoulder blades. I did some hang tests and decided to adjust the shoulder straps shorter. This improved the balance of the harness significantly. I also noticed while I was hanging around that I need to practice relaxing. I seem to be holding myself at attention in the harness. I'll have to monitor this while I fly to see if it makes sense in context of actually flying.

In the end, I know I have some strength issues as well. My computer geek pencil neck just isn't up for extended hours of laying prone. I'm going to come up with an exercise system and see if I can get it built up. If all else fails, constant force helmet line :)

Thanks again all!!


wingsmith wrote:Hi PJ,
I had a second look at your photo and noticed the forwardmost harness support rope attaches to the harness somewhere aft of your armpits. I don't know the internal support configuration of your harness, but if it is not doing its job or is out of adjustment you are trying to support your upper body, arms, neck and head from your upper chest and arms on the bar. I am assuming some form of internal support frame tied into the shoulder area of the harness, and it would appear that your shoulders are well forward of the end of this frame. If you go completely limp in your harness do your shoulders and neck slump, and where does the harness start digging in to you? Where do you actually feel the support digging into you normally? I have spent hours hanging in my harnesses at home and making adjustments before becoming satisfied they were adequate, and have had numerous 3-7 hour flights in complete comfort. Just hanging continuously for three hours or more will highlight issues you would not notice in just one hour or less.

From recent postings on the Covert harness, folks have addressed shoulder discomfort by moving aft in the harness (cutting the aft foot rest/fairing down and tightening their shoulder straps) and hanging such that their shoulders are more directly under (vs ahead of) the front of the internal support, and their shoulder support is closer, more direct and vertical. I don't know if you can move back in your harness without extending the boot, but it is worth a look.

Other factors that come to mind are learning to relax between control inputs. My long flights were in a very tight Sensor 510 that required lots of muscle. I was only able to break 3 hours or so after learning to momentarily hang limp in the harness between each major control effort. In the off-hand chance that muscle tension is the culprit, try to deliberately relax your neck and shoulders after each input, for the whole flight (obviously don't do this if you are about to hit a mountain). I have known of pilots hanging their head off the edge of their bed for long periods with weights hanging from their helmets to train the neck muscles for long flights, if you feel simple neck strength is an issue.

Hope this helps you find your way to painless flight. If not, I leave you a quote from my mother after meeting me in the LZ with my arms hurting too much to break down my glider right away after a long flight: "Isn't that why they call it Soaring?".

Regards,

Bill Dodson (wingsmith)
User avatar
By aeroexperiments
#402951
Let's see-- things I'm learning from this thread--

If the glider is gaining altitude, I'm more streamlined if my head is up high

If I want to stay in a thermal, maximizing drag will be helpful. (We all know that a high drag coefficient is the key to flying as slowly as possible, right?)

I should put my neck in a machine to stretch it out

Umm-- anyone want to reconsider any of that?

*******

I guess I'm just lucky, I haven't had neck issues while hang gliding. I pretty much always leave the pitch-limiter line on my Z-5 set to the maximum-length setting so I can rock up and down at will while flying prone. I don't like to have a line pulling up on my shoulders as it feels to me like I have less roll control authority when my chest is high above the bar.

********

I see now that someone brought up this thread from 2011 for no apparent reason except to make a silly comment; looks like I fell for it. Maybe the review of helmet/ head/ neck/ body ergonomic issues will be helpful to some folks.

Steve
By Lazypilot
#402953
"I see now that someone brought up this thread from 2011 for no apparent reason except to chum up a silly discussion; looks like I fell for it"
Steve

Well Steve if you can fall for it so can I. actually I kinda like it when an old thread comes back, I may have missed the first round, or at this stage of life just plain forgot it.

For some reason I've never seriously considered a bungee or other spring loaded assist for my neck, even though my neck hurts just thinking about flying prone. And when I fly, I do it prone.

What I want is a reclined position with a really good fairing behind me, so that my drag is equivalent to prone.

I'm trying to sketch up a fuselage with retractable gear that I could attach to my Sensor. A really comfortable old man's fuselage, well streamlined, and built to always be aligned with the local airflow. And a big steering wheel.
User avatar
By TjW
#402959
aeroexperiments wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:11 am

I should put my neck in a machine to stretch it out

Umm-- anyone want to reconsider any of that?

*******

I guess I'm just lucky, I haven't had neck issues while hang gliding. I pretty much always leave the pitch-limiter line on my Z-5 set to the maximum-length setting so I can rock up and down at will while flying prone. I don't like to have a line pulling up on my shoulders as it feels to me like I have less roll control authority when my chest is high above the bar.

********

I see now that someone brought up this thread from 2011 for no apparent reason except to make a silly comment; looks like I fell for it. Maybe the review of helmet/ head/ neck/ body ergonomic issues will be helpful to some folks.

Steve
A neck stretching machine -- that's noose to me.
User avatar
By NMERider
#403286
smokenjoe50 wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:17 pm
....Why did you decide to use rubber tubing? I was thinking of using that bungee cord Wills has for retracting harness zipper pulls.
Good question. Some pilots stay put at one angle and for them it's not an issue. I rock up and down a lot so my head/helmet moves up and down by maybe 15" top to bottom. Bungee cord has a very rapid rise or drop-off in pull force and would jerk my neck even if I used a longer length and ran it through one or two pulleys which I have already tried. The 1/16 x 1/16 latex tube has a really even pull as it stretches and I don't notice the change in pull from head down to rocked up. Another reason I use it is because it can be stretched 4X its own length versus less than 1X for bungee cord. Since I'm using the pulleys I need the drop line to stay up against the keel when I'm standing so it's doesn't snag on anything. When you fly in turbulence or are just getting jerked around on the ramp, any slack in the drop line can quickly turn into a nightmare. I now have over 700 hours on this system and it more than doubles my flying endurance plus it make turbulence easier for me to tolerate.

Another thing to consider is that the pitch limiter line on a harness can fail in a bad landing and allow the distance from the helmet to the attachment point to far exceed the stretch limit of a bungee cord or a spring reel. If the connection from the helmet to drop line does not let go at only a moderate force the pilot's neck can probably get bent back far enough to fracture vertebrae and either damage or sever the spinal cord killing or paralyzing the pilot. So the system really needs to be tolerant of incidents that are beyond our control or belief.

Since I began this sport in 1973, I would guess that between 70 and 100 pilots who I knew have been killed, paralyzed or have wound up with TBI. Honestly it's probably over 100 when you include powered ultralights and PGs. Why water it down? I would guess the majority of these dead and broken pilots have said to themselves, "Well, that'll never happen to me....." in response to someone else's tragedy at least once. Many of these were equipment-related A figure I left out is the number of pilots who I have known that have negligently contributed to the deaths and crippling of other pilots. Often these individuals would similarly talk out their butts then blame the injured/dead pilot for their own demise. The whole thing is a giant circle-jerk of the saddest kind.

It's just as easy to over-design a device for the sake of safety and wind up making it more dangerous than if it were left alone. That's the nature of the beast as I think many of us already know. So there's a long story behind why I use a long section of 1/16 x 1/16 latex tube and run it through two pulleys. It's more than you asked but I meet people all the time from around the world who read the things I post here and elsewhere but will never comment online or even write to me but when they see me they typically say something. I know I'll be asked about my design philosophy on this project. So there you have it. If you need any assistance in case you build one just give me a holler. I know you are a better fabricator than I am. I've seen your work. You will probably come up with a better version that I will copy for myself or adapt. :thumbsup:
User avatar
By Everard
#403288
NMERider wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:44 pm
Another thing to consider is that the pitch limiter line on a harness can fail in a bad landing and allow the distance from the helmet to the attachment point to far exceed the stretch limit of a bungee cord or a spring reel. If the connection from the helmet to drop line does not let go at only a moderate force the pilot's neck can probably get bent back far enough to fracture vertebrae and either damage or sever the spinal cord killing or paralyzing the pilot. So the system really needs to be tolerant of incidents that are beyond our control or belief.
Have to admit I had not considered that. (I should have. I used to design and build my own wings.) I think I will add a weak link now. And tidy it up a bit while I am at it.
NMERider wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:44 pm
...I meet people all the time from around the world who read the things I post here and elsewhere but will never comment online or even write to me but when they see me they typically say something.
This is a phenomenon I am up against every day in my day job as a technical author. An extreme example was one 'subject expert', long since retired, who boasted that he had never read a book since he left school. Fortunately, I do not come across such extremes in hang gliding, but several pilots I know seem to have a fear of writing things down -- and of others in their orbit writing things down (or posting on forums). I suspect that it is worse where I live in Britain than in the USA. I digress...
User avatar
By billpain
#404833
I have spent a considerable amount of time developing this harness based on a mate of mine's design. (Bruce Hudson's Supron)I now produce this commercially. I have exactly the same concerns as you re not wanting to just fly seated or supine. Web site cloud9morph.com and product video
User avatar
By DMarley
#404841
Quoting Bill Pain's post above, and Steve's post a few back
aeroexperiments wrote:Let's see-- things I'm learning from this thread--

If the glider is gaining altitude, I'm more streamlined if my head is up high

If I want to stay in a thermal, maximizing drag will be helpful. (We all know that a high drag coefficient is the key to flying as slowly as possible, right?)
....
So wow.... if we have more drag with something like Bill's rig, we should be able to climb through a gaggle like Larry Tudor....Right?!? Is that right? That'd be so cool!
:roll:
aeroexperiments wrote: Umm-- anyone want to reconsider any of that?
Naw.....too much physics and math. :lol:
User avatar
By billpain
#404846
Me thinks this is all a joke but I will give a real answer. Flying slowly to climb is the go. This increases induced drag caused by the wing generating lift. More lift = more induced drag. At the same time parasitic drag, caused by all things including the wing hanging in the breeze so to speak, decreases. Aspect ratio reduces induced drag and streamlining etc reduces parasitic. We want to reduce drag period, however as we fly slowly in thermals the penalties for a less optimum harness position are less of a concern and it could be argued that comfort etc is more important. When flying faster you really want to align to the air flow which if in prone is a very legs high position or in supine is somewhat head up. For me flying very legs up is something I can no longer do so I get a better result in supine. Image
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User avatar
By DMarley
#404853
8)

Yeah, I was busting chops.

But if your system helps to allow some people to remain flying, then good for you.

:thumbsup:
User avatar
By billpain
#404854
No worries. That is the idea and I even have a few floppy top flyers interested in cross dressing. :)

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