Hang gliding 1996 to 2014
This page continues from Hang gliding 1994 and 1995.
Kitty Hawk Kites, based in North Carolina near where the Wrights first flew their powered aircraft, is almost certainly the world’s longest established hang gliding school.
Kitty Hawk Kites had grown since their origins in the mid 1970s. See my page Kitty Hawk Kites.
The accompanying image of Bob Rouse of Texas flight testing his Dimorph pteron is based on a photo he sent me as a print. There are more in his book Selected Works 1982 to 1998. For additional images based on his work, see under Art for art’s sake in Hang gliding early 1980s part 2. Bob left the world of hang gliding and went on to found an eco-village, which is thriving as of 2019. (Source: E-mail correspondence.)
That looks like a standard Rogallo that Kelly is not attached to in this gathering of vintage hang gliders at the beach in 2000. Chris was the first ever US hang gliding champion. The glider behind looks to me like a Seagull of the late 1970s judging by its parabolic curved leading edge tube.
Flex-wing hang gliders without a king post and top rigging started to become popular around the turn of the century. Strength in the negative-G sense is provided by structure inside the wing.
Nevertheless, some of us prefer a glider with top rigging.
Rigid hang gliders have greater performance than flexwings and they are physically less effort to fly, but they are more complex. Because the wing is rigid (unlike a flexwing) it uses aerodynamic controls for roll control rather than weight shift.
This is a Hellite Tsunami at Combe Gibbet (Inkpen Hill) in Berkshire, England, in 2006.
This photo by Justin Parsons of a rigid wing launching at Westbury shows the airfoil section.
This photo, taken in 2008 when he lived in the Pacific northwest USA, is of novelist Vaughn Entwistle flying an early Wills Wing Sport 2 in the Cascades. He kept the glider on his van and drove it to work every day. After work, he and a friend headed to Rampart Ridge to fly.
Vaughn’s web site (linked farther down this page) showcases his painstakingly researched Paranormal Casebooks, which feature Scotsman Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories) and Irish playwright Oscar Wilde.
This photo, taken aboard my Airborne 154 Sting 3, was printed in the prestigious Gallery section of the USHPA magazine Hang Gliding & Paragliding, April 2012. It is also on Airborne’s Facebook page.
Whenever I sank low on this flight, I encountered another thermal. The end result was an easy 17-mile cross-country that took more than an hour of mostly circling in thermals. Then nearly five hours of walking, hitching rides, and driving to retrieve everything and get home…
This topic continues in Hang gliding 2015 onward.
My flying in Hang gliding (my hang gliding menu page)
Vaughn Entwistle web site, showcasing his painstakingly researched Paranormal Casebooks