Hang gliding 1996 to 2014


Home (contents) Hang gliding Hang gliding 1996 to 2014

Hang gliding 1996 to 2014

This page continues from Hang gliding 1994 and 1995.

Pilot training in North Carolina. Photo by John E.

Pilot training in North Carolina. Photo by John E.

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.

Art based on a photo of KHK premises in 1996

Art based on a photo of KHK premises in 1996

Kitty Hawk Kites had grown since their origins in the mid 1970s. See my page Kitty Hawk Kites.


Art based on a photo of Bob Rouse flight testing his Dimorph pteron in 1997

Art based on a photo of Bob Rouse flight testing his Dimorph pteron in 1997

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.)

Art based on a photo by Mark Vaughn of an Airwave K5 launching

Art based on a Red Bull photo of John Heiney looping an Ultralight Products TRX

Art based on a photo by Joe Alendifer of Chris Wills and his daughter Kelly in 2000

Art based on a photo by Joe Alendifer of Chris Wills and his daughter Kelly

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.


Art based on a photo by paraglider pilot Nick Greece at Torrey Pines, San Diego, in 2000

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.

Back to basics

Photo of a rigid hang glider at Combe Gibbet in 2006

A Tsunami rigid hang glider at Combe Gibbet in 2006

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.


Rigid hang glider launching at Westbury

Rigid hang glider launching at Westbury (no larger image available)

This photo by Justin Parsons of a rigid wing launching at Westbury shows the airfoil section.

Hang gliding at Bell Hill, 2002

Me flying in formation with Gary D. at Bell Hill, Dorset, England, in 2002


Vaughn Entwistle flying an early Wills Wing Sport 2

Vaughn Entwistle flying Rampart Ridge

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.

Cross-country

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.

Wing-mounted camera view from airborne hang glider

On my way to the coast in 2011

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…

Art based on an in-flight hang gliding photo by Brian Ellison

By way of contrast, in colour at least, this art is based on a photo by Brian Ellison.

Five seconds and 180 degrees later

Me over a village in north Dorset, England, in 2015

Internal links

This topic continues in Hang gliding 2015 onward.

My flying in Hang gliding (my hang gliding menu page)

External link

Vaughn Entwistle web site, showcasing his painstakingly researched Paranormal Casebooks