Hang gliding 2000 to 2003
Hang gliders: Airwave 166 Magic 4 and Aeros Discus 148
Harness: Solar Wings Edge 2
In-flight camera: Ricoh FF-9 compact 35mm film
This page continues from Hang gliding 1996 to 1999.
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.
Lucy’s wing is a Pacific Windcraft Vision Pulse. Its red streamer on the king post indicates that, at this time, she had less than 10 hours flying time after qualifying.
That’s me in the orange puffer jacket. I was co-organizer, or ‘meet head’, of this inter-club competition.
Philosopher’s hang glider
(Discus reads like discuss, geddit?)
The Aeros Discus outperformed even contemporary ‘topless’ competition gliders in 2003 and up to about 2007, when the newer crop of rigid wings started to appear. Although some pilots disagree with my assessment (not all) I found the Discus somewhat stiff in roll and it seemed to have an odd feel that I call ‘power steering’. It always responded, but, whenever I wanted to increase my roll rate and shifted my weight farther over to effect that need, the glider’s roll rate stayed the same. The Discus has a narrow control frame, as if in recognition of that characteristic.
However, its main drawback in my estimation was its excessive tendency to ‘wind in’ to turns (spiral instability). I largely cured it, initially by using a wider control frame base tube, then by refitting the original tube and adding longer side flying wires. With that minor change, its handling overall was good. And its performance was simply amazing.
Warning: If your glider relies on reflex bridles for emergency dive recovery, increasing dihedral in that way (or decreasing anhedral) is likely to reduce the bridles’ effect. The Discus relies partly on inboard reflex bridles, but the more important outboard struts are unaffected.