Hang gliding mid 1980s


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Hang gliding mid 1980s

This page follows Hang gliding early 1980s part 2.

Art based on a photo by Hugh Morton of the 'mile high swinging bridge' at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Art based on a photo by Hugh Morton of the ‘mile high swinging bridge’ at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Art based on a photo by Ann Welch of Russian trucks at the European championships in July 1986

Art based on a photo by Ann Welch of Russian trucks loaded with hang gliders at the European championships in July 1986

It’s a duck…

Art based on a photo by Connie Lee Bowen of Quentin Flerant in a Wills Wing Duck

Art based on a photo by Connie Lee Bowen of Quentin Flerant in a Wills Wing Duck (no larger image available)


Wills Wing at last released their first enclosed cross-tube design, the Duck. Notice how, in the photo of the Duck at full speed level flight, the trailing edge of the sail is held in a reflex curve by lines to the top of the king post (reflex bridles) and tip struts not attached to the sail, but firmly attached to the leading edge tubes.

At Ager in northern Spain in 1999 I met a German pilot still flying a Duck. It had appropriately vintage colours: Brown and yellow sailcloth. I asked why he flew such an old glider. He explained that he had tried newer wings, but he liked his Duck better.

See my page Sport Kites/Wills Wing of California.

Bennett delta wing

Art based on a photo by John Zurlinden of John Ryan in a Bennet Streak (designed by Bob England) at Torrey pines, San Diego

Art based on a photo by John Zurlinden of John Ryan in a Bennett Streak (designed by Bob England) at Torrey pines, San Diego

Seedwings

Art based on a photo by Seedwings designer Bob Trampenau of Jerry Sturmer flying a Seedwings Sensor in 1986

Art based on a photo by Seedwings designer Bob Trampenau of Jerry Sturmer flying a Seedwings Sensor in 1986

Here, the exceptionally clean lines of the Seedwings Sensor are evident.

Seedwings of Santa Barbara, California, is a separate entity from the manufacturer of the same name in Europe.

Art based on a photo by Bob Trampenau of Erik Lothe flying another Sensor in 1986

Art based on a photo by Bob Trampenau of Erik Lothe flying another Sensor in 1986

Art based on another photo by by Bob Trampenau. This is John Coyne flaring a Seedwings Sensor.

Art based on another photo by by Bob Trampenau. This is John Coyne flaring a Seedwings Sensor.

One of the greatest hang glider designers, Bob Trampenau, turned out to be a great photographer too.

Bob Trampenau in about 2007 from Big Blue Sky by Bill Liscomb

Bob Trampenau in about 2007. Screenshot from Big Blue Sky by Bill Liscomb.

La Mouette

Art based on a photo by David Klutho of Gerard Thevenot flying a Mouette Hermes in the USA in 1986

Art based on a photo by David Klutho of Gerard Thevenot flying a Mouette Hermes in the USA in 1986

According to industry expert Dan Johnson writing in Hang Gliding, July 1988, the largest manufacturer then was Gerard Thevenot’s La Mouette, which made 1,800 gliders in 1987. Here is the contemporary production hierarchy of manufacturers according to Johnson’s research:

  1. La Mouette (France)
  2. Polaris (Italy)
  3. Airwave (UK and USA)
  4. Wills Wing (USA)
  5. Moyes Gliders (Australia)
Gerard Thevenot and Bill Lishman

Gerard Thevenot and Bill Lishman (no larger image available)

The image of Gerard Thevenot and Bill Lishman is a screenshot from the documentary Operation Migration – Birds of a Feather shipped with the DVD containing the movie Fly Away Home, Columbia Pictures, 1995 (see my review).


This topic continues in Hang gliding late 1980s.

External link

Big Blue Sky — The history of modern hang gliding – the first extreme sport! by Bill Liscomb on YouTube

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