Hang gliding mid 1980s


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Hang gliding mid 1980s

This page follows Hang gliding early 1980s part 2.

Most of the images on this page are my artistic derivations of contemporary photos. See Copyright of early hang gliding photos.

Louie Ward launches. Photo by Ed Fields.

Louie Ward launches. Photo by Ed Fields.

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

The ‘mile high swinging bridge’ at Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina. Photo by Hugh Morton.

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

Russia-made trucks loaded with hang gliders at the European championships in July 1986. Photo by Ann Welch.

It’s a duck…

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

Quentin Flerant in a Wills Wing Duck (no larger image available). Photo by Connie Lee Bowen.


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

John Ryan in a Bennett Streak (designed by Bob England) at Torrey pines, San Diego. Photo by John Zurlinden.

Seedwings

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

Jerry Sturmer flying a Seedwings Sensor in 1986. Photo by Seedwings designer Bob Trampenau.

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

Erik Lothe flying another Sensor in 1986. Photo by Bob Trampenau.

John Coyne flaring a Seedwings Sensor. Photo by Bob Trampenau.

John Coyne flaring a Seedwings Sensor. Photo by Bob Trampenau.

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

Gerard Thevenot flying a Mouette Hermes in the USA in 1986. Photo by David Klutho.

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).

Arizona

Hans Heydrich over Phoenix, Arizona, in 1987. Photo by Bob Thompson.

Hans Heydrich over Phoenix, Arizona, in 1987. Photo by Bob Thompson.

Austrian-American (via Australia) Hans Heydrich won the 1987 Arizona cross country contest in a Wills Wing HP2 — the stand-up keel pocket of the Duck had been left behind — with a flight of more than 200 miles. Heydrach’s grandfather flew zeppelins in World War 1 and his father flew Messerschmitt 109s (among other aircraft) in World War 2.

Hans Heydrich. Photo by Bob Thompson.

Hans Heydrich. Photo by Bob Thompson.


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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