Hang gliding 2020


Home (contents) Hang gliding Hang gliding 2020

Hang gliding 2020

This page continues from Hang gliding 2018 part 2. (I have nothing for 2019.)

Rifle range

Cameras: Fuji FinePix HS 50 EXR and Fuji X100F

I took these photos at the old rifle range hill at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020.

Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Greenery

The glider here is a Moyes (Australia) Litespeed RX3.

Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Greeny-bluery

Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Bluery

Close-up of pilot of hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Pilot in command


Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Freedom in Wiltshire

And this is a light-weight single surface (exposed cross-tubes) Freedom made by North Wing of Chelan, Washington State, USA. In the variable conditions at this site on this day, with sink and patchy lift, the highly maneuverable Freedom outperformed even the rigid wings most of the time.


Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

On Target

The red streamer on this Aeros (Ukraine) Target indicates that the pilot has fewer than ten hours air time.


Paraglider and hang glider at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Paraglider and hang glider maneuver around each other

Paraglider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Paraglider

Conditions became too strong for paragliding later in the afternoon


Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Luisa turning immediately after launch

Hang gliders flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

In company of a rigid wing

Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Luisa concentrating

Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Luisa shows the boys how it is done


Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Hamish above the Wiltshire countryside

Hamish and Tim were among several flying rigid hang gliders. Unlike flex-wings, rigids use conventional control surfaces for turn control, relying on weight-shift only for pitch control.

Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Wills Wing U-2 flex-wing hang glider


Hang glider flying at Mere, Wiltshire, UK, in June 2020

Tim on approach to landing

Tim has the trailing edge flaps lowered. They increase the camber of the wing, which increases both lift and drag. The result is slower airspeed and a steeper approach, which is easier to judge and it reduces the risk of over-shooting the chosen landing spot.

Bell

Cameras: GoPro Hero 3 silver edition, Fuji X100F, and Fuji FinePix HS50EXR
Glider: Wills Wing 145 U-2

I took these photos at Bell Hill near Blandford Forum (that’s a town, not a web site) in north Dorset, UK, in July 2020.

Hang glider launching

Screenshot from video by Roly the sailmaker

See under External link for a short video clip by Roly the sailmaker of my launch, from which the accompanying screenshot is taken. I notice my right wing is slightly low. By the look of it, that was a natural correction, likely from the wind coming from the right, but initially pulled round by the bushes, so it seems to be coming straight in. (That is retrospective speculation because we do these things automatically without recalling the details.)


Paraglider in flight in north Dorset, England, July 2020

Paraglider above the old top landing field, which is now an absolute pig sty

For the air-to-air photos I used a camera mounted on the control frame.

As well as two camera set-ups on the glider, one of which I had not tried before, my variometer (an aid to staying in rising air) had stopped working and I failed to check it earlier in the year. Fortunately, Gary D lent me his. In addition, this was my first flight since 2017…

Paraglider in flight in north Dorset, England, July 2020

View west


Hang glider in flight in north Dorset, England, July 2020

About level with the paragliders on the right

Tony W specked out to near cloudbase in his Avian Rio, but he landed at the bottom just as I was carrying across to the launch slope. In addition, the sole paraglider in the air was sinking back nearer us standing on the hill. However, some minutes later, a flock of birds spiraled up directly in front of the hill. I was somewhat slow in reacting, but when I launched, there was enough rising air in the vicinity to get me above the top.

Hang glider about to land in north Dorset, England, July 2020

Landing zone

The 18-inch mechanical cable release to the new camera malfunctioned part way through the flight. Fortunately, it stuck in the on position and the camera just kept firing every couple of seconds or so. I headed out to the landing field after 20 minutes of aerial photography combined with struggling to find and stay in fragmented thermals rising from the two spurs and a prominent tree patch in the middle of the bowl-shaped ridge to the right of launch.

It ain’t over ’till it’s over. I had applied some ‘VB’ — that is, I had pulled a chord that flattens the sail a bit in flight — which improves performance at the cost of stiffening roll control. For landing, I want no VB applied, but I had attached Gary’s variometer in such a way that it prevented me from releasing the chord from its cleat. (Luckily, I had not applied much VB.) The air at ground level was moderately turbulent and I had to use strong pitch and roll corrections to keep the glider into wind and level. I landed at a swift jog after 25 minutes in the air.


Hang glider launch run at Bell Hill, UK, in 2020

Tony on his launch run

I took these photos at Bell Hill in September 2020.

Hang glider launch at Bell Hill, UK, in 2020

Lift off

Hang glider turning at Bell Hill, UK, in 2020

Tony climbing out (taken with my older Fuji EXR zoom)

Hang glider flying above at Bell Hill, UK, in 2020

Looking up


Hang glider turning in lift at Bell Hill, UK, in 2020

Turning in lift

Hang glider camera bracket in 2020

Lighter camera bracket

Rotational inertia is proportional to the square of the distance from the center, so I have changed to this simpler and lighter bracket for my GoPro. Furthermore, here I mounted it on an inboard strut. The view is not as good, but the glider’s handling should be better. (Whether it makes a significant difference, I do not know.)

External link

Video clip by Roly the sailmaker on Facebook of my launch in July