Sport Kites/Wills Wing of California


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Sport Kites/Wills Wing of California

This related topics menu links to material in the main hang gliding pages. The links here are in chronological order.

Polkadot sail Wills Wing Swallowtail hang glider

Polkadot Wills Wing Swallowtail in the 20th Century Fox movie Sky Riders, 1976

  • Hang gliding 1973 part 1 for images of Chris Wills landing on target and Chris Price loading his vehicle
  • Hang gliding 1973 part 2 for the following:
    • Colour image of Bob and Chris Wills
    • Bob Wills soaring a standard Rogallo
    • Mike Meier’s first appearance on the scene (text)
  • Swallowtail in Hang gliding 1974 part 2
  • Rogallo versus Quicksilver in colour in Hang gliding 1974 part 2
  • Appliance of science in Hang gliding 1974 part 3 for a Wills Wing standard Rogallo carrying four people
  • Snow bound in Hang gliding 1975 part 1 for images of Chris Price and Bob Wills in Canada
  • Hang gliding 1975 part 2 for Chris Wills demonstrating the Swallowtail’s resistance to the luffing dive
  • More developments in Hang gliding 1975 part 2 for the Superswallowtail in flight
  • Developments Stateside in Hang gliding 1976 part 2 for the Superswallowtail in flight and a note on personnel changes at Wills Wing. (Mike Meier is fired…)
  • Hang gliding 1977 when tragedy strikes the Wills family for the second time
  • Vehicle-based testing in Hang gliding 1978 and 1979 part 2 for Mike Meier explaining why rigorous structural testing is required
  • The Raven in Hang gliding 1978 and 1979 part 2 for a major improvement in design of flex-wing hang gliders
  • Mega and Harrier in Hang gliding early 1980s part 1 for Wills Wing’s initial response to the appearance of the Ultralight Products Comet
  • It’s a duck… in Hang gliding mid 1980s for Wills Wing’s eventual response to the UP Comet
  • It’s brains you want in Hang gliding late 1980s for the introduction of the stronger 7075 aluminium alloy
  • Across the U.S.A. by hang glider in Hang gliding late 1980s for a remarkable picture of a Wills Wing HP in flight
  • SETP in Hang gliding 1990 to 1993 for Mike Meier receiving the Jack Northrop award for the most outstanding technical paper presented at the 45th Annual West Coast Symposium of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots
  • Hang gliding 1996 to 2014 for an image of Dr. Chris Wills, the first U.S. champion, teaching his daughter to handle a hang glider in 2000
  • Hang gliding 2015 onward including photos of my Wills Wing 145 U-2

Related

A painted history of hang glider design for an overview of the design of the Swallowtail

Appliance of statistics, the work of Robert V. Wills, first chairman of the USHGA accident review board

Eagles among men, my review of Higher than Eagles, the Tragedy and Triumph of an American Family by Maralys Wills and Chris Wills, 1992

Little parrots; common experiences of myself and Robert V. Wills when interacting with youngsters

Paint it black, my review of the 20th Century Fox movie Sky Riders, 1976, featuring the Wills Wing team

Replacing Wills Wing U-2 (Litestream) side flying wires

Rigging a Wills Wing 145 U-2 flat on the ground

Wills Powers in Hang glider names: Wills Wing’s contributions to that desperate lexicology

External links

Super Swallowtail 90: Photo by Roger Middleton of Brian Wood, the first British champion, flying an SST 90 (indicating its 90 degree nose angle) in 1976. I still recall Brian climbing out into light lift in that wing at Mere in Wiltshire at the 1976 British championship competition. After the SST 100 came out, the SST 90 was referred to as the SST Universal.

Super Swallowtail 100: Roger Middleton launching in an SST 100 at Mere, Wiltshire, in 1977

Swallowtail: Photo by Roger Middleton of Bob and Suzette Wills landing in a black-painted Swallowtail at Mere, Wiltshire, in August 1975

Why Can’t We Get A Handle On This Safety Thing by Mike Meier (on the Wills Wing web site)

World Hang Gliding Championships (1975) on YouTube starting at 2 minutes 51 seconds for Bob wills flying his Swallowtail in the speed task that year

Big Blue Sky video external links

These are links to Big Blue Sky — The history of modern hang gliding – the first extreme sport!, 2008, documentary by Bill Liscomb on YouTube:

  • Bill Liscomb and Chris Wills describe the crash that killed Bob Wills: Big Blue Sky starting at 55 minutes 27 seconds. Chris then describes how his younger brother Eric was killed a few years before. (He mis-remembers it, at least according to my information, in that Eric was killed teaching himself 360 degree turns while Bob and Chris were both away, rather than while teaching himself to fly.)
  • Bob Wills flies at Coyote Hills in 1973: Big Blue Sky starting at 33 minutes, narrated by Donnita Holland (Donnita Hall)
  • First National Champion, 1973, Chris Wills in Big Blue Sky starting at 36 minutes 23 seconds, narrated by Bill Liscomb, Tom Peghiny, and Taras Kiceniuk Jr.
  • Simply Amazing Bob Wills in Big Blue Sky starting at 41 minutes 23 seconds, narrated by Bill Liscomb, Dave Cronk, Tom Peghiny, Taras Jr, and Dr. Chris Wills
  • Wills brothers’ first flights: Big Blue Sky starting at 22 minutes 38 seconds

Hang Ten Hang Gliding World Meet video external links

These are links to Hang Ten Hang Gliding World Meet of 1976 (in three parts, fairly low resolution) on YouTube, with Bob Wills flying a Super Swallowtail:

Playground in the Sky video external links

These links are to are Playground in the Sky, 1977, by Carl Boenish on YouTube (low resolution):

  • Bob Wills and others at the 1973 Coyote Hills event: Playground in the Sky starting at 14 minutes 16 seconds (lengthier film than in Big Blue Sky)
  • Bob Wills soaring at Palmdale, California: Playground in the Sky starting at 21 minutes 49 seconds. That is followed immediately by film of the Wills brothers’ first glider, a biplane they invented and towed behind a car along their street. Then film of Bob Wills soaring a Rogallo at Torrey Pines, California.

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