Hang gliding 1990 to 1993
I moved my hang gliding history pages to a new web site: History of hang gliding. This page will be deleted eventually.
This page follows Hang gliding late 1980s.
The images on this page, with two exceptions, are my artistic derivations of contemporary photos. See Copyright of early hang gliding photos.
Terry Reynolds flew C-130s in Vietnam, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses there. In 1991, he created the TRX based on carbon fiber airframe manufacturing by Ultralight Products, whose 1977 Graphite Spyder pioneered the technique. The first TRX weighed only about 60 pounds, but later production models, including mine, weighed 80 pounds.
Terry Reynolds, sailmaker Dick Cheney, and development test pilots Tony Barton and Mitch McAleer contributed to the creation of the TRX. Based near Salt Lake City, Utah, the Ultralight Products factory was ideally placed to use that city’s expertise in carbon fiber R&D. Tony Barton won the 1991 US national championship in the TRX. (Source: Dick Cheney, from Oak to Carbon Fiber by John Heiney, Hang Gliding, October 1993.)
For more about UP, see my related topics page Ultralight Products of California and Utah.
In this image, pioneering hang glider videographer Paul Hamilton has a rocket-deployed emergency parachute mounted on the front of his harness.
This image over Mission Ridge looks south to Mission Peak, California.
Mike Meier of hang glider manufacturer Wills Wing received 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. The paper was derived from Mike’s article for Hang Gliding magazine, Why Can’t We Get A Handle On This Safety Thing, to which there is a link in my related topics page Sport Kites/Wills Wing of California.
Nothing to do with the SETP, but this photo, the original of which was in the September 1992 edition of Hang Gliding, represents that many of the pioneers were still flying 20 years after they started. See also Donnita in Hang gliding 1975 part 2.
A static winch enables hang gliders to operate from a flat field.
In the following photo, I am flying across the flatlands of Norfolk, England, by circling in a thermal on a cold winter’s day in 1991.
Texas is another part of the world where towing up is the only option, but aerotow is used more commonly than winching there.
Hang gliding in the Yosemite national park is strongly regulated.
As far as I can determine, Phil Hystek pioneered the in-flight camera suspended below the harness. Compare the scenery in this image with that in Bob Ormiston’s Mission Ridge image (farther up the page) looking south to Mission Peak. As I figure it, this is farther up the coast, north of San Francisco, which is visible in the distance.
The Vision Pulse succeeded the Vision Mark 4 (Airwave Calypso in Britain) as an ideal first glider. I never flew one, but it was reputedly very light, forgiving of mistakes and easy to handle, while providing good performance.
Kari Castle set a women’s world record by flying more than 200 miles. However, she did not need a women’s category to make her mark, winning major competitions outright.
It’s better to teach someone who can’t hear than someone who won’t listen.
— Rob McKenzie writing in Hang Gliding, December 1990. He taught Sally Tucker, who is deaf, to fly hang gliders. She became a cross-country pilot.
Former gymnast and champion skier Michelle Cook was paralyzed from the waist down in a horse riding accident in 1986, but that did not prevent her from taking up hang gliding by using a system used at many flight parks in the USA: A launch trolley and either a ground-based winch or powered ultralight aero-tug. Landing is on wheels attached to the control frame base tube.
In 1995 I flew in Spain with a group that included a pilot who was paralyzed in a 1989 motorcycle crash.
With purpose-made sprung wheels and a another pilot acting as keel pusher (notice the long safety line) he launched from the rounded slope of the mountain top in similar fashion to the method used for vintage sailplanes. He had a great two weeks of flying.
This topic continues in Hang gliding 1994 and 1995.
Flyability, the disability initiative of the British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association
Marilyn Hamilton lost the use of her legs in a hang glider crash in 1978. With two hang gliding friends she set about redesigning the wheelchair and, in so doing, founded a multi-million dollar business.