introduction to Start Flying learn to fly fixed wing aircraft learn to fly helicopters or autogyros learn to fly ultralights and microlights learn to fly gliders learn to fly hangliders learn to fly paragliders and paramotors learn to fly balloons


  first time hang gliding
  buying a hang glider
  hang gliding in the UK
  hang gliding for the disabled
   hang gliding FAQs

introduction to hang gliding

If you've ever had the desire to fly on your own then this is one of the most exciting and affordable solution for most people. It allows you to own an aircraft that doesn't require an expensive hangar or special pilot license and best of all you can haul it in your car or truck. You can launch under your own power, climbing and gliding as you please. Many a pilot have said, "this is exactly what I've been looking for".

To experience the sport more fully and learn more about getting started, you can check out DVDs, Videos, books, and CDs that cover the sport. Periodicals and magazines are a great resource for the latest happenings.

The equipment needed is minimal by aviation standards. The principle items being the glider, also called the wing, and the harness. The rest of the equipment consists mainly of safety and communication gear.

The training needed to get yourself flying solo is also minimal. The basic techniques of hang gliding -- launching, turning, landing -- are fairly easy to learn. You can fly solo from the training hill and progress to higher flights, all in two days.

Safety is of utmost importance. Despite the relatively low risk involved with hang gliding there still remains the possibility of serious injury if a pilot doesn't properly prepare and exercise good judgment. Preparation and proper training go a long way towards a pilot's well being as well as enjoyment. Part of preparation is knowing what weather conditions you will be flying in.

There are many great flying locations around the world to hang glide. Since you don't want to hang glide alone, there are organizations and clubs with many friendly people to assist you in your new sport and to fly with.

Hang gliding is one of the simplest forms of human flight. A hang glider is a non-motorized, foot-launched wing. A Hang glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. The hang glider wing is constructed of rip-stop nylon or Mylar over an aluminium frame.

Hang gliders are controlled by shifting the pilot's weight with respect to the glider. Pilots are suspended from a strap connected to the glider's frame (hence the name "hang" glider). By moving forward and backward and side to side at the end of this strap, the pilot alters the centre of gravity of the glider. This then causes the glider to pitch or roll in the direction of the pilot's motion and thus allows both speed control and turning.

With a hang glider, you can fly like a bird, soaring upwards on currents of air. Hang gliders routinely stay aloft for 3 hours or more, climb to elevations of 15,000', and go cross-country for vast distances.

Hang gliding has been around for a very long time but it has only been in recent years that it has become such a popular sport. The German engineer Otto Lilienthal was the first man to launch himself into the air, fly, and land safely using the very first hang glider. His work paved the way for the Wright Brothers powers controlled flight.

Below are the component parts of a modern hang glider