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
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
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.
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