Hang gliding

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**History and Evolution of Hang Gliding:**
– George Cayley, John Joseph Montgomery, Otto Lilienthal, Jan Lavezzari, and Francis Rogallo contributed to the development of hang gliding.
– Hang gliders evolved from slope-launched gliders to fully flexible kited wings patented in 1948.
– Innovations by Volmer Jensen, NASA, Barry Hill Palmer, and John W. Dickenson have shaped modern hang gliders.
– Hang gliding competitions, including the Hang Gliding World Championships, showcase the sport’s advancement.

**Components of Hang Gliders:**
– Hang glider sailcloth materials include woven polyester, laminated polyester film, and dacron or mylar.
– The triangle control frame, with down-tubes and a control bar, is a key component in hang glider design since 1929.
– Safety features like dive recovery mechanisms, pilot harnesses, and necessary equipment ensure pilot safety and comfort.
– Hang glider equipment continues to evolve with advancements in materials and aerodynamics.

**Flight Techniques and Soaring in Hang Gliding:**
– Various launch techniques like foot-launching, tow-launching, aerotowing, and boat towing are utilized in hang gliding.
– Soaring flight techniques involve utilizing lift sources like thermals, ridge lift, mountain waves, and convergence.
– Performance measures such as glide ratio, speed range, and ballast usage are crucial for efficient flying in different conditions.
– Stability and equilibrium in hang gliders are maintained through gentle stall behavior, wing loading, and control mechanisms.

**Equipment and Instruments in Hang Gliding:**
– Hang gliding equipment includes launch mechanisms, wing designs, control systems, and performance measures.
– Instruments like variometers, altimeters, radios, and GPS units aid pilots in navigation, communication, and performance optimization.
– World records in hang gliding, classes of hang gliders, and aerobatic maneuvers are significant aspects of the sport.
– Comparisons between gliders, hang gliders, and paragliders highlight the differences in design, cost, and transportation requirements.

**Resources and Recognition in Hang Gliding:**
– Various publications, technical data, and flight manuals provide information on hang gliding techniques and equipment.
– Notable awards like the FAI Hang Gliding Diploma and championships in hang gliding are recognized by official organizations.
– Bibliographies and external links offer additional resources for hang gliding enthusiasts to explore and learn more about the sport.

Hang gliding (Wikipedia)

Hang gliding is an air sport or recreational activity in which a pilot flies a light, non-motorised, heavier-than-air aircraft called a hang glider. Most modern hang gliders are made of an aluminium alloy or composite frame covered with synthetic sailcloth to form a wing. Typically the pilot is in a harness suspended from the airframe, and controls the aircraft by shifting body weight in opposition to a control frame.

Hang glider just after launch from Salève, France

Early hang gliders had a low lift-to-drag ratio, so pilots were restricted to gliding down small hills. By the 1980s this ratio significantly improved, and since then pilots have been able to soar for hours, gain thousands of feet of altitude in thermal updrafts, perform aerobatics, and glide cross-country for hundreds of kilometers. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale and national airspace governing organisations control some regulatory aspects of hang gliding. Obtaining the safety benefits of being instructed is highly recommended and indeed a mandatory requirement in many countries.

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