Home Your notes are welcome: Editor@UpperWindpower.com Most recent edit: Saturday October 05, 2013
About a special niche activity of hang gliding:
Joe Faust <Editor@upperwindpower.com>
At first I didn’t know what you were referring to until I realized it was my “Hangstat”. Foot launch/land LTA was fun but never as satisfying to me as hang gliding. However, the one aspect of that small niche of personal flight which was always very enjoyable, was the unique ability to slowly ground skim (remember ground skimming?) Slow drifting flights across fields of spring flowers, with my feet just barely above the flowers, will always be among my favorite memories (except the time a rattlesnake sounded off nearby).
Approaching a hilltop and walking (or running) across it and off the far side was also great fun (ready to do a burn when reaching the sink on the downwind slope) (balloon hilltop “touch & go”). That could be where your very low aspect ratio, hot air filled, SHTA (slightly heavier than air) wing could come into play.
Perris CA area was a great playground for enjoying these two activities.
5 Oct 2013
This may sound a little crazy, but I woke up from a hang gliding dream this morning, and it was so vivid, that I called Joe Faust on the phone to share it with him (I left a message). That's the first time I've ever called Joe to share a dream, and a few hours later ... I get this great email message from Frank about low and slow ground skimming!!
My dream took place at a local flying site (either Sylmar or Crestline), but as in many dreams - even though I "knew" it was Sylmar or Crestline - it didn't look like either. Instead, it was a very large area with rolling grassy hills. The dream contained many of the usual hang gliding chores (loading, unloading, setting up, and breaking down of hang gliders). But the distinguishing feature was a relatively young woman (mid teens?) performing an aerial "ballet" using a small glider during what appeared to be her practice for an Olympic event similar to gymnastics or ice skating. The glider she used could be opened and closed about as quickly and easily as opening and closing an umbrella (wouldn't that be nice?).
She started her routine with the glider folded which enabled her to use it as a pole vault (I thought Joe would appreciate that aspect). She would pole vault into the air with the glider folded, and then open it in mid-air to perform a quick aerial maneuver, and then gracefully land where the glider refolded almost instantly. She repeated this process over and over as her landing run would be turned into another pole vaulting run that would put her back in the air. I would guess that her routine was about 2/3 in the air and 1/3 on the ground, but it was all seamlessly integrated as you might see in an ice skating performance. It was beautiful.
On the practical side, I have no idea how that could be made to really work. But I am glad that I was able to attend that unique Olympic event in my dreams. : )
Best wishes to all of you who pioneered such a great sport!!
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