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In year1960: hybrid kite glider
Tony Prentice enters elite history at age 13.

.. the 1960 glider was not inspired or influenced by any NASA offerings.
The first Rogallo type I produced was in 1969 and the picture of the Ryan flex-wing was the picture I saw in the mid 60's that gave the idea.
~~ Arp,                        
May 26, 2012.

May 27, 2012  (yet to be completed. Does anyone have a question for Arp about his 1960 hang glider?

UpperWindpower:  We know you by Tony Prentice and "Arp" in hang gliding online.
What do those letters "Arp" stand for?

Arp:    My full name, not often used is :- Anthony Richard Prentice            

UpperWindpower:  Where on the map were the flights and experience of the 1960 hang glider?

Arp:    I lived at Penrose Buildings, Penrose Street, Walworth London SE17       

UpperWindpower: Who built the hang glider?

Arp:    The wing was built by myself, but the sail machining was done by my mum.       

UpperWindpower:  Were you in the scouts at age 13?

Arp:     Yes I was in the 5th Southwark Scout Group.

UpperWindpower:  Did you let others have an experience with your wing?

Arp:    Others in our group of friends tried it out and one small lad was kited up in a strong wind.     
Running jumps were made from the roof of 2m high sheds with short gliding flights to the ground.    

UpperWindpower: For your 1960 hang glider, what may have inspired your design and build;
we understand from you that your inspiration was not  NASA-Rogallo-Ryan Aeronautical?

Arp:    The 1960 glider came from building a series of kites of different designs. It is basically a high aspect ratio diamond kite with additional cross struts and preformed aerofoils. Reflex is provided at the tail for aerodynamic balance.

The reason that the Rogallo concept took hold was its simplicity in construction, light weight, low cost and ease of transportation. That concept has been lost in the quest for more performance until we have come to the opposite situation with complicated, heavy, expensive, and difficult-to-transport foot-launched gliders. No wonder paragliding then came to take its place, but paragliding is inevitably going down the same road. The quest will go on with new ideas and designs appearing which utillise modern materials--bringing the dream of personal flight nearer to us all.  

UpperWindpower:   Do you recall how thoughts of human-on-board gliding kite came into your scene at age 13 or before?

Arp:      I was fully aware of both Lilienthal and Pilcher and built many models using radial fingers like that in a bat's wing. Construction of a full size Lilienthal type started in 1963 with some trials in 1964. It was not until 1968 that proper trials could take place on a hill at Brasted, Kent.

Some film was taken on the first day of those trials which can be seen on YouTube. As is usual in hang gliding, the wind was not blowing up the hill but across. Some initial runs can be seen, but insufficient air speed could be attained. No camera man (my brother) was available after that, but during two weeks of trials many flights were made down the slope with some height gains in ridge lift.


 (yet to be completed.    Does anyone have a question for Arp about his 1960 hang glider?


  • Rotated and reduced-sized image in jpg format without pilot position indication for the 13-yr old boy: 

  • (See sometime in  April 2010 Lift for dimensions for 185 lb experimentalist.)

  • Rotated and reduced-sized image in jpg format with pilot position indicated: 

  • The following are as the above, but for archival purposes; a visitor need not click these if the above is adequate for study.
  • Larger file without rotation: 
         Without pilot position indication.
  • Larger file without rotation: 
         Pilot position shown.

  • As promised, please find attached sketch of my 1960 bamboo glider.
    Although it only has a 17 ft wing span, it gave enough lift for a 13 year old
    to get off the ground. The bridle forms a triangle in front of the pilot,
    but, of course, it is not rigid. The weight of the pilot is used, via the bridle, 
    to load up the wing spars which spreads the load in much the same way
    as PG lines. This enables a much lighter framework to be used.
    If I scaled it up for my present weight I am sure its glide angle would be
    better than the early Rogallo HGs.

  •                               ~~Tony Prentice          30 March 2010

    Furthering, Tony is supplying Joe and others:

    See special page about a later 1963/1964 exploration.

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    to Tony Prentice's   1960 kite-glider.