November 2010  Lift   
 p1  p2 p3 p4 p5 p6 p7 p8 p9 p10 p11 p12 p13  p14   p15  p16
the free hang glider e-zine of World Hang Gliding Association     
Associate:  OttoWings
USA petition action:

New: early 1960s trike by Barry Hill Palmer, shown his second.

(All, enter notes during the month!)

Introduction for the video interview of Eddie Paul by Neil Larson     

In those early days, before the HG Manufacturers Association, before Hang Ratings, and back when one had to build his own hang glider, there was no learning curve. I mean--for most of us--it was root hog or die. There were far more of us who just wanted to find out enough to safely make a simple stand-up landing at the bottom of a grassy hill than the handful who understood the physics and science of flight. Dr. Chris Wills mentioned in BIG BLUE SKY, that he and brother Bob Wills and Chris Price built their first Rogallo from the photo of Taras’ Batso in National Geographic (Feb., 1972).  They just sort of laid a ruler down on the photo in the magazine and made estimated guesses of dimensions. Well, he was not the only one; that was the garage-floor method for most all of us. I told a neighborhood friend how to “build” a Rogallo--telling him the step-by-step instructions …by spoken word, like a cave man explaining the wheel. The guy listened to every word; a week later he called on the phone and asked me to come over; I was surprised to discover they had done everything I said, and had a kite almost completely finished, but they did not know how to wrap the plastic sail around the leading edge and attach it. And I think he only watched a few flights at Dockweiler a week before. But he wanted to fly; he had no manual or instruction booklet or three-view drawings, just the words I spoke to him a week earlier. Well,  it did help that his parents operated a small machine shop so he had some knowledge of mechanical assembly; that guy was Glen Sweet; about a year after that first kite he was working full time for the EipperFormance Hang Glider factory.

At the other end of the spectrum were a very few rare gifted and knowledgeable people who actually knew a lot; and I am sure some of their names are familiar. Volmer Jensen, had been building, designing, and flying hang gliders for over 30 years in 1971. Taras Kiceniuk’s father was curator of the Palomar Observatory and had access to the finest Caltech computers to run design tests. Of course,  Paul MacCready, Jack Lambie, Richard Miller, and a short list of others could share wisdom about the Reynolds number of a wing or the relative flaws with regard to Bernoulli’s Principle.

When I visited my family in Los Angeles two years ago, someone suggested that I might be interested in touching base with Eddie Paul, early hang glider builder and designer. Eddie can be included in that small group of knowledgeable and gifted persons I mentioned who had more than a ruler on the photo, so to speak.

Eddie Paul, to me, is as much an enigma as he is a key figure in 1970’s Hang Gliding History. His relatively short appearance on the Virtual Hang Gliding Time Line and his personal approach to doing business gives him a unique position in our sport.

So, in the winter of 2008, I made an appointment to spend some time at his headquarters in El Segundo, California. For the record, we only had mutual friends in the hang glider community back in 1972 to 1974; I may have only seen him at events back then, so I was pleased to make contact with him face-to-face after all these years, and I was genuinely comfortable with his humble personality.

I hope you will enjoy this all-too-brief interview with Eddie Paul:

Rentatrip1    USHGA #24  is  Neil Larson  who did the Lift interview
Eddie Paul

Above is Part I.

See:   Part 2 – Lift Interviews Eddie Paul

Notes: World Hang Gliding Association 

Care to fall ... with rescue parachute let us fly to 17, 999 feet.   Fly any altitude for which you are prepared to fall with appropriate wings and parachutes and effective landing devices (nets, inclines, lemon pie, Uncle Scrooge coin bins, etc.  How will you impact the ground or water, as such counts high in what matters!

Eddie Paul for a movie built Wright Flyer, Chanute hang glider, Lilienthal hang glider, and a box glider:  (doubles of each hang glider). Trained stuntmen to fly, but ended up flying them himself with deliberate scripted crashes for the film. 

Eddie Paul may have been the first to fly a packed framed hang glider on his back while also hang gliding the same framed model. Today such a feat is more possible using fabric-only paragliders, but Eddie Paul did it with a framed hang glider.   He also may have been the first to mount a jet engine on a hang glider.

Safety note:  Reflex, luff lines, twitchy pitch challenges on leading-edge formats, and highly specific envelopes of safe operation were not then (early 1970s) as understood as they are now. Designers are firming shape of airfoil with shaped battens, firming leading edge forms, and defining the limits of operational conditions for each specific hang glider.  Every hang glider has its own special limitations for safe operation; using a certain hang glider beyond those limitations is asking for damage, injury, and perhaps death.

Clarity about NASA challenges with deployment of the compact paraglider from the spacecraft was the challenge, not instability of the glider. The Paresev program indicated successful hang glider flying capacity of various stiffened flexible wings promoted by Francis Rogallo.  Parachutes were already known well and won the day for the re-entry program and the stiffened (boomed, inflatable boomed) flexible wing program was set aside. The apparent and sometimes expressed failure regarded deployment from packed format to flying format, not the actual glider itself.

Patents by Eddie Paul:

Eddie innovates for breakfast every day and then goes on each day to innovate.
See special article in
(we have not found a free path to the article)
Cutting His Own Paths. Inventor Eddie Paul does more before lunch than most people ever do, ever.

Some other innovation notes regarding Eddie Paul that have not received patenting attention, but are part of the flow:

Want something built that works? See E.P. Industries, Inc.

Thoughts over the Porta-Wing™  (no known mechanical patent)

Related folding kites with fabric-only or string or cable leading edge: (just replace the long kite-line and its anchor with a short kite-line holding a human pilot, add the hang glider's 1908 Breslau cable-stayed triangle control frame (TCF) and presto: free-flight kite glider system: hang glider. For safe balance and safe use, much more attention would be needed.*)  [ ED.  Recall that in mechanical function patents, the written text claims in mechanical patents are more important than drawings.]

Relative of our HG historian Neil Larson (Hector P. MacNeil, variant McNeil) has some key impacts on aviation:

A major segment of Alexander Graham Bell’s – A.E.A. (Founder)
(Aerial Experiment Association (AEA))- Rich from his 1896 invention of the telephone. Bell took on interest in kites and flight – Bell developed a triangle type wing that is all angles relative and equal –known as the tetrahedron. His tetrahedral kites became huge, enormous flying drones attached to cords. Often in the records of his experiments it is written that men were lifted up off the earth by wind gusts, so his 1902 Bell kites could be certainly evidence of man flight. Primitive by our standards of HG standards, but nonetheless man flight all the same .
Bell with Hector P. McNeil, variant MacNeil, assistant and co-inventor reference Bell and AEA.
[Click image for full patent)]

Several of Bell’s patents listed with the US patent office give Hector P. McNeil as “co-inventor” of the basic structural formula for these gargantuan flying kites. Illustration of patent –  (variant spelling MacNeil).
Most of the fabrication of these AEA aircraft including kites, models, airplanes, and the first hydrofoil boats were physically built by Hector P. McNeil.

Bell with Hector McNeil – assistant and patents co-inventor …
Although Bell’s kites were exclusively contemporary with Wright Brothers' works,  Bell and McNeil should not be overlooked. After all,  if Bell had not solicited Glenn H. Curtiss, [see also this] the most advanced motorcycle engine builder of 1907, … we would not have the historic Curtiss “Jenny,“ nor would we have this record breaking “PLAQUE” commemorating his historic aviation event.
We always need to honor those who have established the historic ground we walk upon”.
If you would like to know more about supporting the current efforts to HONOR the game-changing
historic May 23, 1971, "Universal Hang Gliding Championship at Otto Lilienthal Birthday Party," --the first in the grand mid-century renaissance of hang gliding, please contact Lift for information on our ongoing project.

If your main objective is flying hang gliders,
then consider delaying designing and building and get flying this week.
Rather, go to a certified free flight school; learn with experienced instructors,
and purchase certified new or professionally-inspected used hang gliders.
Get the lesson benefits of all the accidents that have occurred in history.
Care for your favorite body! 
Intrepid designers, builders, or experimenting tinkering hobbyists who insist on designing and building at home or shop
will need, on average, to invest a great deal of time and care to assure safe operations; this applies to modifications
of known hang glider designs. One can get flying in the first lesson at a well-designed hang gliding flight school.
       ~~  World Hang Gliding Association                         
[[If you are in Southern California, consider WindSports.]]

[ED: kite glider:   pilot-as-mooring is moving through air.   Kite parts: pilot-as-mooring; wing, and kitelines (bridle, control lines) ]
News release:
Nov. 1, 2010       

The gnuLAB2, first "GNU paraglider" (complete plans freely available on the Internet), has been completed and
tested successfully.  The previous model gnuLAB1 (2007) was published freely on the internet, but never built.
Lightweight paraglider (4 kg excluding the harness) and good behavior.  Small glides were carried out on a training
hill. High mountain flying is pending a weekend with good weather conditions.

Best regards,
Pere Casellas


  Etc. {{See full site plans for the foil-wing kite paraglider}}


The first packages with Hangglider Calendars were sent this morning after I picked them up last Friday. I am really pleased with the result, since it is printed by offset for the first time. If you want to keep sending costs low, try to find other people in your country who are also interested in the calendar and order quantity.

I had to order additional calendars last week; this means the Hangglider Calendars are going fast this year. Keep this in mind if you want to order anyway.

Kind regards,
Sander van Schaik

Under-carriage notes
  • Clip You Tube - earth-bound “trike” platform carriage for UL–grass launch of HG        Title: hangclip5
    Vid lift sent by Neil Larsonv