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Lift   January 2011 
by and for the hang gliding community

The gnuLAB2 paraglider in flight videos!
(local name "Barretina" for friends)

The GNU world's first paraglider in flight.
GNU stands for "GNU's Not Unix" from free software: http://www.gnu.org/
known as GNU or GNU/Linux, whose philosophy is to provide the source code of
programming for free study and copy. Similarly all plans and technical
details of gnuLAB2 paraglider are freely available online for free study and
copy, even for commercial purposes.

Training hill fun flight, 15 January 2011 Lleida (Spain):
Parapent Barretina proba en pendent escola 1

High flight, 16 January 2011 in Ager (Spain):
Parapent Barretina a Àger 16-1-2011

Best regards,

Lift will nearly daily add content supporting hang gliding with topical pages being developed as interest supports.

Send your items and comments to further topics. 

  • We are still working on the Alex Morillo joined-wing article.  Some recent edits and associated Rutan notes, also.
  • Busable hang glider designing is on the increase; anyone may play.
  • Skis, wheels, skids, sleds, and snouts:  What have we for anti-whack?
  • Going for 10 side-by-side-pilots in a hang glider short sled glide? Why?
  • The invisible hang glider?
  • Truss
  • Pilot Prudence ...
  • http://www.icon.fi/~jtki/jt1kuvat/b8m.jpg        Bensen
  • This note is review about Igor Bensen illustrating single-point hang in a kite glider and triangle control frame:   http://energykitesystems.net/images/MechanixIllustrated1954BensenTCF.jpg
    with single point hang and triangle control frame for handling to move mass as wanted relative to CL. 
    Gyroglider kite, hang glider.   Common principles not to be patented in themselves. 
    JD wrote his papers for claiming two innovations for improved glider:  single-point hang and A-frame for weight shift.   No go, JD, sorry.  Public domain material already in the big picture flow.


Enjoying joined wings: sense it by viewing Alex Morillo's home workstation:

Alex:       Fun compare with NASA's M58: 

Burt Rutan Announces Retirement Plans

Mojave, CA, November 3, 2010:

Burt Rutan, founder of aerospace research firm Scaled Composites in 1982, has announced his plans to retire in

April 2011. He currently serves as Scaled’s Chief Technical Officer and following his retirement, Burt will assume

the title of founder and chairman emeritus.

Burt has worked in California's Antelope Valley for more than 45 years, initially as Flight Test Project Engineer for

the Air Force and in 1974 he founded the Rutan Aircraft Factory to develop experimental aircraft for homebuilders.

“Burt is known worldwide as a legendary genius in aircraft design in the aviation world. I am very fortunate and

proud to have worked by his side for the past 28 years,” says President Douglas B. Shane. “We wish Burt and his

wife, Tonya, the very best the future holds for them.”


Majestic King Mt Soaring - Day 1

12 minute sort “towed” glide with Wills Wing Sport 2
Rabbit good flight soft landing
Notice carefully the landing.
Recorded at Florida Ridge Flight Park
South Florida’s strictly “towed” Hang Gliding Air Park
Near Vero Beach, Florida
Sent in by Neil Larson.

Found on You Tube –
Very well edited, from launch to landing
Enjoyable composition with nice musical score and lyrics
High Definition clip of
First Flight Wills Wing T2 -15.01.2011- Sonchaux - Switzerland
Look for zip up of leg “sock” after take-off
Sent in by Neil Larson

The Birdman was created in 1971

This was recently found on You Tube –
(titled simply) Experimental (clip)
It is a short random collection of craft at one of an early British annual
Worthing Pier Birdman Contest

Also in the second half of this rare clip great valuable documentation
of very rare in-flight video of several pioneers in Southern California production
Hang Glider Manufacturing during the early 1970’s
*Pilots possibly identified* in no order:
· Dave Muehl wearing beret       [agree]
· Dave Cronk flying orange Cronk 3 with tip draggers    [agree]
· Bob Lovejoy in early Quicksilver design prototype     [Ed: not sure if that is Bob flying the Quicksilver]
· Dick Eipper in Standard Flexi-Flyer  [head and hair look right]
Sent in by Neil Larson




Austria: 1909

[ ] http://www.aviaticum.at/avia/images/img/ettrich1.gif   for powered version of an Ettrich. 
Igo Etrich

Austria: 1907-1910  explore.

Spelling challenge:   One t  or two tt     ??? Research both      Etrich Taube.  

Continuing to bring relative information to LIFT in 2011

We seek understanding of the principles of Physics regarding Flight –
Centre of Gravity pt-1
Centre of Gravity pt-2
These delightful presentations explain laws of physics, presented by the esteemed professor Julius Sumner Miller - The good professor, a featured guest on the original Mickey Mouse Club, shares his insights which reveal why and how one trims one' harness on the keel for best balance and control; – by understanding this 7 minute video one may properly find the exact placement of a harness upon any hang glider's center keel using these mathematical principles.
                                                                                   Contributed by Neil Larson

The Degen prompt! 
Three cheers for the Degen influence!
Thanks to Degen for his experimentations!


Cayley had the KP and TCF in 1799



http://firstflight.open.ac.uk/phillips/phillips_aircraft01.html  Horatio Phillips

See:    http://energykitesystems.net/Lift/2010/2010decLIFTpage5.html

Chris,                             Dec. 1, 2010
Your Dad was super amongst us. And I knew you most young. Your Dad was ever gracious, friendly, sharp, and a Wright-like hang glider builder.

Your Dad let me fly his modified Icarus II in Venice Beach on small berm; photo got into the Santa Monica Star News.
And I helped you and your Mom and Dad put the glider together at the Torrance Beach Turkey Fly that I sponsored.
Your Dad spawned a lithographic printing business after seeing what I did from scratch to become for hang gliding a lithographer.
I was in your Dad and Mom's Pasadena printing office. They supplied T-shirts and bumper stickers featuring my Self-Soar Association logo of wind-lifted man in flight. He was top man and glider in the four-color centerfold Photo-Fly photograph that I arranged where the pioneers were assembled to show pilot and glider on a hill in Norco, California.   Low & Slow #12 centerfold photo.

I have returned to publishing hang gliding. My first decade with Low & Slow and Hang Glider had several mentions of your Dad.
May I share your notes to the hang glider world without Mom's contact and without your contact, as you direct?
Original historian Neil Larson is active again with me in some publishing efforts.
One of several efforts: See: Lift via http://hgausa.com/

This is cc to Neil Larson who also probably saw you as a toddler. Neil has some photos of early meeting with your Dad at executive table.


Dear Joe,                                        Dec. 14, 2010

Thank you for the kind words you had to say about my dad. I think that of all his many accomplishments in life, he considered his involvement in the early days of hang gliding his most proud. I attended Oshkosh with him in 1993 and he enjoyed quite a reaction when he produced his SCHGA membership card when we stopped by the USHGA tent. For about fifteen good minutes he was a celebrity and entertained many questions from the twenty- and thirty-somethings about the "good old days" of bamboo, conduit, duct tape, and plastic. I am so proud of this part of his personal history and please know that you can share any of my or my mom's words with the self-soar community in any way you see fit. It's a very special part of my mom's history, too, and she would enjoy knowing that those early days and the friends she and my dad made back then were somehow acknowledged. Wow, it truly was it's own evolution of one segment of aviation, wasn't it? Did I hear mention from my mom of some sort of "SoCal Pioneers Reunion" in the future?? Would be cool if you could somehow hold it near the old Pacific Gas location, huh? :-)

Do you happen to have any photos or other copies of early publications that might contain mention or depictions of my dad, Joe? As you might guess, I'm intensely interested in preserving what I can of his memory. My mom wants to provide you with copies of some of our old (and getting older) Super-8 home movies showing SoCal ground-skimming endeavors (and some really interesting striped bell-bottoms...) when we figure out how to transfer them to digital. We are desperate to have these and other movies transferred to DVD soon as they are virtually disintegrating before our eyes and the film becoming harder to feed into any projectors! We plan to attend to this soon.

Anyway, I very much hope that you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season and I just want to say what a gift it has been to make contact with you as a sort of bridge to the memory of my dear old dad. I'm sure that he's happily cloud-skimming somewhere up there.

All the best,
Tony Talbot-Jones

Wow this is inspiring:  video 12 minutes on You Tube
97 Miles Across Idaho
wonderful High Def in flight HG video by NMERider
7-22-2010 - 2010 King Mountain,
Idaho Hang Gliding Championships Day 4.
Wills Wing T2C 144 hang glider and GoPro Hero HD camera.
Submitted by Neil Larson

More of NMERider: http://www.youtube.com/user/NMERider


Patent number: 1181784
Filing date: Oct 7, 1915
Issue date: May 1916

[Ed: Lift HG clubhouse straight up by use of two powered aircraft or kite systems.
Launch hang gliders from the lifted clubhouse.]

To encourage efforts of beginners at the sport of HG –
We submit fledgling pilots getting their “wings” in far flung corners of the globe as a means of sharing the enthusiasm for the free flight of man:

Hang gliding - LADA (2.1. 2011) Misko
Who says it’s too cold to fly ? Lada Slovakia, north of Preovsk.
January 2, 2011 – Hang Gliding Training flights in the Snow.
Look for similar clips from this fly day on YouTube.
~~Sent in by Neil Larson

Harlingen zeedijk hang glider testvlucht
Harlingen seawall hang glider test flight  (short video clip 1:28))  
in Holland on New Year’s Day-

Young Pilot  goes for a “training dash”  in the bitter cold- at :47 seconds into clip notice snow shedding off trailing edge of wing.                  ~~Sent in by Neil Larson

All are invited to comment at the video site:

First comment posted there:    
Please consider putting on two sets of skis on the TCF (triangle control frame) basebar either inboard or on extensions; or fat wheels. And consider a snout for further anti-whack. It takes very little to break or wrench a neck. Paralysis and death have occurred from the dig-in of the basebar followed by swing-through of pilot base.   JoeF                  Jan. 3, 2011.  

Hang Gliding extreme in Upstate New York
Water for pilot

Alex Ploner asks for a drink in Monte Cucco International Trophy 2009

Sport of kings
King of sports
Developing club water-based landing sites?
Snapshot of a web page on Jan. 6, 2011, and HangGliding.org

Invention of hang gliders has been occurring for centuries. Hang gliders are a class of objects larger than what particular organizations constrain for narrow purposes. Hang a payload tensionally from a wing, so the integrated system glides through a fluid is taken as a hang glider in this article.

Those who have contributed original and novel mechanical solutions gift to all a pool of art that builders may later employ to make hang gliders for enjoyment and commerce. Invention occurs inside and outside formal intellectual-property-protection systems. Finding points for the invention-of-hang-gliders timeline provides a resource useful for appreciation, honoring, learning, and efficient furtherance of novelty. This article will robustly fill out a timeline. It is a joyful thing for people to rediscover what already had been invented; sometimes the rediscover realizes their debt to the common public pool of art, sometimes the rediscover does not reach that level of awareness, and then can be found excited storymaking of "inventor" over things that were already available to those skilled in the attending arts. However, to encourage further invention, crediting pioneering inventing of useful mechanicals, processes, functions, and methods, this article aims expose earliest know mechanical arts. In a different article one may trace those who used inventors' arts to build and use kites and hang gliders. Craft and athleticism are worthy topics for other articles. Herein is a focus on the invention of the mechanicals, processes, functions, and methods. Getting good at using inventions is another important matter due attention in other articles being built.

 Timeline of invention of hang gliders

Hundreds of notes deserve to be placed; have fun placing the art; give citations and illustrations as possible.
  • Pre-500
  • In the first decades of year 1800: Thomas Walker taught well many gliding mechanicals that remained useful up to today.
  • In mid 1800s Wenham embodied a triangle control frame in a high-aspect ratio low-placed prone pilot in a glider. Francis Herbert Wenham.
  • 1887 Many mechanical solutions found in the modern hang glider were recited in the instruction by William Beeson of Dillon, Montana Territory; filed: September 2, 1887. in a published and approved patent. He illustrated, perhaps invented before him, keeled flexible wings tensed about left and right leading edges; he showed that weight-shift controls and aerodynamic controls were at hand. He positionrf the pilot on a trapeze having two down members and basebar. He illustrated adjustment of the hang point for the hung structure. Jose Weiss (British, 1859-1919) seems to have had the Beeson itch; exploring his hundreds of constructions would be revealing.
  • 1890c: Otto Lilienthal found means to have a folding hang glider that could fit through a doorway and be then opened and ready for flying quickly. Otto became an astute aerial hang glider pilot as he used mechanical principles, functions, and methods already invented; he refined the known arts into fine craft and combined careful methodical pilot training. He seems to have been the first to design a combination of artificial hill, integrated hill-top shed, integrated sheded hang glider shop for hang gliding. He also seems to have been the first to serialize and sell production hang gliders. Sport hang gliding was fully in his text. He had monoplane and bipane hang gliders. Many see Otto Lilienthal as the turning poing from pre-modern to modern hang gliding.
  • 1904 in France a simple boomed boned flexible-wing hang glider was demonstrated in front of a crowd. Berck Beach by Jan Lavezzari. Image.
  • Jacob Christian Ellehammer
  • In 1908 a gliding club built and used a cable-stayed triangle control frame with pilot hung from keel holding and pressing the TCF as was repeated by others up to today. The mechanical arts employed were already in the art pool.
  • 1n 1945 the fully limp wing was in focus by Francis M. Rogallo for kites and hang gliders; stiffening such reverted to what was well known in at least the first ten years of 1900s following the 1887 Beeson teachings. The leadership of image and use by Rogallo with NASA used prior mechanical inventions while detail inventions were being produced profusely on top of the at-least-by-1887 William Beeson arts, each of which can be placed in the timeline carefully by editors (detail control systems, special deployment solutions, etc.). Secondary sport users for decades would use the the mechanical inventions of earlier decades.
  • Domina C. Jalbert invented the ram-air double-surfaced airfoil to be a game changer of first level for kiting in all its forms (parachuting, much of hang gliding, paragliding, powered kiting, powerkiting).
  • Spratt
  • 1953 Igor Bensen TCF combined with rotary wing for a rotary-wing hang glider. The TCF was already in the arts; his hanging pilot behind TCF was already in the arts. Rotary wing was already in the arts. But the world-around imaging and use of Igor Bensen penduluming tensionally behind TCF for kiting and gliding went far to instruct the minds of follow-on kiters and builders. (Guess who did rub strongly with the Bensen flow of tech?)
  • FLG : Flatland long gliding hang gliders
  • A subset of FLG are the SoGHGs or "stay-on-ground hang gliders" for introductions and training.

Controversies blossom fun, learning, distinctions

Historical revisionists blossom detail in support of favorite fathers while ignoring or playing down or making up false stories. Yet out of such effort comes enjoyable detail. Distinction practice is invited while flowing critical thinking over the presentation of revisionists. Nationalists dig deep to get favorite sons more-than-sometimes-due credit. We get the delight of all of that energy; we get to practice critical thinking while getting clear on distinctions. Such wonderful play can be part of even further creative actions. 'Let it all fly!'
  • Controversy:
When was the TCF added to the common-art pool for use by those skilled in the art of designing and making hang gliders?
We know that at least by 1908 a cable-stayed TCF with pilot tether-hung behind the TCF was installed in a battened fabric-laddened hang glider as we know so well today (thus a true kite system); but when, perhaps, before that 1908 point does one find the elements of the TCF? Looking at the offerings of Walker, Wenham, Pilcher, Chanute, Beeson, Otto Lilienthal, etc. there are mechanical elements that indicate pertinent matter on this TCF question. Certainly any claim by Bensen or Spratt and hundreds of others following 1908 have not global invention grounds on the matter; and very late comers after 1953 become part of the storytelling space that can itself be fun reading.
  • Controversy:
Boned flexible wing hang glider invention?
Looking before even William Beeson of 1887 published approved patent has one find boned flexible wing hang gliders. Fascinating 1880s public domain flexible-wing glider experiments gave a foundation for builders and athletes to try their wits on flying.

Assistive links

The first Aeronautical Salon
"Double monoplane"
Positive-inflated hang gliders?
What is possible and where are we?   What has been done, tried, and results? What are the theoretical possibles?  Objectives?   Will this direction supply some busable options?   What projects are underway?   Toward such:
  • EMPA
  • http://www.empa.ch/plugin/template/empa/*/82295
  • The Low & Slow-only objective where altitude pressure changes need not be faced; but temperature-pressure changes need to be addressed. Over-pressurization valves?  Manual recharge? Wind-turbine site-recharge of pressure? Leak rates?  Variety of activity targets?  Various airfoils?
  • The soaring objective and pressure-change management
  • http://www.prospective-concepts.ch/html/site_en.htm
  • Tensairity
  • Tactics
  • Hybrids
  • Pere Casellas notes: An inflatable wing using the principle of Tensairity:    "Interesting article from 2007. Probably been discussed before. Written in high level academic format. Shows a striking photograph of a "Swift-like" wing type with inflatable pneumatic wings: The Pneumagic."
            Clip from the Prospective site: "The prototypes PNEUMAGIC I and D-NOSE demonstrate the possibility of
    realizing slender yet strong structures using high-strength fibres and air
    pressure. In terms of capacity, they are somewhere between hang-gliders and

    Aspect ratio and glide ratio: two inseparable terms when it comes to flying
    without engines. Because without long and slender wings - a high aspect
    ratio - no attractive glide ratio - the ratio between gliding and sinking -
    can be obtained. Nature, which created the ever gliding albatross, knows that
    as well as constructers of state-of-the-art synthetic gliders that are able
    to glide for as much as 60 miles, at a height loss of 1 mile.

    Implementing slender profiles as well as a fairly high aspect ratio, using the
    pneumatic construction method, was something that was considered to be almost
    impossible even within the team of PROSPECTIVE CONCEPTS. Advanced textiles
    and coatings will enable the implementation of constructions, which are even
    more delicate than PNEUMAGIC I and D-NOSE. Furthermore, their volume and
    weight can be significantly reduced.

    Our aim is to construct a glider for a single pilot, designed for foot launch and which has a glide ratio of 25 and a weight of 55 lb - the PNEUMAGIC II."

         ~~collaborative contributors so far for this topic: Pere Casellas, Joe Faust, __________

"inflatable wing"  general-study link

Images, general study: inflatable wing

1 Brown, G., Haggard, R., Norton, B., Inflatable structures for deployable wings. Vertigo, Inc. AIAA-2001-2068.

2 Cadogan, D, Smith, T., Lee, R., Scarborough, S., Graziosi, D., “Inflatable and Rigidizable Wing Components for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” AIAA No. AIAA-2003-6630, 44th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Norfolk, VA, April 2003.

3 Simpson, A., Santhanakrishnan, A., Jacob, J., Lumpp, J., Cadogan, D., Mackusick, M., Scarborough, S. ‘Flying on air: UAV flight testing with inflatable wing technology’. AIAA-2004-6570 AIAA 3rd”Unmanned Unlimited” Technical Conference, Workshop and Exhibit, Chicago, Illinois, September 2004.

4 Simpson, A., Jacob, J., Smith, S., “Inflatable and Warpable wings for Meso-scale UAVs,” AIAA 2005-7161,
Infotech@Aerospace, Arlington, Virginia, September 26-29, 2005

5 Cadogan, D.P., Scarborough, S.E., Gleeson, D., Dixit, A.,“Recent Development and Testing of Inflatable Wings,” AIAA-2006-2139, 47th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference and 14th AIAA/ASME/AHS Adaptive Structures Conference, Newport, Rhode Island, May 1-4, 2006

6 Ockels, W.J., “Laddermill, a novel concept to exploit the energy in the airspace”, European Wind Energy Conference, Nice, France, 1-5 March, 1999.

7 Ockels, W.J., “Laddermill-sailing, ship propulsion by wind energy independent from the wind direction”, Journal of the International Shipbuilding Progress, 2007 (submitted for publication).

8 Luchsinger, R.H., Pedretti, A., Pedretti, M., Steingruber, P., ‘The new structural concept Tensairity: Basic principles’, Progress in Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation, A.A. Balkema Publisher , London, 2004.

9 Luchsinger, R.H., Pedretti, A., Steingruber, P. & Pedretti, M., ’Light weigth structures with Tensairity.

10 Luchsinger, R.H., Crettol, R., “Experimental and Numerical study of spindle shaped Tensairity girders,” International journal of space structures, Vol. 21, No. 3, 2006, pp 119-130.

11 Veldman, S.L., Vermeeren, C.A.J.R., Bersee, H.E.N., Bergsma, O.K., Conceptual design of a high altitude kite, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, AIAA-2002-1735.

12 Breukels, J.,”KitEye: work packages 3 to 8,” internal report, faculty of aerospace engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, 2005

Some selected photos:

Consider also all the works at Vertigo, Inc. where some hang glider pioneers have been working.


Paresev 1-C inflatable wing version. The program had many versions, some just Dacron and aluminum-tube framed that spawned standard Rogallo versions.


And Mars aims may inform hang gliding:

  • Flying on Air: The Science of Inflatable Wings        30 minutes video
  • Big Blue Project, U. of Kentucky and more.
  • Bumpy airfoil at some Re is good....
  • Notice big distinction: Deflatable for re-deployment versus inflatable rigidizable non-deflatable.
  • Student competitions
Age of Algorithmic Hang Gliding ? 
GFK (glass fiber synthetics)
CFK (carbon fiber synthetics)
BFK (boron fiber synthetics)
SFK (aramide fiber synthetics)
Mike Dorn:             Chuck Gardner, Wayne Flaaten, and Joe Faust say hi, Mike

hang glider "Hoku Lele" (Shooting Star)

Artificial thermal for hang gliders? Why Design Now?: Hope Solar Tower

7- by 10-Foot Tunnels Branch
Langley Research Center
Langley Station
Hampton, Virginia
October4, 1962

Mr. Barry Hill Palmer
1440 Las Salinas Way
Sacramento, California

Dear Mr. Palmer:

     A copy of your very interesting letter of September 17, 1962, to
Mr. Paul Bikle was forwarded to me. If we had "a convenient hill" here
in Tidewater Virginia I would probably have made a paraglider somewhat like
yours many years ago, as I have felt since 1945 that gliding from hill tops
with a simple, inexpensive glider would be great sport and could become a
very popular one.

     You may find the enclosed reports interesting. Our studies here
are continuing, including investigations of many control systems in addition
to the center of gravity movement used on the paraglider at Edwards. The
low cost and simplicity of flexible-wing aircraft, however, provides an
opportunity for private individuals like you to participate and make
valuable contributions. Several have already done so. We will be interested
in hearing further of your progress.


                 Francis M. Rogallo

  1.  Reports



The contents of the letter are released to LIFT, Hang Glider Magazine, and Hang Glider History by Barry Hill Palmer.  The shown is not a photograph of the original. Copies of the original may be obtained from NASA or Internet images as well as from OZ and the Hang Gliding Museum. Barry Hill Palmer wanted a text-searchable version.  The contents of Barry's letter to Paul Bikle are in the archives of Langley Research Center with Barry's original videos and slides and letter that he sent to NASA.


62 MB file  for plans
by Jack Lambie

A thoughtful viewer of my Otto Lilienthal Universal Hang Glider
Championships, May 23, 1971 YouTube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-XC0dxerYs  has provided a copy of
his Hang Loose plans:

Arleigh Movitz

Best regards,
Larry Dighera