For posting anywhere:    The Gold Circle of Flex-Wing Hang Glider world     |    Most recent edit: Friday April 25, 2014

NEWS RELEASE    ... a dynamic document with growing awardee inclusion:
Most recent edit: Friday April 25, 2014      Nominations from the world are invited; give what references you might have.

Flex-Wing Hang Glider
Gold Air Award

         The World Hang Gliding Association has awarded,
roughly time ordered
(more work needed to be well-ordered):
(Flexible-wing tether-coupled wing sets in fluids)   

0. Original kite designers, makers, and pilots unknown
1.   People of Malaysia
People of Japan on island of Shikoku for Tosa Dako kite
People of ancient China
Benjamin Franklin
Alexander Wilson and Thomas Melvill

Karl Friedrich-Meerwein
Charles Frédéric-Meerwein
Sir George Cayley
George Pocock
Thomas Walker
Edward I. Hughes
Aaron J. Whitcomb
Otto Lilienthal and Gustave Lilienthal
Percy Sinclair Pilcher
E. D. Archibald
William Eddy

Samuel Franklin Cody

Joseph Stumpp
B. F. S. Baden-Powell
William Beeson

C. F. Marvin

Gilbert Totten Woglom
Gustave Whitehead
Jacob Christian Hansen Ellehammer
Frank Ernest Jackson
Ferdinand Lischtiak
Richard Steiff
 W. Simon
1908 cable-stayed triangle control frame or bar as we know it today. (1908) (A-frame)
Gustav Voigt
Dorsette A. Davison
George D. Wanner
Ulysses Grant Lee
William Austin Darrah

Reinhold Platz

Willy Ley

Francis M. Rogallo and Gertrude Sudgen Rogallo
Bobby Rogallo
Bunny Rogallo
Carol Rogallo
Fran Rogallo

Robert F. Bach
William M. Allison
Wilbur E. Green
Raymond Cristiansen

Ken Tibado
NASA teams

Dick Cheney
(1958) ... Richard W. Cheney
John Worth
Tony Prentice
Albert W. Gould

Daniel C. Kurkjian
Robert William Fralich
Robert E. Shanks
James L. Hassell
John P. Campbell
John W. Paulson
William C. Sleeman Jr.

Paul Bikle
Milton Orville Thompson
  Robert Apgar Champine
  Neil Armstrong
  Bruce A. Peterson
  Charles Hetzel
  Maj. Emil “Jack” Kluever
  Donald K. "Deke" Slayton
  Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom
Theodore Hulsizer

Delwin R. Croom
B. Ann Bell
H. G. Hatch
W. A. McGowan
Jim A. Penland
Harris L. Woods
John Blazek (also found as Blazeck)
Russell Hawkes
Edward C. Polhamus

Charles E. Libbey
Joseph L. Johnson  (see of 1962 TN D-1255)

Harvey A. Sellers
Alan F. Cummings

George M. Ware
Rodger L. Naeseth
Paul G. Fournier
J. H. Burich
Robert H. Moore,
David L. Eichblatt
Theodore F. Hughes

W. C. Buhler
E. M. Linhart

Domina C. Jalbert
Robert T. Taylor

                      John G. Lowry
(misspell found in Lowery)
Donald  E. Hewes
David T. Barish
G. R. Cota
Ryan Aeronautical Co.: "Ryan"
Robert C. Jackson, president of Ryan Aeronautical
Art Akers, project coordinator
Herbert D. Krediet, flight test engineer
Oliver C. Peterson, , mechanic
Marvin Shook, mechanic
Vernon Paderewski, mechanic
Ray Palmer, mechanic
M. M. McDaniel, senior project engineer, Flex Wing programs
Major P. X. Kelley, Project Officer for the Marine Corps
Lou Everett
Orville J. Saholt

Richard Francis

J. S. Hamilton
A. Scott Crossfield

Peter F. Girard
Cecil E. Craigo

William L. Effinger, Jr.
Henry Struck
A. C. Gilbert

Harry Edwin Rollins
Daniel C. Kurkjian
John Dale Sutliff
Harry A. James
Leo J. Hand
Russell S. Hall
Victor Horton
Charles Richards
Barry Hill Palmer
Thomas H. Purcell, Jr.
James Hobson
Mike Burns
Dornier Systems team members
Richard Swinbourne
Richard Miller

Robert Trampenau
Robert Ingraham (communications)
Klaus Hill
C. H. Cleveland
John Dickenson and Amy Dickenson
(ski-kiting leadership)
Harvey A. Sellers, Jr

Ron Nickel
Alfred E. Hartig
Dan Poynter

Bill Bennett
Bill Moyes
Mike Koman
Mike Riggs
Joe Faust
William "Bill" Liscomb
Chuck Slusarczyk
Michael A. Markowski

Michael D. Falarski,
Kenneth W. Mort
W. M. Gran
J. H. Moeller
L. T. Parson
Harry L. Morgan, Jr.
Blair B. Gloss
Charles F. Bradshaw
G. Kimball Miller, Jr.
A. L. Lee
J. Nielson
S. B. Spangler
Austin D. McHatton
Paul M . Kenner
Frederic T. Churchill
Ralph B. Holt
William J Everett Jr
Gordon C. Blanchard
Taras Kiceniuk, Jr.

Dave Kilbourne

Alfio Caronti

Gary Osoba

Richard Eipper
Steve Wilson
Eddie Paul
Wills Brothers
Peter Brock
Roy Haggard
David Cronk
Willis R. Battles

David E. Moomaw

Geoff McBroom
Gerry Breen

Helen Bushell
Robert Gilbert Wheeler
Paul Richard Treleaven
Eric Stephen Treleaven
Gary John Lyons
John Harris
(KHK and Rogallo Foundation)
Len Gabriels

Richard Boone

Everard Cunion
Miles Handley
Bob Rouse
Dan Leigh
Stephen Lennox Hague "Steve"
Drew Wilfrid Jones
Raymond Merry
Zimmer Brothers
Stephen C. Murray
Thomas C. Searle

Valerie Govig (communications)
Joe Greblo (leadership)
Pere Casellas  (open source)
Graeme Henderson
(JD focus; catalyst for improving merit systems; seeding historical error)

Ken de Russy (collector)
Steve Seibel (Flight analysis)
Hadzicki Brothers (Revolution)
Dave Culp  (OutLeader)
Dave Santos
(kite polymath)
Greg Porter 
(payload safety)

? send data and references on any awardees or potential awardees.

Strangely, I have a sense of relief about the WHGA decision and action. Finally all of the participants can sit back and enjoy the role they each have. played. What a fantastic outcome when you look at the sport in 2013. But, remember, John Dickenson directed his solicitor to act against Aerostructures and Bill McLaughlan (the first owner) claiming theft of patent rights. That was 1964. So for me it has gone on for a long time.       ~Mike Burns

[[ED: spell: no patent rights. Unexamined claims in a provisional does not give any "patent" rights. The action was ineffective and was stopped. But now this Award and the GH Test is an action to clear the air and keep merits for the whole of daring doers that preclude any global mechanical novelty for JD, albeit happy local and personal novelty, the joyful essence of much what most of the awardees experienced. The wing standard to hang gliders was in public domain even before JD started his tinkering.  John Worth fully used the public domain arts at many scales in prior years. James Hobson was aired in large audiences in 1962 for Rogallo Wing Hang Glider. In 1908 W. Simon showed triangle control frame cable-stayed for stiffened flex-wing hang glider. The aviation world is now having to wrestle with the GH-pushed error about mechanical invention; the error has now been pushed into about ten published certificates or awards, the result of pushing untenables. Complacency is letting the error be sticky; careful study may free one into a robust rich history.]]

Differently, the WHGA has this Flex-Wing Hang Glider Gold Air Award that will be open to historical findings about the flex-wing hang glider, perhaps battened. Enjoy the history of each awardee's personal story and adventure. See the emptiness of the hoax, but see the joy of making and flying. The FAI, GH, and JD should know that they will probably be forgiven by the hang gliding community for the rash unsound flattening of the otherwise rich history of the public-domain flex-wing hang glider arts, when they recant and rewrite their untenable texts for some fresh version with open and fair apologies. The great sport of hang gliding has a big joyous heart and it seems to recognize how huge is the excitement that many have about hang gliding; when someone gets so excited that they wish to claim what belongs to another, then such matter will be brought to light by those who care about the face of hang gliding; there is no need to flatten a giant great scene into a one-point untenable. 

Let us know if the WHGA is to add other names to the flex-wing flow fit for the 
Flex-Wing Hang Glider Gold Air Award

Technical note: The branch of hang gliding that has focus on highly taut fabric surfaces do form cause for a different category for awards other than this above award from WHGA.   Specific flexible-sailed hang glider designing is not a done deal; innovations continue; and leaders in such will be considered for the Flex-Wing Hang Glider Gold Air Award. We thank all those who have been working diligently on matters of hang glider history.

     1908 cable-stayed triangle control frame or bar as we know it today.  Tony Prentice diverged from the STANDARD ROGALLOS as did very many other designers to get safer and higher performing and just more fun hang gliders.

hang glider JamesHobsonSept1962EAASportAviation.jpt.JPG

On May 20, 2013, John Worth became an awardee in the World Hang Gliding Association's Flex-Wing Hang Glider Gold Air Award, shared with others who contributed to the mid-1900s renaissance in hang gliding. John presented refreshingly the public-domain A-frame for control of the position of hung payloads combined with four-boom flex-wing within the Rogallo-NASA-Ryan environment.
Most people do not recognize "back side of the power curve". if you fly behind the backside of the power curve you are you a parachutist or in a standard aircraft of normal configuration you are well stalled. The aircraft shown was flown behind the power curve, at first, and it would be considered a kite. However, I never considered it as flight until I ran in essentially-no-wind conditions thru the backside to gain true flight. I was never towed, though I attempted to fly a normal configuration hang glider, so it was well in my mind.  Dickenson developed the configuration thru towed flight. The advantages of towed flight were graphic when I went to powered flight, although propulsion was via installed engine, not a tow. Dickenson actually flew when I was in the development of the powered craft some 4 years later.  ~Barry Hill Palmer     ~May 20, 2013  [[Barry Hill Palmer  put a line of credit for his doings to an encounter with either Charles Richards or someone working with Richards.  ED.]]   Barry noted further today:  "My main accomplishment is going thru the backside of the power curve, just like a large bird, which is unusual even today."  [[Others have highly valued his having first built and tried a non-flex-wing hang glider and then built seven or eight versions of the four-boom flex-wing hang glider.]]    He makes a technical note about one of several schemes constructed that forms a special simplicity:  "the original attempt was to eliminate the need for a kingpost by using a rigid spreader that folded in the middle.  Note that I load the central boom two places, which avoids fore and aft wires."   1962.  He went on to be an early private citizen to have an ultralight powered flex-wing using the four-boom hang glider wing foundations; he registered such craft with the F.A.A.  Trike: 1967
Completed in March of 1967. This is possibly the earliest example of a trike." ~BHP   Notice that BHP had completely developed hang gliders; each was completely developed; and then he decided to completely develop another version; he was done with one version and went on to the next.
James Hobson had a completely developed hang glider in 1962 also; he shared his project in Sport Aviation magazine to the huge Experimental Aircraft audience. Then in 1962 he showed is flex-wing hang glider on national television in the Lawrence Welk Show. An official memorial  in 2013 in California will be held for him on Otto Lilienthal's birthday.  Jim passed on April 26, 2013. He was director-produced for the Lawrence Welk Shows. Jim used the A-frame also.
Many people from many countries completed and flew their flex-wing hang gliders.
In 1960-62 John Worth flew many sizes of the flex-wing hang glider with many different payloads. He had the super simple A-frame from the public-domain arts (e.g. in hang gliding in first decade of 1900s). Rogallo would visit John Worth on the flying field. Photo in collection above. His flying was mostly by passive means a RC means; his craft gave a simple template for the wing that would be found throughout hang gliding for ten-plus years, including the A-frame for controlling position of the payloads of human or not.


Richard "Dick" Swinbourne (R.I.P., d: 55 years old)
Pierre Aubert  First Flights in the Winged Tricycle
Posted by Amy Teitel 3:10 PM on Mar 07, 2012 
Gottlob Espenlaub hangglider.jpg (file)  circa 1922
  • Saturn I Booster Recovery System Test 1961 NASA b&w 9min

Our local crafting is often a real novel thing for oneself. Such may be a very exciting time. The solving of challenges is filled with our personal creativity; we may often feel we are inventing, and indeed we are, but of a local personal sort which is very important!   Rashly publicly stating that one is THE global mechanical inventor of such or so will often bite sour and cost culture energy to combat involved unearned badge; it is recommended to do robust research before making rash global claims.    

Various names for the mechanical family: Flexible wings, steerable parachutes, paragliders, canopy hang gliders, stiffened canopy glider, gliding kite systems, Rogallo wings, parawings, para-wings, gliding canopies, gliding parachutes, parachutes, Lee & Darrah evolutes, Rogallo evolutes, Barish evolutes, Jalbert evolutes, high-L/D parachutes, kite-framed hang gliders, Prentice wings, Worth Wings, Paresev wings, recovery wings, Lavezzari wings, limp Rogallo wings, stiffened Rogallo wings, etc.  ... many more.
Did someone in 1962 build and show a "Rogallo Hang Glider" to two significant large viewing audiences, both of which had international factions?

Answer: Yes. More than one person. But James Hobson suffices. Experimental Aircraft Association's magazine Sport Aviation had some non-USA readership.  Lawrence Welk Show ... national USA television popular show had some non-USA viewers. Editor of Sport Aviation wrote without a pause: "Rogallo Wing Hang Glider" in featuring Jim Hobson's foot-launch hang glider that had triangle control frame.

Positive players, but off target:
The FAI FAIL 2008 Show
Attn: President of FAI. 

Flex-Wing Hang Glider  Gold Air Award

Paraglider flowering from Rogallo's work with NASA
Figure 32.
 The proposed sequence of events in deploying the paraglider to land the Gemini spacecraft. (McDonnell, "Project Gemini Familiarization Manual: Manned Spacecraft Rendezvous Configuration," SEDR 300, June 1, 1962, p. 12-8.)