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TWO Unpowered Manned PARAGLIDERS
By Garrison P. Layton,
Jr., and Milton 0. Thompson
Flight Research Center
, Calif.



Editorial notice about the TN D-1826.   Some of the 33 pages are  large files with with slow downloads for many people.. We have separated the pages for the convenience of easier online reading and studying. Commentary on each page is invited; there will be things to study as regards hang glider history on each page.    The full file will also be available here in one single large 15 MB download. We are aiming to get a lower-byte version of the whole file. Meanwhile we have the text pages in low-byte PDF format.

[These editorial notes are expected to be modified as others chime in with data and notes ==> EnterData+)

"Paraglider" does not mean what that word means in 2007. Today "paraglider" is heavily used to recall bag hang gliders that use generally fully flexible Jalbert parafoil ram-air inflation wings or Rogallo parawings or other governable parachute-like devices without stiffening.  In 1960-1965 the terms of "parawing" and "paraglider" got confused by some writers. For the purposes of NASA-TN-D-1826 "paraglider" represents a heavily payloaded hang glider where many versions were made, tested, and flown. Payload was one of the stark foci of the overall program of the Paraglider Research Vehicle Program (Paresev). The other foci was pilot-flying experience. Dr. Francis Rogallo for over a decade had already indicated that his deep Rogallo wing could be embodied in various ways and with various stiffenings for use as a sport hang glider, but such focus was not the immediate concern of the Paul Bikle and his paraglider chief designer Charles Richard; their purpose was to get the guys flying in something close to what had been already being wind-tunnel and model tested from 1958 to 1961 (and beyond): versions of wings that embodied the near-ethereal Rogallo wing.  The Paresev was one of several branches of research application involving the underlying Rogallo wing (consider also the Fleep and various Ryan vehicles).

The Paresev construction facts were rapidly unfolding in December 1961 and January 1962. It is key to know the versions and even changes within versions of the framed wing and also the fuselage (hung seating and control parts and the tensional structure to hang the hung pilots). And it is key to hang gliding history to note the decisions concerning the payload intentions of the immediate versions. They were aware of foot-launching and foot-landing formats in hang gliders, but the drive to have a national hang glider that would be wheel-landing expensive spacecraft and astronauts meant that very large re-entry vehicles were being contemplated.

The first order of business was to get some pilots some experience in flying the Rogallo hang glider or "paraglider" at some reasonable payload burden; but even with that, a first low-mass fuselage version was made; but quickly the mass of the hung fuselage became something that could not be foot-launched while the framed wing remained foot-launchable. Note that Rogallo hang gliding is being pioneered in the Paresev program, yet they were not first to hang from a stiffened Rogallo wing; it is to an ordinary citizen Barry Palmer who beat the Paresev program in carrying out foot-launch and foot-landing of a stiffened Rogallo wing; Barry Palmer did his many versions in 1960-1962; Barry explored four control situations including the U and the isosceles triangle control frame (in two different manners, one with him behind the control frame and one with him in front of the triangle control frame; his story is separate).   The first Paresev of low-mass was clumsily foot-launchable, just to get the technical matter in the door of foot-launch ability, but the payload grew to be too much for foot-launching; not for a moment did the program build for foot-launching, yet the resultant framed wing was of a size and form and construction that would set the appearance for Standard Rogallo hang gliders for two decades following, allowing Barry Palmer's priority to have him be first member of that class of hang gliders and the Paresev 1B framed wing be the firming model or template.  The Paresev program explored several control arrangements, all of which fundamentally shifted the mass of the pilot and his seat structures relative to the center of lift of the above framed wing.  Both Palmer and Paresev utilized the inventions of George Spratt involving control wing with hung pendulumed pilot. A national space-professional program stayed away from using the word "hang" or "hung" and opted for "suspended" where the pilots were strapped to a tensionally hung or "suspended"  arrangement from an upper hang  or "suspension" point from the keel of the stiffened Rogallo-winged wing.  For those who would talk and write about the wing, an abbreviated language came into vogue where the wing would simply be called a Rogallo wing or even missing target with "parawing" (which was supposed to be reserved for the fully flexible non-hard-boned versions of wings that were also embodying the deeper Rogallo wing. So, "paraglider wing" or just "paraglider" got used; today we have separated terms and would called the Paresev 1B a Rogallo hang glider unpowered hybrid with too much payload and three wheels to protect astronauts and intended spacecraft; and then we have the recent use of "paraglider" for gliding parachutes of the Barish or Rogallo or Jalbert types where stiffening is generally without boned frames (though hybrids have and yet will be more explored).

Challenge of dates and photograph dates. In research we have several challenges. Actual event dates can differ from photograph opportunity dates; these can differ from the date that a paper photograph was printed in a darkroom and submitted for publication; the date of entry of an image into a system of documentation can be confused with actual event or photo-opportunity dates. Sorting things out is a challenge by those interested.  ==> EnterData+