Hang gliding 2015 to 2019
This page continues from Hang gliding 1996 to 2014.
The design of rigid hang gliders, which use aerodynamic controls (ailerons or spoilers) for roll control rather than weight shift, continued to advance. Compare the ATOS with the Apex, a similar rigid hang glider more than 20 years earlier, in Hang gliding 1994 and 1995.
However, many pilots prefer the simplicity of the flex-wing.
This is not as dire as it looks. He made a good landing. The Sport 2 is similar to the U-2, but it is lighter to carry, quicker to rig, and has easier handling characteristics. However, its glide angle and sink rate when flying fast are not as good.
This photo of Grant Crossingham made the cover of the November/December 2017 Hang Gliding & Paragliding.
Notice the shadow of the camera and its stalk on the under-surface of the sail.
The Avian Rio 2 is a British-made glider of light weight and it combines good performance with nimble handling. Its pedigree goes back to the Aerial Arts Clubman, a beginner glider of the early 1980s made in Sussex. (See the related topics menu Southdown Sailwings, Vulturelite, and Aerial Arts of Sussex, England.) Avian hang gliders took over its production and a they developed a more modern and refined design, the Elan. They then created a range of flex-wing hang gliders that catered for beginners and experts. Avian is, as of this writing in 2020, the only hang glider manufacturer in Britain. During the coronavirus emergency of 2020, Avian switched production from hang gliders to protective wear for health service personnel.
The Icaro (Italy) Laminar is typical of high-performance flex-wing hang gliders in its absence of a king post and top rigging. Negative loads are borne by an extra-strong cross-tube assembly, usually made of carbon fiber.
Here, Rob, Voytek, and Rob discuss their flights. This photo has a Royal Navy connection in that, in addition to Ringstead facing the old navy helicopter base on Portland, which closed some years ago, Rob Dowdell and Rob Schwab are former navy pilots, Lynx helicopter and Sea Harrier, respectively.
That is the holiday town of Weymouth, Dorset, across the bay.
The Lightspeed has long been one of the highest-performing flex-wing hang gliders. It is made by Moyes (Australia); one of the world’s two longest established hang glider manufacturers.
Like hang glider pilots just about everywhere, in England we struggle endlessly with land-owners, farmers, local governments, and bodies such as the National Trust to retain access to launching and landing areas.
Rob was at this time chief pilot for Virgin Airways and Tony a train driver.
This topic continues in Hang gliding 2020 onward.
Balloon Drop video on YouTube of Rob Schawb flying the Royal Navy balloon, from which Rob Quick was dropped in a hang glider and, for good measure, parachutist Eddie Jones jumps from the basket, all supervised by safety director Rob Dowdell.