Hang gliding 2015 to 2019


Home (contents) Chronology Hang gliding 2015 to 2019

Hang gliding 2015 to 2019

This page continues from Hang gliding 1996 to 2014.

ATOS

Richard's ATOS aloft
Richard Mosley in an AIR ATOS

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.

Steve Whitfield launches from Monk's Down in October 2016
Steve Whitfield launches from Monk’s Down in October 2016
Steve Whitfield flying with soaring birds at Monk's Down
Steve W again

U2

However, many pilots prefer the simplicity of the flex-wing.

Wills Wing U-2 posing at Monk's Down
Wills Wing U-2 posing at Monk’s Down, north Dorset, England
In-flight hang glider photo
U-2 at Monk’s Down, north Dorset, in June 2015

WW 175 S2 turning final  at Monk's Down
Wills Wing 175 Sport 2 turning final at Monk’s Down

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.

Everard at Bell Hill 2016-07-05
Circling in a thermal at Bell Hill, north Dorset, in July 2016

British champion Grant Crossingham flying a Wills Wing 145 U-2 at Ringstead in Dorset, England
British champion Grant Crossingham trying out a U-2 in August, 2016

This photo of Grant Crossingham made the cover of the November/December 2017 Hang Gliding & Paragliding.

2017 hang gliding calendar cover photo by Everard Cunion
2017 hang gliding calendar cover photo over north Dorset in the summer of 2016

Hang gliding at Ringstead
Over the beach at Ringstead, Dorset, in August 2017

Notice the shadow of the camera and its stalk on the under-surface of the sail.

Hang glider and paraglider in flight at Ringstead
In-formation superhighway, September 2017

Rio 2

Avian Rio 2 hang glider  in flight
Simon Murphy in his Avian Rio 2

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.

Laminar

Hang glider struggling to find lift at Ringstead in Dorset, England
Voytek struggling to find lift in his Icaro Laminar at Ringstead on the coast of Dorset, England, in 2018

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.

Voytek flying an Icaro Laminar in July 2018
Voytek struggling for height
Voytek flying an Icaro Laminar in July 2018
Voytek in the Laminar

Rob Dowdell, Voytek from Russia, and Rob Schwab discuss their hang glider flights in Julky 2018
Détente at Ringstead

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.

Lightspeed

Rob Schwab flying a hang glider at Ringstead in July 2018
Rob Schwab seconds after launching

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.

Rob and Rob carrying a hang glider to the launch area in July 2018
Rob and Rob carrying a hang glider to the launch area
Rob assists Tony in getting his wing through the gate at Ringstead
Rob assists Tony in getting his wing through the gate at Ringstead

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.

External link

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.