Kitty Hawk Kites


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Kitty Hawk Kites

Most of the images on this page are my artistic derivations of contemporary photos. Others are largely unedited photos by Hugh Morton. See Copyright of early hang gliding photos.

John Harris readying for the first ever hang glider flight from Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, on July 13th, 1974
John Harris in the Hugh Morton Photographs and Films #P0081, copyright © 1974, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.

John Harris of Kitty Hawk Kites made the first ever hang glider flight from Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, on July 13th, 1974.

Art based on a photo of Kitty Hawk Kites' premises in its early days
Kitty Hawk Kites’ premises in its early days (no larger image available)
Kitty Hawk Kites, North Carolina, in about 1974
Kitty Hawk Kites, North Carolina, in about 1974

Francis Rogallo at Jockey's Ridge State Park in about 1975
Francis Rogallo at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in about 1975, in the Hugh Morton Photographs and Films #P0081, copyright © North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library

NASA engineer F.M. Rogallo gave his name to the technology, although others played greater parts in its development. (See Flex-wings in Earliest hang gliders.) Pete Brock taught Rogallo fly a a Rogallo wing in about 1973 at Torrance Beach, California (see Brock teaches Rogallo to fly in Torrance Beach) but Jockey’s Ridge was Rogallo’s ‘home site.’

Jockey's Ridge State Park in about 1975
Jockey’s Ridge State Park in about 1975, in the Hugh Morton Photographs and Films #P0081, copyright © North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library
Hang glider launching at Jockey's Ridge State Park in about 1975
Hang glider launching at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in about 1975, in the Hugh Morton Photographs and Films #P0081, copyright © North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library

See also Hugh Morton’s photos (related topics menu).


Art based on a phot of new KHK building at Jockey's Ridge in early 1980
New KHK building at Jockey’s Ridge in early 1980
Wills Wing seminar at KHK in 1981
Wills Wing seminar at KHK in 1981 (no larger image available)

Art based on a photo of F.M. Rogallo trying the Flight Dynamics hang glider simulator at Kitty Hawk Kites of North Carolina in late 1990 or early 1991
F.M. Rogallo trying the Flight Dynamics hang glider simulator at Kitty Hawk Kites in 1990 (no larger image available)

See Training aids.

Kitty Hawk Kites premises in 1996
KHK newer premises in 1996
Pilot training in North Carolina. Photo by John E.
Pilot training in North Carolina in about 2009. Photo by John Eager.

External links

Hang Gliding at Jockey’s Ridge, Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School — a video by Cathy Anderson on YouTube that imparts a thoroughly modern impression of the pilot training experience

Its a Kind of Magic by Andy Torrington, about Kitty Hawk Kites and the history of hang gliding at Jockey’s Ridge, in Hang Gliding & Paragliding, August 2011

Kitty Hawk Kites

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