Ultralight Products of California and Utah


Home (contents) Hang glider manufacturers Ultralight Products of California and Utah

Ultralight Products of California and Utah

Remember we are talking about the whole Hippie culture, Hollywood empire, Underground Surfer Counter-culture & the US Space Race Military Complex all rolled into one dot on the globe of earth…

— Neil Larson (*)

This related topics menu links to material in the main hang gliding pages. The links here are in chronological order.

Roy Haggard flares the prototype Dragonfly. Photo by W.A. Allen.
Roy Haggard flares the prototype Dragonfly. Photo by W.A. Allen. (No larger image available.)

SBD5s at the Douglas factory in El Segundo
SBD5s at the Douglas factory in El Segundo

Ultralight Products was not the first aircraft manufacturer in El Segundo, an industrial area bordering Los Angeles International Airport. More than thirty years before, Douglas SBDs were built there and, in 1942, inflicted what military historian John Keegan described as “the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.”

Coincidentally, in late 1968, newly graduated aerospace engineer Michael A. Markowski worked at Douglas in California — presumably at El Segundo — for a few months. By 1974 he had moved back home to Massachusetts, taken up hang gliding, and designed and built his own wings. See Scientific American hang glider.

Related

Birdman and Solar Wings of Wiltshire, England

Chuck’s Glider Supplies of Ohio

External links

My Other Ride Is a Spaceship on Air&Space, featuring the 1959 Corvette Stingray designed by Pete Brock, including a photo of Alan Shepard, America’s first man in space, sitting in one. The glider (sailplane) with a small crowd in front of the two tallest trees in the background is thought to be a homebuilt Cherokee II that was landed there by one of two glider pilots who worked at the Tech Center. (Source: Air & Space, August 2019)

Photo by Don Liddard of several gliders in the the landing field at the British championship competition at Mere, Wiltshire, in August 1975, in which you can compare the shape of the Wasp Nova with that of the UP Dragonfly

Photo by Roger Middleton of Ken Messenger of Birdman flying an Ultralight Products Dragonfly at Mere, Wiltshire, England, in August 1975

UP is where it’s at, 1/24th scale scratch built standard Rogallo hang gliders, including a Brock 82, in Brave Guys and Beautiful Dolls

Wind Drifter, Richard Cobb’s web site. For his comprehensive Ultralight Products Mosquito page, click the Mosquito link in the second paragraph under About Wind Drifter.

Big Blue Sky video

Theses are links to Big Blue Sky — The history of modern hang gliding – the first extreme sport! 2008 documentary by Bill Liscomb on YouTube:

Pete Brock describes how he started: Big Blue Sky starting at 25 minutes 10 seconds

Roy Haggard: Big Blue Sky starting at 43 minutes 13 seconds, narrated by Bill Liscomb, Pete Brock, and Tom Price

Kössen, Austria, 1976 video

These links are to digitized film on YouTube by Roman Camps taken at the second world championship, Kössen, Austria, in 1976. The film, uploaded in three parts, has deteriorated over the years, unfortunately.

Dragonfly mark 2 launching: 1976 Kössen 1 de 3 15 min starting at 6 minutes 27 seconds (slow motion)

Several UP gliders, including at least one Spyder I think, launching: 1976 Kössen 1 de 3 15 min starting at 12 minutes 19 seconds

UP glider, another Spyder I think, overhead, subsequently joined by one with a lady-face painted sail: 1976 Kössen 1 de 3 15 min starting at 13 minutes 59 seconds

Lady-face painted sail (continuation on second video segment) final approach, followed by another UP wing (red and black with a white disc outboard each side) launching and overhead the LZ, then what looks to me like a Dragonfly mark 3 (blue and yellow with windows and pre-WW2 U.S. stars): 1976 Kössen 2 de 3 15 min starting at the beginning

Robert E. Lorey video

1974 Hang Gliding Frankfort Michigan, a well preserved 16 millimetre film by Robert E. Lorey at a hang gliding competition held at the Elberta dunes on June 29th to July 6th, 1974. Digitized and available in four parts on YouTube:

Hall Brock launching in part 2 starting at 9 minutes 1 second

Hall landing on the beach in part 3 starting at 4 minutes 57 seconds

John Elwell video

Pete Brock, of race car design and driving fame, made many excellent flights and his son Hall, age ten, showed the same enthusiasm with his small Rogallo. His plane showed some of the problems of getting enough lift with a small area wing. In the light winds he often had a hard time running up enough speed to glide cleanly and made more than one trip from less than the bottom of the hill.

— Jack Lambie, Ground Skimmer, June 1973

Soaring and Gliding Festivals 1973-1974, a digitized ‘Super 8’ (8 millimetre) film on YouTube by John Elwell. Like the Bob Lorey documentary, it was filmed at the Elberta dunes, Michigan:

Hall Brock gets it wrong in what looks like a nil-wind launch, then gets it right (just) starting at 32 minutes 39 seconds. His glider there is blue or purple with white trailing edge panels, red control frame tubing, and plumbing supplies control frame corner brackets as used by Eipper (before Brock’s purpose-made fittings). Hall is wearing different gear from his appearance the next sequence, so I assume it was in July 1973 when he was 10 years old. A photo of Hall launching two days earlier in Ground Skimmer, July 1973, appears to be of the same glider. See also Flying with seagulls in the Torrance Beach page of this site for a screenshot of Hall Brock readying to launch in this glider in 1973. That is followed (in the John Elwell film) by Pete and Hall Brock manhandling Hall’s yellow/green and blue glider up the dune and Hall flying it down to land on the target. The latter is the June-July 1974 Elberta Dune competition.

Hall Brock with the blue (or purple) and white glider on the beach, starting at 10 minutes 25 seconds, in real time likely following the first scene in the preceding link (July 1973)

Other video

Hall Brock, age 12, at Escape Country, California, April 12th, 1975
Hall Brock, age 12, at Escape Country, California, April 12th, 1975 (screenshot, no larger image available)

Hall Brock: World Hang Gliding Championships (1975) at Escape Country, California, April 12, 1975 — video on YouTube starting at 1 minute 8 seconds. A very short clip of the 12-year-old Hall launching.

Hall Brock (more): Hang Gliding Worlds 1975 Escape Country California video on cdnskydog’s YouTube channel starting at 2 minutes 49 seconds for Hall launching, flying, and landing. Although the on-screen text states that he was nine years old, my understanding is that was when he started hang gliding. At this time he was 12 years old.

Mike Johnson Risks His Life: Video uploaded to YouTube in 2010 of a modern hang glider pilot getting to grips with a 1973 Brock standard Rogallo. It starts with still frames. Skip to 55 seconds for the action. (In my opinion, this illustrates the problems of the standard Rogallo.)

Pete Brock teaches Francis Rogallo to fly the invention that bears his name at Torrance beach in the early 1970s: Playground in the Sky, 1977, by Carl Boenish on YouTube (low resolution) starting at 40 minutes 29 seconds

Peter Brock’s Hang Glider Transporter VW Bus – Jay Leno’s Garage video on YouTube

Roy Haggard lands his Dragonfly for third place at the first official world championship, at Kössen, Austria, in 1976 (brief clip): RR7513B AUSTRIA WORLD HANG-GLIDING CHAMPIONSHIP digitized film by AP Archive onYouTube starting at 15 minutes 13 seconds

Reference

Neil Larson in U.S. Hawks

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s