Learn to Hang Glide: Information, Locations, Discussions, Equipment, Pictures & More
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Hang gliding is the sport of piloting an aircraft called a hang glider. The hang glider can also be referred to as a Delta Plane. Modern hang gliders provide the ability to stay airborne for hours and travel hundreds of miles. Participation in hang gliding mostly takes place by launching the glider from a launch point on a mountain or hill. In areas with flat terrain, a technique called “Aerotowing” is used to get the glider in the air. An aero-tow is system designed to tow you while in your glider airborne by using a rolling cart. The specially designed rolling cart is called an Aerotug.
The pilot uses a body harness to strap into a light-weight unmotorized glider that is foot-launched from a mountain, hill, or tall structure. Another launch option is using a tow cable attached to an airplane or boat to fly to the desired altitude at which the hang glider’s pilot will detach and begin their flight.
Hang gliding is generally viewed as an unsafe sport but has increased in safety over the years. Modern gliders are much safer than earlier models. Even experienced pilots have had problems with strong wind and thermal currents. Pilot training programs are bringing more awareness to the sport and decreasing the accident rate.
Most modern gliders have an aluminum alloy frame with a fabric wing. Early designs were not safe and accidents were very common. Manufacturers have learned from the previous models and along with modern technology they’ve increased the performance of the glider. The glide ratio has improved which allows gliders to fly for extended time periods. Instruments used during flight include a variometer, GPS, and radio. Safety equipment used include a helmet, backup parachute (for both the pilot and the glider), first-aid, ropes, and a knife. For a high altitude flights, oxygen tanks are needed.
Equipment for Hang Gliding
Hang Gliding – Airtime
Hang Gliding Launch from Makapu’u, Oahu, Hawaii
Gliding with Paradise Hang Gliding in Florida