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Leaning to fly

 

A few facts to temp you:
Once proficient (after 8 - 10 days tuition) you can fly for hours (the record is 24+) at a mere few hundred feet or many thousands of feet... the choice is yours. (See photo gallery)

Hang gliding is exhilarating and exciting but once professionally trained to fly a modern glider the risks are comparable to horse riding or skiing. The gliders themselves are extremely strong - tested to a minimum of 6G where as a commercial airliner's wings will creak a bit at only 3G (not to worry though unless your pilot decides to complete a loop on your next trip to the Canaries!)

We were a BHPA registered school and I have personally been flying and teaching since 1978.
So, what is Hang Gliding?
Hang Gliding is unpowered flight where the pilot wears a harness that is attached to the wing - they hang from it.

The pilot controls the aircraft by moving their body weight under the wing thereby altering the speed or banking to produce a turn. It has a natural feel to it - move left and you turn left.

The glider is easily stored and transported in its packed form that weighs about 50lb and is 12ft in length. It takes about 10 minutes to rig and check before it is ready to fly.

 

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Takeoff is achieved by moving forward into the wind until flying speed is reached (10 - 15 mph); the aircraft will then glide forward and down (10:1 - glide angle). Early training flights are made on slopes only just steeper than the glide angle so you don't get too high and the ropes reach.


Later flights can be prolonged by flying from a larger hill and eventually by flying in lifting air where not only will you extend your flight time to hours but also height gains of many thousands of feet are possible. 24hrs, 300 miles and 20,000 feet are the respective world duration, distance and height records.


You fly a hang glider by feel, the wing responding to your body weight - this is as near to flying like a bird as you will ever get.


Fly like a bird with the birds! They often join you in the lifting air.

 

 

glider

 

Photo Gallery:

See the photo gallery here