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Where do you buy hang gliders from?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:21 pm
by choppergirl

I'd like to get into foot launched hang gliding, specifically the jet powered hang gliders interest me ( ), but I have no idea where I'd start.

Preferably something midrange, pretty good performance, at a pretty good price. Cheap and forgiving to a beginning hang gliding pilot.

Not interested in training or training schools (probably the closest to me would be HG community around Stone Mountain, GA) or the proselytizing thereof, so... you can save your breath and skip that. Just show me where the best places are to buy bargain basement good equipment from. (Something of an answer a little more specific than "the internet").

I may pick up another VJ-24, the glider version, as I know where one is, not the "w" motor powered version I already have, but it'd be nice to have something collapsable that would fit on a car roof to play around with. I think the glider VJ-24 would be a good test bed to mount a homebuilt jet engine onto the frame behind the pilot, as it's not weight shift controlled.


My 20ft ultralight trailer build out to haul my VJ-24w and Poorboy Ultralight is nearing completion... finished wiring the lights and bolting the support boards to the floor, have almost nothing more to do than some last torquing and loctiting some bolts to the frame, then chalking some lines and putting my already painted plyboard to the top.

Re: Where do you buy hang gliders from?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:18 pm
by Bill Cummings
Chopper Girl,
With over 4 thousand flights using weight shift, 900 of them with power, my rule is never tow, power, or glide beyond a good landing field. Never trust tow tension or trust thrust. Be able to land at any second tow tension or thrust is lost.
I know of deaths due to 3 axis pilots forgetting in an emergency that weight shift is opposite control from 3 axis.
(Pull the yoke/stick back to climb for 3 axis but push the HG control bar forward to climb.)
(Move the stick left to bank left but move the control bar right to bank left.)
(Push the stick forward to dive for 3 axis but pull the HG control bar back to dive.)
It was a simple mistake but the guy is still dead.
If you set out to learn on your own the least hazardous way would be to become proficient in HG gliding first then add power.
Learn on a beginner glider then move up in performance. Your folks probably introduced you to a tricycle before a bicycle. (Or at least training wheels on the bike.)
Do baby steps while learning. Progressing too fast is a bad idea.
If I lived on that side of the country I'd teach you for nothing. Have your trainer provide the glider. Fix it if you break it. That's how my friend and I do it here in southern New Mexico.

Re: Where do you buy hang gliders from?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:09 pm
by choppergirl
*hears pin drop*

No other comments, because this **** we do is effing dangerous, and we're not going to tell her where to get the **** to get yourself killed... :-/

Duh, of course it's dangerous as hell...

So is having sex the first time, and every tmie, but I don't want my mom in the bedroom teaching me how to do it or giving me pointers. Just tell me where to buy the condoms...

Meanwhile.... Today:

Re: Where do you buy hang gliders from?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:41 pm
by Bill Cummings
The analogy you used is backwards. It's much safer hang gliding with a knowledgeable partner than by yourself.
If you are after instant satisfaction while hang gliding check the syllabus to find out if you will be working in a group or by yourself and go with the group. In other words, on a hill by yourself is not safe but in a bedroom by yourself is.
At a very minimum you want a knowledgeable pilot with you when you look at the HG you are going to buy.
Wills Wing, or Northwing.

Re: Where do you buy hang gliders from?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:01 pm
by Bob Kuczewski
Hi Chopper Girl,

I just want to echo Bill's sentiments.

As an experienced aviator, you probably know that it would be insane to buckle a non pilot into a Cessna 150, explain the controls, and then wish them well on their first solo flight.

I came to hang gliding with a private pilot's license and several years of flying U.S. Army parachutes for a living. It seemed to me that hang gliding should be no big deal. I was wrong.

It's important to get help from someone with experience. There are excellent schools that will help for pay, and there are also great hang gliding mentors (like Bill) who will help for free. Personally, I'd like to see more mentoring, but U$HPA tends to push schools. Either way, it's important to get good guidance so you don't end up injuring yourself.

By the way ...

The danger in your safe-sex analogy comes from your partner. The condom helps reduce that risk.

The danger in hang gliding comes from flying a hang glider. The guidance (instructor/mentor) helps reduce that risk.

So when you'd prefer that your mother would just tell you where to get condoms, that's analogous to being told where to get instruction and/or mentoring. That's a different question than asking where to get a glider.

Ooops. I almost forgot to answer the original question:

    Where do you buy hang gliders from?

If the "you" is me, I have owned 4 hang gliders - and they're all still owned by me:

  • Wills Wing Falcon 3 195 - purchased new through Windsports
  • Enterprise Wings FOIL - given to me by a friend
  • Little Hawk (originally Moyes XtraLite?) - given to me by a friend
  • Wills Wing Alpha 210 - purchased from a friend

It's good to have friends!!   :)

Re: Where do you buy hang gliders from?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:05 pm
by wingspan33
Chopper Girl,

I just watched the video. It looks very interesting. But I'd just like to say that what that guy does is not foot launched hang gliding. It's flat ground powered take-off hang gliding.

I was around back in the early 1980s when small gas engines with props were added to hang gliders. This was typically done by experienced hang glider pilots. As things evolved people who never flew hang gliders showed up to learn how to fly an "ultralight". Nobody sold them a powered ultralight until they were taught (on a tandem rig) how to fly it. Probably 10-15 hours were required in lesson time. That's one thing nice about power, you can take off in calm morning conditions and get an hour of training in. But in foot launch hang gliding, a training hill facing the wind and a 5-10 mph steady breeze is required. That sometimes only happens twice a month on a weekend day - so foot launch training takes longer than powered flying. (That jet rig only gets 8 minutes flight time, by the way.)

The jet powered system in the video is NOT the kind of thing that someone who has less than an Intermediate hang gliding rating should try, I my educated opinion. Post a comment below that video asking how much experience that pilot has and how much experience a person should have in order to try that kind of powered hang gliding. He seems to answer other commenters often enough so he'll probably answer you.

PS - I know where you could get a WW Sport for $500 but I won't say where until you show me you've got an Intermediate HG rating and someone to train you in the use of that jet pack. Doing things without getting the HG rating (which itself requires training) and then getting training connected with the jet pack is simply a suicide wish. A gun and one bullet is a simpler and easier way to reach that end. But I think your goal is to enjoy some air time. Not so much CRASH time.