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Tiny Hawk

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:46 am

I've been working on a hang gliding outreach to UCSD, and that got me to thinking about ways to introduce new people to the sport and the concepts. Little Hawk, of course, has been one result of that effort. But I was thinking of other ways to explain how hang gliding works. So I came up with "Tiny Hawk":

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This was a very easy project. I just took some wooden poles (broom handles in this case) and built a triangular control frame. Then I used an old batten as a "boom" for the tiny hang glider (made from a clothes hanger with some sail cloth added).

The basic idea is that it's easier to learn the control inputs when you can see how they will affect a glider. This little toy lets a student "fly" around by simulating the control inputs and seeing how they affect the model. Of course, the actual response and feel are much different from a real glider, but with some coaching the student can get a sense of what to expect with both feet on the ground.

But the biggest reason I built this was to prevent "beginner dyslexia" with regard to control inputs. I've seen far too many situations where a new student is in the air and for some reason their brain freezes and they push the wrong direction to correct an unintentional turn. Sometimes they figure it out, but I've also seen pilots so convinced that they're doing the right thing that they try even harder - in the wrong direction. So a major goal for "Tiny Hawk" is to give new pilots so much repetition that the direction of control input for a desired turn becomes natural. I think some time spent running around with Tiny Hawk will at least overcome the "beginner dyslexia" effect. Or at least that's my hope!! ;)
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby OSCAR » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:34 pm

Thats a great idea Bob :thumbup: I can see how it would help people understand how a Hang glider works. :) :thumbup:
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:50 pm

Thanks Oscar!!!

I took it to Lake Elsinore yesterday and had a few of Dave Beardslee's tandem students try it out. I think it helped.

I also took it to Torrey today and had a bunch of other prospective pilots try it. It was pretty cool because I could explain everything and help them visualize it while we were on the ground without any glider to struggle with. I had them doing figure-8s as I talked them through the course. I've got some video footage, but I don't have time to upload it tonight.

Thanks for the post!!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby SamKellner » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:48 pm

Hawks,

It was my pleasure to have BobK and Kenny Bryenton stop by here in Leakey, Tx. That's pronounced (lay-key).

If I was as good at organizing things as Bob, there would be better flying possibilities in this area. But with his help we are making headway.

We held our first meeting of SouthWest Texas Hang Gliders. :!:

And Tiny Hawk, we did fly Tiny Hawk at the County Library for all to see.

You Reg3 Hawks, keep up the good work.

Best regards,
Sam
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby SkyPilot » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:39 am

This is very intriguing - Bob, you are filled with many GREAT IDEAS - also I think your dedication to creating training/demo tools is a great asset to the sport - RIGHT ON!! In regards to Tiny Hawk - how does it work, meaning what exactly does it feel like to use it? Thanks!!
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby SamKellner » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:13 pm

I called Kenny this afternoon, he was already in Canada, and said they made it to Fla. in good shape.

Hello SkyPilot,

I'm sure Bob will have an explanation.

IMO, this instruction 'device' makes a total newbie realize what pilot input is required to iniate roll. Or,' how to turn a hang glider'.

When picking up a full size glider for the first time, the wing tips are in periphery. :eh: :? :eh:

Because of the Tiny Hawk being right in front of your eyes, it's a visual thing. :idea: :idea: :)

Yet ,the TH control bar is on a much larger scale which requires a somewhat realistic physical input for first muscle memory. ;) 8-)

:thumbup: :clap: :thumbup: :clap:
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:26 am

Hi SkyPilot,

I think the photos below will be mostly self-explanatory. These were taken at Torrey and Lake Elsinore about a week ago (December 11th and 12th 2010).

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I've also used it as outreach along my trip to the east coast. I even flew it around inside the library at Leakey Texas!! :thumbup:
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:08 pm

On a separate topic, (http://ushawks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=821) we were discussing the problem of relatively inexperienced pilots cross-controlling when they first learn to go prone (there's some evidence that this may have caused a recent accident). I think tandem flights would help, but I also came up with a relatively simple simulator idea that might be a good training aid for demonstrating that pilots must shift their weight (and their hang strap) to get the glider to roll. Here's the animated sketch:

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This sketch doesn't show the supporting structure (maybe a couple extra downtubes?) needed to keep it upright on the ground. The red glider "visual aid" would be on a protruding pole just like it is on Tiny Hawk (see earlier pictures). That would put the visual aid forward where it's in the pilot's view. All of the other pulleys and ropes would essentially be in the same plane as the control bar. The actual attachment of the pulley rope (orange) to the hang strap (black) could be via a ring which allows it to slide up and down. The deflection to rotation ratio can be set by different combinations of top pulley diameter and vertical placement of the side-rope-to-hang-strap connection.

The idea is that student pilots would have to really shift their weight to deflect the hang straps enough to rotate the model. This would also demonstrate how ineffectual it is to cross-control a glider by swinging your head one direction and your feet the other direction (without deflecting the hang strap). Of course, this is just an instructional aid, and it would need a qualified instructor to explain the differences between this simulation and the actual responses of a real hang glider.
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby miguel » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:12 pm

When I first started lessons, I would run, follow the glider and crash. I could not put the thought processes together quick enough to control the glider. I told the instructor that I would do one more lesson and quit if I could not control the glider.

He gave me an exercise to try at home. He said to first draw the drapes. Then take a broom stick and hold it out in front of me like the control bar of the glider. I was to pull it towards me to go forward; pull it towards me and move to one side to turn then push it out just a little, once it turned then pull it back in a little. Push it out to stop. He said to do this a couple times a day and fly the broomstick around the apartment. I did it like he said.

The next lesson he ran me through the instructions again. It made sense. This time when I ran the glider, I controlled it and it did not go off to the side and crash. I moved over to the hill. I ran hard , the glider stayed straight and lifted me off the ground. I flew it and landed it. After a couple flights I could do linked turns with no problem

The broomstick worked for me. Broomsticks are cheap and most everybody has one.
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Re: Tiny Hawk

Postby TadEareckson » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:23 pm

Go with the Nimbus 2000. Sets ya back a pretty penny but pays for itself many times over in the long run.
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