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Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:40 am
by Bob Kuczewski
Frank Colver wrote:Good landings are for the most part effortless because the lack of vertical straps behind the back allow the pilots weight to be moved farther aft when flaring.

This is really a key observation. A prone harness keeps the pilot leaning forward - good for launching, not so good for landing.

The ideal system would allow both leaning forward and leaning backward. The prone harness will never allow the latter because the hang straps emerge from the pilot's back. The current seated harness does allow both because the pilot's head (and upper body) can pass through the suspension mechanism to be both forward and aft.

The only problem has been that the forward leaning position is restricted by the arms around the hang straps. It's interesting that Joe Greblo instinctively mitigated that by reaching one of his arms inside the seat's straps. I'm wondering if that could be a better way to launch (both arms inside the straps?). Then the transition could be made to bring the arms outside the straps for flight and landing. There may not be enough time to do that transition at Dockweiler, but it might be worth trying to launch and land with the arms through the straps to see if that makes a difference. At higher altitude sites this might be the recommended technique.

Just a thought ... and another good excuse for more flying.    :thumbup:

Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:00 am
by Frank Colver
I think for longer flight times, as you said, that might work. It's sort of the same thing with the Fenison Flybar, the pilot can move hands for and aft on the Flyber in flight and Jim's "hard solution" where the pilot was suspended by a rigid tubing structure could move for and aft through the hanging suspension with arms inside. That is not the present configuration that Jim is working on with his "soft solution" suprone system but maybe it will turn out to be the best way afterall.

Here's the link to videos of our seated flights on Tuesday:

We started the day all agreeing that we weren't getting the running launch right. We studied the launches as we each flew the glider and realized that we weren't leaning forward into the run like we do with the prone harness. This is because the pressure of the hang straps against the front of the shoulders discourages leaning forward. As the day moved on we all got better at overcoming this pressure and running faster. If you watch the video you can see the improvement in the later launches. In the beginning of the video you can see that i'm trying to run in an upright position where I can't get any power into the run and I practically walk off the bluff top into a very shallow launch (good thing there was some wind).

As much as I'm turned off by any rigid suspension system, like Jim's "hard solution" using curved tubing or his "knuckles" idea (see his posts in other sections of the forum) it may ultimately be the way to go by allowing the pilot to launch, fly, and land without being constrained by the vertical suspension that is supporting him/her.


Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:39 pm
by magentabluesky
This is an interesting video showing a launch technique where LimpJimmy uses the forward down tubes and has his shoulders inside of the harness uprights. Once in the air, he slides his arms back through the harness uprights and to the extenders. Notice he is launching in a pretty stiff breeze. This looks like a good technique to me.

Supine hang gliding — the launch, the turns, the landing... the vibe

Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:47 pm
by magentabluesky
Back in the 1980s Bob Thompson would fly supine and suprone. Bob Thompson flew x-c in Arizona and the Owens Valley. That should dispel any question of lack of control authority in the supine position. That is Big Air.

Notice the line from the carabiner and stirrup holding Bob's feet up.

Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:51 pm
by Rick Masters
Way too much junk on most of that supine stuff.
KISS out the window.

Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:33 am
by Frank Colver
Then checK out my swing seat harness, Rick It's pretty simple.

Unfortunately, or some would say fortunately, it will get a little more complicated when it goes into production at HES. Mike says he will have to figure out how the rescue chute bag and radio will mount and anything else that may need to be changed to get it certified for general use. This kind of surprised an old guy who used to just go fly on a Sears swing seat. We didn't need no stinkin parachutes or radios. :D

The good news is that this seat harness design or something very similar may see use on zip lines according to HES. This is good news, because that should increase volume of production and reduce cost for HG use. I can see both the simple seat harness and the more complex suprone harness becoming a part of the HG scene, depending on the pilot's preferences for flight. There is a difference between seated and suprone and both have their place in the HG world.

What should be the finished version of my seat harness is under way right now at HES. :thumbup:

I will be working on fittings for my "prone control bar to seated adapters" that will allow them to be put on any control bar without having to have some fittings already in place on the bar. The setup I'm using now has fittings in place on the bar. I hope to eliminate that, so that anyone wanting to fly seated can walk up to their glider and change from prone to seated in a couple of minutes. 8-)


Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:41 pm
by Bill Cummings
In a ground loop if your body is thrown to the
side while you are holding onto the down tubes
(front) make sure to let go otherwise your arm will
break. Like breaking firewood in the crotch of a

Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:54 pm
by Frank Colver
I just picked up the third, and most likely the final, iteration of the swing seat harness at High Energy Sports. All of the small details of things that could be improved, that have been discovered in the first and second prototypes have been changed. This design now appears to be ready for flying enjoyment. The biggest overall improvement has been the narrowing of the seat and the spreader bar. So now, the hang straps closely hug the torso and are well inside the shoulders so that the arms (outside the straps) are completely free to move side to side holding the control bar.

Straps can't twist in the adjusters anymore and the thigh straps have stronger adjusters, certified for use on commercial ride harnesses and parachutes, which also allow adjustment with an easier pull.

So now all that remains is to fly and enjoy and to introduce others to the comfort and pleasure of recreational seated hang gliding. For extended flying at altitude a foot stirrup would be added.

I will be continuing to design the control bar adapter for seated flight on a prone rigged glider. Right now my system needs some fittings to already be on the control bar in order to add the adapter tubes. I'm aiming for a design that could be quickly added to a glider already set up that doesn't have any special fittings already on it. Like Jim's approach with the Fenison Fly Bar for suprone flying. I've got some possibilities for achieving this goal already in mind. Ultimately I'd like to see Jim offering his Fly Bar and my seated adapter bars as a choice for pilots depending on what type of flying they want to do. There is a place for both. Seated is especially good for smaller hill ridge soaring. Especially for watching that tip that is passing within inches of the hillside. :o

Frank C.

Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:49 pm
by wingspan33

The adapters for the control bar down tubes need to take into account round tubes as well as various "airfoil" shaped down tubes. That makes things tricky, but a "soft" solution might work. By that I mean a solid connecting adapter that attaches to the metal tubing but then also wraps (softly) around any shaped airfoil profile.

The way I'd do that is to have two inch webbing that is anchored in the adapter fitting then loops around the front of the down tube, then reconnects with the adapter through a "pass through slot". Once through that slot, it then goes back around the front of the down tube and (perhaps) Velcros to the outside anchor end of that webbing. A prototype could use silicone rubber applied the the inside of the webbing so that it firmly grips the the down tube with out letting the down tube extender rotate, one way or the other, around the existing down tube.

An alternative is to sell various down tube profile "clamps" that closely fit their corresponding down tubes.

I would briefly add that I recently acquired a VHF Marine radio that has these great nylon plastic(?) clamps that are meant to attach the radio (by way of it's typical metal bracket) to 1" tubing. If I remember, I'll snap a picture and add it to a post in this thread so you can see one existing solution to attaching something to a round tube.

Re: Colver Swing Seat

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:32 pm
by Frank Colver
Here's a photo of the 3rd and should be final iteration of the seat harness design.The bugs seem to be all corrected and it is a joy to seat in this thing. The hang straps are now in close to the body and chest. With arms outside they don't restrict side to side movement of the pilot at all. I don't expect Joe Greblo to fly this one with one arm inside and one arm outside (the 1st seat, flown at the Otto meet, was way too wide).

The spreader bar is a simple straight bar like they all used to be. The original was 15" wide it is now 12". No compromises for fatheads here!

The straps all adjust with ease and don't twist or curl up in the fittings anymore. As soon as the load is taken off the feet the butt goes onto the padded rigid seat automatically and the thighs horizontal, without any "scooting around" action needed. The natural position of the upper body is a mild leaning back position. It reminds me of an Adirondack chair. Hmmm....where can I put a drink holder on this thing.

Sears and Roebuck, eat your heart out over this baby!

High Energy Sports did an excellent job of turning design ideas into reality.

Frank C.

Finished design 3rd of the seat harness.JPG
Finished design 3rd of the seat harness.JPG (299.05 KiB) Viewed 2977 times