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Transition from seated to prone flying

Postby Craig Muhonen » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:17 pm

I was lucky enough to live in Telluride Co. In the early 70's and help some of the early hang glider pilots (who would become the Telluride Air Force) get their hang gliders to the mountain tops. They adopted a more 'air foil' wing because they needed more power in the high mountain air. Cronk, Wills, Bennet And others were instrumental in early Telluride flying. And L/D does apply. As some transitioned from sitting to prone flying, and built their own 'papooses' out of down, I noticed that they seemed to be able to "penetrate" their glider better, and seemed to have more confidence while in flight. They ran to take off, then landing gear up and back, then landing gear down for landing. It seems to me that paragliding and hang gliding in a seated (supine is not the right word) position does not give a natural experience of "flying like a bird", and isn't that what it's about to some extent? I learned to fly when I was about 13 and got my private licence as soon as I could, but as a kid I always thought that it would be cool to build a 'sail plane' that I could crawl into flat, and stick my arms out into the wings, put my feet into the elevator and rudder, and fly like a bird. Are paraglider pilots missing out on this feeling? Just say'n
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Re: Transition from seated to prone flying

Postby wingspan33 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:44 pm

Most paraglider occupants (who don't also fly HGs) have no real idea of what they are missing. There are a number of them who think hang glider pilots are the ones missing out. :shock:

:lolno:

But still it's true.
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Re: Transition from seated to prone flying

Postby Frank Colver » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:02 am

Personally I love flying seated. That's why I developed a new HG seated harness with "High Energy Sports" last year.

Here I am at Point of the Mountain last year enjoying the view - seated style.

Frank C.

Enjoying the view - seated.jpg
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Re: Transition from seated to prone flying

Postby Craig Muhonen » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:48 am

I like your ideas, collected over time, to help people more enjoy the thrill of flying a hang glider. Having good 'air foils', and good mentorship is so important. My dad taught me at a young age that "flying" was relatively easy, in that we aren't connected to ground and keeping the correct angle of attack, pitch and yaw control, almost became second nature, because we trained on that issue and the 'balance' of our Cesna 150, so much. I did some 'ground skimming' in Telluride with a fellow private pilot, under his enhanced Regallo wing in 1974, and after struggling a bit while running, holding on, and trying to prepare myself to do a three point crash landing, with my head down, through the crossbar, if I did not attain V1 or V2, I was able to catch some air, and be 'totally' taken in by the feeling of being the PIC of a airplane with no engine. It was like being a kid again because My dad had "taught me how to fly" in 1950, and this new feeling of "hang gliding" took me back to that time. I'm sure that your skills as a pilot, mentor, and builder bring you incredible satisfaction.
I have a question for you, because more pitch and yaw control could add to the 'experience' of young pilots, would a light weight 'canard' that was attached up front of your glider, be an advantage while training your level 2 pilots?
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Re: Transition from seated to prone flying

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:55 am

Hi Craig,

Here's the video that I mentioned when we spoke:



You'll see Frank and Joe and a lot of others who founded the sport. I hope you enjoy it!!

Bob
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Re: Transition from seated to prone flying

Postby Craig Muhonen » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:55 pm

I thought that I would post this "sporty" paragliding parody here. My dad's co pilot thought that he would show off his new supine harness in a 200 mph wind, and survive. My dad said that the B 25 was an easy bird to fly, even with one hand.
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Re: Transition from seated to prone flying

Postby Craig Muhonen » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:56 am

Another thought I had on a hang glider "prone" harness. It seems to me that the "whole" body is more equally connected to the "wing", and the legs behind make for "cat like" responses to changing conditions. Plus, there is a "fantacy" about flying like Superman/woman. I am surprised that paragliding still choose a "recumbent" position to fly in, with their landing gear always down. Seems too laid back to me. Has any one experimented with a prone harness on a paraglider?
I'm for someone making a complete "Hawk" aerodynamic harness, including a hawk helmet, with a few feathers, and streamers. (Maybe even a hawk caller).
I think that USHAWKS has added a bit of "spice" to Hang Gliding, and it IS all about the "old school spirit". T Y

Craig
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Seated to Reclined - The hard way!

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:11 am

This is a great article Craig!!!

Seated_to_Reclined.jpg
Seated_to_Reclined.jpg (435.25 KiB) Viewed 852 times

I guess Lt. Mahaffey went from "seated" to "reclined" ... the hard way.    :shock:

Hero:  Lt. Einer Muhonen    :clap: :salute: :clap: :clap: :thumbup: :clap: :salute: :thumbup: :clap:

Do you have the rest of the article that's cut off?
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Re: Transition from seated to prone flying

Postby Craig Muhonen » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:50 am

The cut off part says "Mahafee was none the worse for ware, and was back flying in two weeks".
Dad talked about how the 25' was the best flying airplane. At first it was "straight winged", and very unstable in some conditions, so they added a dihedral which made it, among other things, one of, if not, the premier medium bomber in ww11. He took it to Australia in 1944, where they rearmed it with 10 50 cal. Guns facing forward. they flew 50' off the deck, their squadron painted the noses with bats, and called themselves "the batts outta hell". I can only imagine, but dad was the best pilot, and returned , luckily , with out a scratch. He was a "pilot" every day from 1942 to 1982.
Later in 1945 they came out with the straight winged B-26 as a replacement but he said everyone called it a "widow maker" of an airplane, due to its bad low speed characteristics.
I see that picture and always get a bit carried away, but oh well.

Craig
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