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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
Photo by John Heiney
Enjoying the view - seated.jpg (456.63 KiB) Viewed 145 times
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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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