DAVE 858 wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:18 pm
Sadly I think the future of hang gliding will be much the same as experimental aircraft where u purchase a kit of raw materials & a set of plans. I could see hang gliding manufactures making a sail & shipping all raw materials for the user to assemble tune & test fly.
IMHO, no way, man. The average public has no idea what the glider should look like, or why any one thing is important to be installed in a certain way. I have repaired HGs for a living, and the new folks often brought me junk that had been "repaired" with common hardware, extruded aluminum tubing, duct tape, galvanized cable, and endless other "mistakes." No such HG "kit business" could survive the liability lawsuits.
The worst case was the guy who bought a HG (and owners manual) from a traveling pilot: "I'm telling you, Red, whoever wrote that glider manual was crazy
. It was a LOT easier to put the ribs into the sail with the part that curves down in the rear
of the sail, not the front. That book was nuts." Oops, back to ground school; I taught him "glider assembly" for free, complete, on the spot. He decided to take flyin' lessons from us, then.
Now I DO
foresee one future of ultralight gliding in Mike Sandlin's interesting creations,
but he makes no money from his "construction drawings" (note that he will NOT call them "plans"). All of the Sandlin technical drawings are free downloads, with an informal Yahoo AirChairs forum for further information. Other homebuilt gliders, such as the Icarus V and Mitchell Wing, would be the precursors of similar but better designs in the future, but neither of them are the "right stuff" today. Most of the other homebuilt designs that I know are problematical in various ways.
All IMHO, of course . . .