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#406228
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.








#406229
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.
Dave,

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,

http://m-sandlin.info/

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 . . . :mrgreen:
#406231
red wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:46 pm
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."
Gee, that sounds a lot like that first glider you bought from Bob ... but at least the main spars were 6061-T6, and he used grade 8 hardware when he could get it.

Seriously, back in the 70s there were a few companies that offered kits, mostly rigid wings but a few flexwings as well. The FAA didn't get involved because nobody was expecting them to get very high or go very far. The FAA was very interested in overseeing experimental aircraft, to the extent that you had people inspecting your work so you could get an airworthiness certification. I could see that happening with hang gliders, but the FAA really doesn't know (or care) about the construction of hang gliders, and probably wouldn't pay for any inspectors, so they would have to come from within the community, but with the legal authority to deny certification. I just don't see that happening.

I think Red's analysis is spot on.
#406232
jlatorre wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:04 pm
red wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:46 pm
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."
Gee, that sounds a lot like that first glider you bought from Bob (EDIT: Bob M. -red) ... but at least the main spars were 6061-T6, and he used grade 8 hardware when he could get it.
the FAA really doesn't know (or care) about the construction of hang gliders, and probably wouldn't pay for any inspectors, so they would have to come from within the community, but with the legal authority to deny certification. I just don't see that happening.
I think Red's analysis is spot on.
John,

Thanks, John. Yep, Bob M's gliders were definitely 1st Gen, but he had been building and flying on the East Coast for more than five years when I met him (1974), and I respected that.

Even then (and worse now), the FAA barely has the inspectors it needs for the airlines and private aircraft, and in no way could they handle the policing of this herd of cats, in addition. It would take volunteers from the community, as you say, and a fair level of expertise in HG construction, as well. I agree, I can not see that happening, either.

I see the HG community as "self-regulated" for now, and for the future, in the USA.

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