Sunday, June 13, 2010

Early examples of hang gliders

  • I was looking for some trailer dimensions for one of my Microlights when I stumbled on some early examples of hang gliders made from simple aluminium tubing and polyethylene sheeting and drafting tape!


  • Wikipedia “Author: Barry Palmer (1961) This is possibly the predecessor of the earliest example of a modern hang glider. It is one of 7 or 8 gliders built by engineer Barry Palmer. The first, which was built of salvaged aluminium tubing, polyethylene sheeting and drafting tape, had an out of pocket expense of $10.89. The spars and keel were 22 feet in length, so launches of the 40 lb aircraft could be accomplished easily even in no wind. Flights got up to 600 feet in length and as high as 80 feet. The last of the series flew in the summer of 1962, and had a swinging seat, which expanded the flying capability and control well beyond the "true hang" armpit supports. The triangle control frame begun in 1891 for hang gliders,at least, was incorporated in at least one of the photographed hang gliders by Barry Hill Palmer”