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Sep 13

Written by: Jeff Shapiro
9/13/2009 9:54 AM 



Because of recent developments in the harness project, I decided to fly to LA for a visit to Wills Wing. I was lucky because the chosen weekend happened to be the same weekend that the annual fly in at Andy Jackson air park was to take place. It was certain that progress and fun was on the menu.



I arrived on Thursday night and got snatched in front of a busy LAX baggage claim by Jeffrey. We drove back to Steve's house and had a nice evening catching up and talking about the future. I was stoked to see Steve and Jeff hang in the harness and knew that a brainstorm session would follow. I had prepared a list of known changes and wanted to add to it. I was also really looking forward to seeing Mike, Linda, Peter and all of the familiar faces at Wills Wing. Eva, Rick, Bill, Paul, etc., they are all so experienced and proficient at what they do but to actually see them building gliders and harnesses is the only way to appreciate what it takes to make a product that performs as well as Wills Wing products do out of the box.


Eva building a customer Z-5

We had a good session and excitement was in the air. The next steps toward getting the race harness to production are fairly clear and after a meeting with Steve and Mike, we are swiftly moving ahead toward a projected date to achieve production status by Spring '10.



Later that night, we all were graciously invited to a friends house for a Beatles rock party. Owen Morse is a professional juggler who is one of the most positive people I have ever met. His energy is contagious and his family was unbelievably generous. Owen's wife, Doralee, laid out a beautiful spread that we feasted on after racing around on Segways in front of their house. With full stomaches, it was Beatles songs on the menu for desert and we all took turn doing our best impressions of John, Paul, George and Ringo which, was obviously laughable. I had never played a game like this before and let me tell you, it was an experience to say the least.

After a little work at the factory the next morning, routing a new VG configuration on the latest prototype, we packed up and headed to Andy Jackson for a fly. I was stoked to see what looked like more than a hundred pilots had shown up for the fly in. We arrived on top of the Crestline launch and punched off in a stiff breeze. Owen gave Jeff, Mike and I a tour to the east followed by a little harder push to Cahon pass and back. We spent a little more than 2 hours in the air playing with other gliders, birds and bag wings. I REALLY like the new sail cut and material. For what ever reason, the roll response is very fast yet it retains a nice and predictable roll rate. It was a pleasure to fly and I couldn't stop smiling.

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The rest of the afternoon/ evening was spent talking with friends, some that I haven't seen for a fairly long time. I was stoked when Mike showed that he is still one of the most skilled pilots around by winning the spot landing contest. I have only had the pleasure to fly with him a couple of times but when we were pushing down the range together earlier in the day, I felt lucky.

The evening was capped when OB came in 3-4 feet over the LZ kiosk at over 60 mph and then pasted a perfect landing close to the spot. Everyone laughed and clapped. Pretty inspiring. Hang gliding IS like dreaming awake. Even when your a spectator.



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By ugg on   8/24/2010 7:18 PM

Re: LA for the weekend

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