Hang Gliding: Basic Questions
See Support FAQ for configuration, ordering, tuning, maintenance and other advanced questions.
Alternatively, you could ascertain where the nearest flying site is to you and take your glider there for evaluation by financially disinterested pilots. Chances are that your glider is totally obsolete and/or non-airworthy without investment in new cables and other hardware, which would likely cost more than you paid for the glider. Very often the cost of a garage sale glider plus the cost of hardware to return it to airworthy condition is more than a much newer and more appropriate glider would cost from a dealer or pilot.
A very important issue is the type of glider you have, if it happens to be airworthy. Gliders are made for various pilot skill levels – high performance gliders made for speed are too responsive for new pilots to fly safely or even enjoy flying. There are gliders which are very easy to launch and land and which are very docile in responding to control inputs, so that new pilots can have enjoyble flights and landings as they learn the intricacies of the air and efficient glider piloting. Furthermore, gliders are sized according to pilot weight, since they are steered with weight shift. A glider that is too big will be slow to respond and might not go where one wants, while a glider that is too small will either be “twitchy” and over-responsive to small control inputs or will likely fly oddly due to deformation of the frame by the heavy load (though it probably won’t break in flight).
It is great that you are interested in learning to hang glide, and we’d love to sell you a new wing someday. There is really no reasonable option for getting into the sport other than finding an instructor, taking lessons, getting some equipment, and flying with a little supervision at first. This is the way to become a hang glider pilot instead of someone who “tried hang gliding once.”
There is a lot of information on our website that is worth taking a look at. We do supply parts for gliders we’ve made in within the last 15 years or so, so if you do have a Wills Wing glider that merits some parts, we can help.
HG/PG: Advanced Questions
How do you stay up for extended periods of time without a motor if you always have to glide downhill?
Similarly, if you’ve ever been to the mountains, you may have seen hawks or vultures flying in circles without flapping (no motor) and slowly gaining altitude. What is happening here is that a thermal has formed from a locally heated parcel of air in contact with a locally hotter piece of ground that has been warmed by the sun. The thermal is a bubble or column of warmer air, which has expanded, and is therefore rising upwards. Again, if the rate at which the air is rising exceeds the natural rate at which the hawk descends while gliding, the hawk can climb by circling in the thermal.
Hang gliders and paragliders can emulate hawks and sea birds, and use both these types of lift to extend the duration of their flights.