So I battled Friday traffic through the middle of LA; it was grueling. I thought I’d timed it right, but I’m not sure that’s actually possible in LA. I made it down to Wills Wing in time to score a free plate of food from their Christmas party. I’ll drive a long way for free food… but that wasn’t the only reason I was there.
Wills Wings Skunk Works department had finally processed the glydetonium for my new wing. It was nice to see the crew and wish them a Merry Christmas. Unfortunately, while on my rack, the glydetonium didn’t do anything for my car, so I was back stuck in traffic again.
Saturday, my girlfriend Erin gave me a ride up to the Alternator launch in Santa Barbara. As I unfurled the sail and began stuffing battens, plenty of things were getting stiffer.
I went up to launch sure it would only be a sled ride, but some paragliders showed there was at least a little lift to be found. US PG team member Matt Beechinor and Nick Greece of USHPA magazine were floating around in some little bubbles and were kind enough to share the air. We would gain every so often, but mostly we were sinking 50fpm. They had their cameras out so hopefully they’ll share those photos soon.
The glider handled better than I would expect for the first flight. Roll was quick tip to tip, and very predictable. There’s something to be said for how nice the VG pulls on a new glider. With the sail tightened up like a drum the base tube came back about 6″ and we were soon speeding along (I’m glad there’s no cops or radar up there!). Doesn’t make sense that a glider with great handling would also track exceptionally straight at high speed, but I’m not going to argue. I pulled a few wing-overs, to help seat the sail 😉 and then set up my approach into the “T” LZ.
Here is a video shot on a phone from the LZ:
I’m in love again! Thank you to everyone at Wills Wing for a work of art. I hope I can fly it with the skills it deserves.