by Samantha Lewis
One of the things that children dream of being when they grow up is a pilot. But there are some, once grown, who decide the cockpit is just too crowded and turn to the sport of hang gliding instead.
When speaking about the Great Outdoors, the hang glider is one person who gets a true adrenaline rush, seeing as that they get to soar high above the fields and forests. They use the wind and their glider to take a flight that literally is beyond soothing, yet also comes along with the danger of being an extreme sport if not done correctly.
Everyone knows the aircraft. For those who have never seen it up close and personal before, the hang glider is a non-motorized craft that s launched from the cliff, etc., by foot. Most of the gliders nowadays are made from an aluminum alloy.
Instead of heading into the cockpit and staring out very small windows, the hang glider pilot is strapped into a harness and then suspended from the airframe. Talk about the need for constant awareness; when hang gliding – real hang gliding is done, you have to be wide awake, considering that the movements of the body are the only way to control the craft. Shifting body weight in opposition to the control frame is necessary for all those turns. Now, as with any sport, there is a ‘simpler’ method for hang gliding that uses a modern aircraft flight control system. But the hardcore gliders will tell you that the more work and effort you put into the sport, the more fun and excitement you will get out of it.
The one upside when it comes to the modern technology out there for hang gliders, comes from the fact that the pilot can stay up with the birds for a good, long time. Before the science came into effect and everything began to be modernized, the hang glider could only count on minutes in the air.
But it’s not only the modern day technology a sports aficionado should take into account. To be the ultimate hang glider and to enjoy the sport in every way, instruction is also required. There are safety issues that should be known before soaring with them, thar birds, so that you can stay alive in order to glide the next weekend.
Aircraft/Aviation is one of the most interesting fields to look at when you’re studying our past. The Wright Brothers and their somewhat frightening trip off the ground, is only one of the amazing creations that aviation has brought to this world. As more and more scientists and early fliers began to learn about how a bird’s wing actually works, the better aircraft became.
A true pioneer began the hang gliding industry. A man by the name of Otto Lilienthal constructed the first glider back in the 1890s. Unfortunately, the glider was what you would call; barely operable. Thankfully, however, Otto documented everything so that pioneers coming up behind him would understand at least the basics of how the glider was supposed to fly.
Even NASA jumped into the hang gliding trade in 1957, when they began testing various glider components that they could utilize for the Gemini space capsules.
The history is literally amazing for this particular machine, yet the sport is even more so. Millions are taking on hang gliding as their favorite sport. So don’t be surprised if you look up during your walk through the Great Outdoors and see a colorful looking triangle soaring high above you.