Powered Hang Gliding

Let me see, the short story:  Even though I have been paragliding for quite some time, I did a hang-gliding course back in 2009 because, well, it looked like fun and I had always wanted to try it.  This year my instructor posted some pictures of his newest creation – a super-light-weight powered hang-glider (PHG) trike.  It looked like fun… so I had to try it.  Here are some shots from my conversion course in Wilderness last weekend – click on the image for a larger view.  Aerial photos by me on my cellphone (don’t ask!) and the rest by my increasingly talented brother Stephen.my brother, Stephen.

Thick sea mist limited morning flying activity but was beautiful to behold.

Preflight checks on Kleinkrantz beach

“Magneto’s on… Clear Prop!”

First take-off!

Cruising along Paradise Ridge

Sedgefield from above Gericke’s Point

Enjoying the high life.

Kleinkrantz dune, setting off on an XC flight.

First solo out-landing

Gorgeous machine in a gorgeous spot… deserted beach for kilometers in either direction, dolphins playing in the surf, smooth firm sand to land on…

The sky is the limit…

1000ft ASL, heading back towards Wilderness.

Sure blows your hair back, baby.  Cockpits are for sissies.

Coming in to land on the Wilderness Green.

Successful short-field landing.

Marvelous machine.

The wing is a normal Will’s Wing Falcon tandem hang-glider, with no special modifications other than a ring on the keel to prevent the pylon tube for the power unit from slipping.  The power unit has a three-wheel undercarriage, making take-offs and landings much easier and safer than the traditional prone PHG designs.  Motor, undercarriage and airframe weighs in under 50kg fully fueled, falling easily within the weight range of the wing.  Another advantage of the supine design is that the flying characteristics of the wing with and without power are very similar, making it more pleasant for the pilot.  I enjoyed turning the engine off in flight and transitioning to soaring, then switching power on again and flying off to the next spot great view.

See www.hangcheck.co.za for more information about the aircraft and learning to fly it…