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skeatesy

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Jun 17, 2021
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Location
canberra australia
i am trying to get original hanglider plans for free to the net to reinvent the rogallo hanglider and rigid gliders called the vintage class and get it up and flying as they are to old to fly but if remade useing new materials it could become a sport unlike vintage motocross or something ...
 

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Dana

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Some of those old hang gliders had some pretty dangerous flight characteristics, remember, back then it was "don't fly higher than you're willing to fall."
 

Aesquire

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Location
Rochester, NY, USA
I've got LOTS of hours on a "classic" standard Rogallo. The Eipper-Formance Flexi Flyer. Plans are out there on the web. Solid construction. I built mine from plans. ( but bought the sail )

Performance is about 4 to 1 glide and sink rate highly varies by wing loading. Remember that advertising of the day often published performance numbers that were simply "whatever they say, but better", so if X company claimed 5 to 1, then Y company claimed 6 to 1. ( and may have been reverse engineered from the X company glider with a tape measure at the beach a week before )

All Standard Rogallos have Flight characteristics that are unsafe by today's standards. All standards without battens are subject to full luff dives when pushed beyond their envelopes, ( for example, by rolling into a turn and not applying nose up pitch to "carve the turn", and side slipping to vertical ) and if built wrong are unstable in pitch.

If built properly, the Olde Ones are safer than, say, Otto Lillienthal's last glider, and, yes, I've soared ridge & thermals with them. But subsequent generations gradually improved both performance and safety so much I REALLY DON'T recommend flying one, even new built, other than on nostalgia day at Torrance beach or Kitty Hawk.

Seriously, stick to gliders that are not on the cover of Psychology Today with a skeletal pilot & the Headline "Deathwish!" . ... I'm not joking, that was the cover article on risk taking.

Unfortunately, plans for the newer...1980s up, gliders are rare to find. The sail patterns are the hardest to find.

Check out the American or European organizations that define the specs.


 

trimtab

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Apr 30, 2014
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rocky mountains, rocky, usa
At 14, I built and flew a bamboo rogallo wing for ground skimming. I quickly moved to a Vision, because frankly, even my 14 year old sense of immortality could not sustain the idea that rogallo wings were safe despite every inch of me trying.

Small stalls propagated rapidly to adjacent areas, and even in normal thermal activity (Colorado desert), the results were really scary perhaps 1% of the time. Sail literally going flat on one side, etc.

One can get a used single surface for far less than the cost of cobbling together something that, besides being a cruddy flyer, might decide to kill you in any conditions outside of nice, smooth coastal breezes.

Just my opinion.
 

skeatesy

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Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
12
Location
canberra australia
i knew every one wants a vintage style class set up in aviation whether its homebuilt planes or hang gliders and the more people get onto this the better .... one.... yes they are dangerous and flying one you should remember 'dont fly any higher than your prepaired to fall', ... so what i am saying is is we could set a up a vintage style meet on the sand dunes or a small slope regularily and have garages where we can rebuild these monsters of aviation so much the better .. im not out to go soaring or thermaling on them , i can do that already with modern gliders safely i just want an old times style meet because i dont want them to go away and you may well ask why when they are dangerous ...
.. even leoardo built one ...
... thanks for your replies whether your against or for ....
 

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vhhjr

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Jun 29, 2003
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170
In the 70's I was working for an oil company in Saudi Arabia and several of us acquired a Wills Wing standard rogallo. We taught ourselves to fly it on some very large sand dunes. The Wills Wing was difficult to fly and had a very step glide angle. I sent the sail to Leaf and they added a couple gores and some battens after which we got some good "sled ride" flights on the dunes. I used to teach others to fly it by running behind and steering the center tube while yelling instructions. Lots of crashes, but it was always repairable for another day.
 

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speedracer

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Feb 4, 2020
Messages
154
I've got LOTS of hours on a "classic" standard Rogallo. The Eipper-Formance Flexi Flyer. Plans are out there on the web. Solid construction. I built mine from plans. ( but bought the sail )

Performance is about 4 to 1 glide and sink rate highly varies by wing loading. Remember that advertising of the day often published performance numbers that were simply "whatever they say, but better", so if X company claimed 5 to 1, then Y company claimed 6 to 1. ( and may have been reverse engineered from the X company glider with a tape measure at the beach a week before )

All Standard Rogallos have Flight characteristics that are unsafe by today's standards. All standards without battens are subject to full luff dives when pushed beyond their envelopes, ( for example, by rolling into a turn and not applying nose up pitch to "carve the turn", and side slipping to vertical ) and if built wrong are unstable in pitch.

If built properly, the Olde Ones are safer than, say, Otto Lillienthal's last glider, and, yes, I've soared ridge & thermals with them. But subsequent generations gradually improved both performance and safety so much I REALLY DON'T recommend flying one, even new built, other than on nostalgia day at Torrance beach or Kitty Hawk.

Seriously, stick to gliders that are not on the cover of Psychology Today with a skeletal pilot & the Headline "Deathwish!" . ... I'm not joking, that was the cover article on risk taking.

Unfortunately, plans for the newer...1980s up, gliders are rare to find. The sail patterns are the hardest to find.

Check out the American or European organizations that define the specs.


The Eipper-Formance Flexi Flyer was my first hang glider which I built from a kit. I learned to fly it at the Cape Kiwanda dune on the Oregon coast and graduated to 1,500' sled rides with it. Over the next 10 years I worked my way up to higher performance gliders like the UP Comet which was totally capable of 100 mile flights. I still have a 1979 UP Condor which I take to Cape Kiwanda every few years and soar the dune for an hour..... make sure I can still do it. Oh to be twenty something again.
 

cgifly2

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Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
32
Location
so cal
Very unlikely to start a sport flying vintage hang gliders. There is a reason they had such a dangerous reputation in the early days. It wasn’t just that anybody could grab one and jump off a cliff, they were just flat out dangerous. I am talking from experience as having my hang 4 rating and flying in the late 70’s period as they were heavily being developed at the time. And they just weren’t as fun to fly. In that development period there were some great strides made very quickly when Seagal, Willswing, Delta, UFO, Moyes UP …and the list goes on of companies competing then. Luff lines and battens to help keep the airfoil we’re employed fo safety and made a difference. Of course we flew with parachutes to and I did infact witness lives being saved because of them. As much as I love to reminisce and fly my older 10.5 meter seagull hang glider I still own I would never fly a stock regollo off anything higher than the 30 foot sand dunes I learned on.

Just saying.
 

Bille Floyd

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Sep 26, 2019
Messages
516
...
I would never fly a stock regollo off anything higher than the 30 foot sand dunes I learned on.

Just saying.
Good chance , we have flown together ; bin at it since 1977, in
San Diego aria, and learned on the dunes in mexico, 1/2 to
Ensenada.

Bille Floyd
 

speedracer

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Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
154
Very unlikely to start a sport flying vintage hang gliders. There is a reason they had such a dangerous reputation in the early days. It wasn’t just that anybody could grab one and jump off a cliff, they were just flat out dangerous. I am talking from experience as having my hang 4 rating and flying in the late 70’s period as they were heavily being developed at the time. And they just weren’t as fun to fly. In that development period there were some great strides made very quickly when Seagal, Willswing, Delta, UFO, Moyes UP …and the list goes on of companies competing then. Luff lines and battens to help keep the airfoil we’re employed fo safety and made a difference. Of course we flew with parachutes to and I did infact witness lives being saved because of them. As much as I love to reminisce and fly my older 10.5 meter seagull hang glider I still own I would never fly a stock regollo off anything higher than the 30 foot sand dunes I learned on.

Just saying.
In the 70's I remember a girl flew off 8,500' Peavine Peak overlooking Stead airport (think Reno Air Races) in a "standard" Rogallo. She got into a dive and the sail luffed all the way to the ground killing her. I've flown there in booming thermals (which may have gotten her into the dive). I had to cut off a climb to over 12,000' in a UP Comet as I was wearing shorts and a tank top and was freezing. I bought a parachute soon after they became available.
 

cgifly2

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Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
32
Location
so cal
I learned in LA basin at Playa Delray. Flew with Joe Greblo who owned Southern California School of Hangliding. Ended up working and teaching for them. If you ever saw a hang glider in a movie, he probably did it if it was out of LA. He is a really good pilot and guy for that matter. Lost touch with him but I am sure he still flying.
 

raumzeit

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Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
16
I had a sail luff which made me give up on Ragallo's, several people I used to know had this happen, some survived it with major injury.
Haven't experienced this kind of thing myself, but I know a few old timers who won't touch Rogallo anything if it doesn't have a kingpost. Speaking of which, check out this little glider from UK -> Puma 13.5 | avianonline.co.uk Really innovative what they've done with the kingpost on that bird; if I were going to get a new Rogallo wing tomorrow it'd probably be that one.
 

speedracer

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Feb 4, 2020
Messages
154
I learned in LA basin at Playa Delray. Flew with Joe Greblo who owned Southern California School of Hangliding. Ended up working and teaching for them. If you ever saw a hang glider in a movie, he probably did it if it was out of LA. He is a really good pilot and guy for that matter. Lost touch with him but I am sure he still flying.
I flew with Joe Greblo too at the World Hang Gliding Championships in Vancouver, BC in the 80's. A very nice and approachable guy. He was one of the top pilots of that era. I saw a video recently of him flying at some hang glider meet at a little dune on the CA. coast.
 

Norman

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Nov 28, 2003
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Grand Junction, Colorado
Does MitchellWing, still sell kits ; for the DIYers ?

Bille
I'm not sure that anybody ever sold a complete kit of any of the Mitchel wings. Wicks and Aircraft Spruce sold and may still be willing to put together a materials kit (no actual parts, just a stack of sized lumber, sheet aluminum, and steel tubing) if you call and ask. Last I heard the current owner of the drawings is Victoria Snyder.
 
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