- To promote safe and frequent flying among club members
- To facilitate the sharing of information,experience and resorces
- To have fun and ensure that we have others to fly with
Hang Gliding is a very unique aviation activity. Consummately ethereal it is much more a Lifestyle than a sport.
It is the least expensive and is the closest a person can possibly come to flying as freely as the birds do.
Hang Gliding is a silent sport in which the pilots of these brightly coloured and agile craft can seemingly soar endlessly over the terrain from which most people spend all of their lives staring up.
Like sailplane pilots, hang glider pilots look for sources of rising air to keep themselves airborne, be it the wind blowing up a slope or currents (columns) of rising hot air called thermals.
Today's hang glider is the most maneuverable of any fixed wing aircraft. Hang gliding allows pilots to comfortably fly wing tip to wing tip, soar next to a sheer rock cliff-face, skim over tree tops or to soar with majestic hawks, whose flying abilities has helped many a hang glider pilot find elusive lift.
With nothing to restrict the pilots vision the view from a hang glider is nothing short of spectacular.
Long before the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, there were gliders in the air. Individuals like George Cayley and Otto Lilienthal were involved in the birth of unpowered flight.
When the Wright brothers put an engine on one of their gliders they altered the thrust of aviation for a very long time.
No further major development in hang gliding occurred until the 1960's when NASA became interested in a wing developed by Francis Rogallo. NASA envisioned using this wing for spacecraft recovery and after spending a great deal of time and money on research decided to use more conventional parachutes.
NASA's efforts brought the idea of Mr. Rogallo's to many people however. In the late sixties flight enthusiasts in California and Australia discovered the "Rogallo wing" and the old sport of hang gliding was reborn.
TODAY'S HANG GLIDER
The original Rogallo wing was very simple and inexpensive but it also had a very poor performance. The craft was nothing more than a kite with very questionable aerodynamic characteristics. In the early days the sport of hang gliding had a very poor safety record. Over the years it was very natural for designers to continually improve on the original design.
The hang gliders of today handle and perform far beyond the wildest dreams of the earliest participants. The efforts of designers throughout the eighties have also resulted in gliders with very impressive performance and built-in safety factors.
The current hang gliding distance record is 764km, which was set in 2012 and took 11 hours. With the quality of student instruction and the quality of glider construction available today, the sport of hang gliding today enjoys a safety record envied by all other aviation sports.
Top quality gliders are manufactured in many parts of the world. Currently none are made in Canada. Prices range from around $5,000 Cdn to over $10,000 for the latest high performance competition class models. Training gliders are available through reputable schools for training purposes and immediate purchases are not required to learn the sport. The top of the line gliders have speed ranges between 30 and 125km/hr, a minimum decent rate of less than one meter per second and a glide ratio of more than 15:1. Because of a hang glider's superior flat turning capabilities together with its phenomenal sink rate, today's hang gliders can out climb sailplanes
At SOGA we use an ultralight airplane to get towed up into the sky much like the Sailplanes do. The difference is we use an ultralight airplane 'The Dragonfly' which was designed in Australia specifically for towing hang gliders. This ultralight tug tows you up at a very comfortable 25-30 mph., and the ride up is almost as much fun as the ride down!