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HGpilot

Hang gliding question.

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Hello everyone . I have been watching some youtube videos of wing suit flying. I must say it sure looks like fun.
I have been wondering what you all think about hang gliding ?

Seems that most HG pilots think you guys are crazy,witch is kinda ironic since most folks that don't fly think we are crazy.

Steve

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Im a paraglider Pilot and did hangliding in the past.

Dont worry learning hangliding. it is heavy and bulky around 40kg, wingsuit is lighter and easier to carry to the hill to fly.

Wingsuits are getting bigger and slower, with better sink rate and better glide ratio, soon wingsuits will be big enough to be able to fly up in thermals and ridge soaring give it 5-10 years time.

By now start skidiving because its a lot of jumps until you start flying a proper wingsuit!

Best wishes

Gisele
Lauren Martins - www.youtube.com/user/gisellemartins20

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Wingsuits are getting bigger and slower, with better sink rate and better glide ratio, soon wingsuits will be big enough to be able to fly up in thermals and ridge soaring give it 5-10 years time.



It's true! Just like a tree, wingsuits grow with time... forever and ever. In 50-100 years they will be big enough to fly up just by sneezing.

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Dont worry learning hangliding



Oh and something tells me that "HGpilot" is not worried about learning to hang glide.

And OP... Jarno is correct. We're all nuts. You included. :P But, I'm guessing the youtube videos you are watching aren't just wingsuit flying, but probably proximity flight (terrain flying). There is a world of difference between the two, and one is much more nuts that the other. ;) Most of us here just jump out of planes.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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It's true! Just like a tree, wingsuits grow with time... forever and ever. In 50-100 years they will be big enough to fly up just by sneezing.

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If they are going to grow like a tree for 100 years I'm not sure, also I'm not sure if they are going to fly just by a sneezing like you said.

But with the experience I have with non powered airfoils/aircrafts they do tend to develop a lot, because are a lot or margin to work with.

And seeing the devolpement of the wingsuit since it has beggan only a decade ago, they have developed a lot, and all aspects only in 10 years and new ideas are yet to come as the sport grows...

But then, I dont think a wingsuit will ever grow like a tree, do you really think that? :D

Lauren Martins - www.youtube.com/user/gisellemartins20

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But with the experience I have with non powered airfoils/aircrafts they do tend to develop a lot, because are a lot or margin to work with.



How many of those airfoils and aircrafts use the human bone/muscle system as their structural frame?
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Yes the proximity flying is what intrigued me. After poking around here I see thats considered on the edge. Go figure :ph34r:

Still I wonder what you guys think about hang gliding? I can only guess that it must seem to slow. Not thrilling enough. OR am I way off base.

As a HG pilot its hard for me to understand why you folks jump for 2 or 3 minute ride when you could be up for hours.

Now PLEASE understand that I am not trying to be condescending in any way , im just a curious person.

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Still I wonder what you guys think about hang gliding?



I think it sounds awesome, but I already have too little time and money leftover from pursuing too many expensive sports. Some day, maybe. I think I would PG before HG though, but of course I'd do both if I could.

Honestly landing a HG in a prone position sounds kind of scary to me, but I'm sure with training and practice it can become normal... like anything else.

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As a HG pilot its hard for me to understand why you folks jump for 2 or 3 minute ride when you could be up for hours.



That's one of the downsides for sure, as is the cost of a lift ticket. But flying your own body is definitely a unique feel... not sure how it compares to what you guys feel. I got into skydiving first... just wanted to jump out of a plane. From there I added the wingsuit eventually.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Still I wonder what you guys think about hang gliding? I can only guess that it must seem to slow. Not thrilling enough. OR am I way off base.



Now I think you are nuts!! Are you sure you a HG pilot?

Because gliding at 50km/h at trim speed and diving at 150km/h is far from being too slow for non powered flight! it is fast indeed!

Of course wingsuit have lots of velocity because it doesnt have a good glide ratio and sink rate yet so it just fall, but soon as wingsuits starting having better GR and Less sink rate it will fly just fast as a HG or a bit faster but with around same glide ratio. Currently wingsuit already improved a lot their Gide and Sink in the past few years.
Lauren Martins - www.youtube.com/user/gisellemartins20

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That's one of the downsides for sure, as is the cost of a lift ticket. But flying your own body is definitely a unique feel... not sure how it compares to what you guys feel. I got into skydiving first... just wanted to jump out of a plane. From there I added the wingsuit eventually.



Surprisingly I agree with you in something...
Lauren Martins - www.youtube.com/user/gisellemartins20

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" Flying your own body" That must be truly amazing.

I have one jump , (tandem ,Lodi around 1995 ?)it is something I will never forget. The first few seconds out were the biggest rush of my life ! After about 10 seconds of free fall I was thinking 'so this is it, I'm plummeting to earth ':S

After we pulled the chute I got to fly us all the way down to a good landing. I remember thinking ( Why didn't we pull the chute after the first 10 second rush ) We would have been up a lot longer.

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Of course wingsuit have lots of velocity because it doesnt have a good glide ratio and sink rate yet so it just fall, but soon as wingsuits starting having better GR and Less sink rate it will fly just fast as a HG or a bit faster but with around same glide ratio. Currently wingsuit already improved a lot their Gide and Sink in the past few years.



It is hard to conclude that wingsuits have gotten a lot better in terms of Glide numbers. Based on data posted by Yuri K(2.5 in 2005, V1, same for S3), Matt G (3.0 in 2009, X-Bird) etc in the BASE world, and the skydiving competition data that is on wingsuitcompetition.com/ppc we can see about 20% increase in performance for a bigger increase in area.


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After we pulled the chute I got to fly us all the way down to a good landing. I remember thinking ( Why didn't we pull the chute after the first 10 second rush ) We would have been up a lot longer.



Or a lot lower... ground rush :ph34r:

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I was doing tandems in Lodi at that time, do you remember who your tandem master was?

Having done hangliding back in the late 70's, before I started skydiving, the one thing I remember is how much it added to my dreams. I only got to Hang 2 off of Ft. Funston before I bent my modified Rogallo after a stall and crash halfway up the cliff. My skydiving dreams don't last as long.

On thing about flying parachutes over hang gliders, we can get out at 12K, next to a cloud tower and fly all around and inside it. There are rainbow canyons and rooms inside some of them. Carving clouds in wingsuits is also pretty cool, it's why I bought one.

May have to try paragliding in the future. Proximity flying is a ways off.

madjohn

Main goals in life: Be on the "Jumpers Over Eighty" (JOE) World Record and attend the Lost Prairie Boogie once after I'm gone.

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A bit of threadjack, but if you guys know of anywhere in the Northeast (US) that I could learn powered paragliding, please let me know.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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Still I wonder what you guys think about hang gliding? I can only guess that it must seem to slow. Not thrilling enough. OR am I way off base.



Speed gliding looks beautiful and thrilling. If I had the money and time I'd gladly pick up hang gliding, it really does look like pure flight..


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As a HG pilot its hard for me to understand why you folks jump for 2 or 3 minute ride when you could be up for hours.



Here, let me answer your question with your own words:

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I have one jump , (tandem ,Lodi around 1995 ?)it is something I will never forget. The first few seconds out were the biggest rush of my life ! After about 10 seconds of free fall I was thinking 'so this is it, I'm plummeting to earth ':S


"Dream as you'll live forever, live as you'll die today." James Dean

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I'm an H5/P4 rated foot launched soaring pilot and I fly wing suits (out of airplanes, not from cliffs). To me, flying a wing suit feels like being inside a tiny little hang glider. WS and HG have a lot of similarities, they are both gravity powered, weight shift controlled, and both involve flying in a prone position (like a bird or superman). WS is just a wearable glider.

HG is cool because you can soar up to the bottoms of fat cumulus clouds and spend hours playing there. WS is cool because you can carve down the side of a fat cumulus at an astonishingly high rate of speed.

What an incredible time to be alive.

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You can do ridge soaring now, just find a place with a good hill and a 100 mph wind, not sure about flying thermals though. :ph34r:



Impressive answer!! I wouldn't expect this kind of answer from a wingsuit pilot, unless he is sailplane, HG or PG pilot also.

What you said is very true, but that wind would be hard to find and also dangerous, actually on a currently wingsuit like Fusion or Xbird you dont need that much of wind to soar.

But as the wingsuit improves performance, the necessity of strong winds go lower, so lets wait and see what the futures hold for us on wingsuit flight.
Lauren Martins - www.youtube.com/user/gisellemartins20

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I have one jump , (tandem ,Lodi around 1995 ?)it is something I will never forget. The first few seconds out were the biggest rush of my life ! After about 10 seconds of free fall I was thinking 'so this is it, I'm plummeting to earth 'Crazy

After we pulled the chute I got to fly us all the way down to a good landing. I remember thinking ( Why didn't we pull the chute after the first 10 second rush ) We would have been up a lot longer.



Imagine, then, if you were a passenger on the front of a tandem HG, and the pilot flew off the launch and then just straight lined it all the way down to the landing. How interesting and engaging would that be compared to your normal solo HG flights? That's about the relation of doing a tandem skydive to being an experienced skydiver actually doing stuff in freefall.

Anyway, it's all about what you get from the experience. Most of us prefer flying our bodies/ canopies, you prefer flying your HG. If it was only about having the most efficient wing we'd all be sailplane pilots.
Do you want to have an ideagasm?

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soon wingsuits will be big enough to be able to fly up in thermals and ridge soaring give it 5-10 years time.



You do realize why we all disagree with you on this, right Giselle? I don't think anyone ever fully explained it previously. I think most people basically said "no, that won't work", but didn't elaborate. I'm going to lay this out for you and hopefully it will clarify some of your ideas. Hopefully, you can take this information and rethink your designs. We would welcome you in the skydiving community (if you haven't already started jumping) and the wingsuit community (once you get the appropriate experience). And we would welcome you to design suits, once you understand the forces that are actually at work on the wingsuit pilot. But believe me - if something approaching your design actually could work, Tony/Jeff and/or Robi would have snatched up the approach and made the Condor, the Q-Bird, or whatever the Hell they would call it.

Enthusiasm is a great thing, and something that should be encouraged, but enthusiasm without an understanding of how the physics of gliding works or an understand of what has been attempted before is a dead end.

OK, here we go:

As you increase the size of a wing (the wingspan), you also increase the "induced drag" created by the wing. In layman's terms, that means the bigger the wing, the more the wingsuiter's arms are put under strain. At some point, even a very strong human will not be able to hold the wing open in flight due to the load placed on his arms.

So, absent some form of airframe, I highly doubt even the strongest of us would be able to hold open the wing that you have in your avatar.

Take the largest of the current wingsuit designs these days, like the Xbird or the Stealth2. These are tiny wings compared to what you want in your future design, right? But even with those relatively tiny wings, flight is exhausting. Maxed out flight feels like a damn hard work out - there have been times when I've flown an XS or Xbird maxed out, only to find my arms very shaky at pull time. Induced drag is a hell of a strain.

Don't believe me? Check out this guy: http://www.parapente-saintevictoire.com/leshommesoiseaux/rudolf boehlen.jpg. His name was Rudolf Boehlen. He used light weight (for the time) materials to create a very large wing, as you can see. So large that he couldn't even stand up on the ground without assistance (in that picture, there is actually a man standing behind him helping him up). The wing handled, by all accounts, very badly - the induced drag generally pinned his arms closed - or open but one at a time - resulting in crazy spins and erratic falling. Not surprisingly, he died as a result of gear problems.

Now, your reaction to Boehlen may be "but now we have space age polymer whatsit fabric thingies that are way lighter!". But the problem isn't the standing weight of the wing. The problem (as I mentioned before) is the induced drag created by it.

We bump up into limitation imposed by the human body - we didn't evolve from a creature that needed to hold weight in that way, so we don't have the muscles to do so.

OK, so with that background, it becomes clear that a rigid frame is needed, right?

Perhaps the rigid frame is integrated into the "suit". In that case it is functionally a hang glider. Maybe a funky design of a hang glider (one in which you zip up into), but once you add a rigid frame, you're moving away from what we think of as a modern wingsuit and into something that is far more akin to a hang glider. Since there have been a lot of rigid wing "batsuits" in the past, I'm not going to say that such a design wouldn't be considered by some to be a wingsuit, but it would look and function almost nothing like either what is currently in the market or your design. (There's a reason, for example, that hang gliders are generally delta wings, not like the albatross shape you have come up with.)

So why not basically take a hang glider wing and make the attachment for the pilot basically be something he zips up into. There's a reason why: hang glider pilots generally hang a bit BELOW (several feet) the wing - by moving their center of gravity below the wing, the wing become far, far, far more stable. So if the center of gravity is in the wing, stability and control become a major problem. (Research "flying wing" aircraft - there's a reason why you don't see many of them outside of the military, where the design is used because it has a low RADAR profile.)

OK, that means that we need to put the pilot slightly below the wing in our new wingsuit.... Congratulations, we've invented the classic hang glider.

A related problem is that we would need to redesign the parachute harness system. We would need a spring loaded pilot chute design, since the traditional bottom of container deployment system would not be reachable. There are again reasons why people don't like spring loaded pilot chutes. If you look into the history of that, you'll find out more.

Another problem is that you won't (easily) be able to exit from an aircraft - at least an aircraft other than a tailgate aircraft. Several people (Leo Valentin being the most famous) died using rigid wing designs that either didn't quite get out the door safely (Valentin's broke when it hit the door frame and it killed him) or were designed to "snap open" and the the predictable went wrong.

So basically your dream of gliding thermals is a great one and I applaud it. However, you're starting from the wrong point - you should be thinking about hang gliders, not wingsuits. It's as though you said "I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I should learn to kayak." It's the wrong tool for the job. Could you modify a wingsuit to achieve your goal? Maybe, but at the end of your modifications, the resulting thing would look far more like a hang glider than a wingsuit. It also won't look like your albatross design (research hang glider shapes to learn why). It would be more of a delta wing.

As I said before, I really like your enthusiasm. And this isn't a case of "they laughed at the Wright Brothers, too" (they laughed at Bozo the Clown for what that's worth). But this is a case of a lot of years spent - and many lives lost - by many experienced engineers, equipment manufacturers and experienced test pilots providing feedback and evolving the technology that we have.

Good luck.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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Impressive answer!! I wouldn't expect this kind of answer from a wingsuit pilot, unless he is sailplane, HG or PG pilot also.



Note the smiley. He's making a joke - read his answer carefully. Where are you going to find sustained 100 MPH winds?
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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Yep, i was being funny. Even though possible in theory i don't really see it happen...just yet. Maybe one day someone crazy enough will be on an epizode of storm chasers :D

@Giselle - I'm a fairly experienced PG pilot and just a beginner skydiver....for now ;)

To the OP- Some of us just enjoy flying in any form. I wanna do it all.:)

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So, absent some form of airframe, I highly doubt even the strongest of us would be able to hold open the wing that you have in your avatar.



I know you know this Jeff, but once you add an airframe it is no longer a wingSUIT. Clothes don't have structures, they are shaped by our bodies.

1) No human could hold out the wings in the avatar you are referring to in freefall.
2) Even if a human could, those wings are not NEARLY big enough to catch thermals, etc. They'd need to be more like the size of a paraglider, which would require a man strong enough to balance a car on each shoulder.
3) The balance of the suit in that image is all wrong too, and would end up with the "flyer" falling feet first toward the ground with the wings over his head trying their best to rip his shoulders out of his sockets, though this point is kind of irrelevant considering the first 2.

It HAS been explained to Giselle before. She refuses to hear what she doesn't like to hear, like she ignored my very simple question above. Here it is again:

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But with the experience I have with non powered airfoils/aircrafts they do tend to develop a lot, because are a lot or margin to work with.



How many of those airfoils and aircrafts use the human bone/muscle system as their structural frame?
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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