Hanging Around Up in the Air


Hangglider 031113

While driving home from getting the sound on my computer restored today, I saw this sight which has become an unusual one.  Now paragliders are more often seen, but not many of those either.  At one stage there were a lot of them, because given the right wind conditions the lift provided by our hill is ideal.

In fact, I watched this flier cruise up and down the coast for ages, not losing any height.  At one stage a couple of yellow-billed kites joined him, whether to keep him company or to dispute territory is not known.

I have always facied trying paragliding or hangliding.  The hanglider seems to me more bird-like, somehow, and I think I prefer them.  There are pros and cons for both, though.  The pg is definitely more portable, and much easier to land in a tiny space.  They can ‘fold’ in turbulent conditions, however, and are not as sturdy as the hg which can resist more Gs than a jet aircraft.   The pg can cruise below ridge level where a hg would battle, but the hg is faster, in general.  The configuration plus the modern supine position taken by the pilot (as in the picture) makes that a given.  

The slanted-seat of the pg pilot is more comfortable still, and the view all round is better with the ‘wing’ so far above.  Their cross-country record has been quite impressive, although I still think the superior speed of the hg makes it easier to ‘hop’ thermals in them.

If you had the money, courage, ability and opportunity to take up one or the other, which would you choose?

 

© Colonialist November 2013 (WordPress)

 

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About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Birds, Flying, Personal Journal and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Hanging Around Up in the Air

  1. Neither. Personal safety is very high on my priority list. I’m not afraid of death, I just want to get their as quietly as possible. 😉

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  2. disperser says:

    I like to sit . . .

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  3. The Asian says:

    I don’t really understand how they work but if there was one that would make me feel as though my stomach dropped each time I hit an air pocket, I’d have to go for that one. Otherwise, I’d definitely have to go for the faster one!

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  4. cobbies69 says:

    You might know the area near Winchester, where they cut the Motorway….here they have regular competitions for these, and I visited years ago,, if given the choice when younger I think hanglider is my choice.

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  5. Your three “ifs” say it all: money, courage, ability: I have none of them. I like watching them, though.

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  6. Barb says:

    I remember seeing a tandem paraglider in SanDiego. That would be the technique for me. I want to go with someone who knows what they’re doing. I’d probably fly into a cliff let to my own skills.

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  7. nrhatch says:

    Whichever one let’s me ride tandem with an experienced pilot for the first few go-rounds. 😀

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  8. adinparadise says:

    I think once was enough for me, Col. 😯 I wouldn’t mind my own private jet though. 🙂

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  9. Colline says:

    Neither. I do not think I could fly so high in such an open mode of transport.

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  10. I’m totally confused 😉 and I’d be too scared to try either – hahaha – give me a spitfire any day (but then I’d need to learn how to fly the thing).

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