British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Oct 2013

50th anniversary of pioneer hang glider flight

September 7th 2013 saw a re-enactment of the first successful flight, in 1963, of John Dickenson's prototype flexwing hang glider. 50 years earlier, at Grafton in Australia, John Dickenson's glider initiated the strand of history that would result in the evolution of the modern-day hang glider. Dickenson's glider might never have flown without the remarkable team of pilot Rod Fuller and boat driver Pat Crowe.

Other pilots had tried to fly it and failed but Rod, whose strength, skill and courage were the stuff of local legend, waited until Pat, regarded as the best tow boat driver in the region, arrived. Neither anticipated the spectacular performance of the glider when pulled by a 200hp boat.

The 2013 flight was made on a replica of an early Dickenson glider, flown from the same spot in commemoration of their efforts. The day was a spectacular success; anything it may have lacked in pomp and ceremony was more than made up for in authenticity and sincerity.

For his pioneering work John Dickenson was awarded an FAI Diploma in 2006; Rod Fuller was similarly honoured by the FAI in 2010; he died earlier this year. In 2006 a plaque commemorating the 1963 flight was unveiled at Grafton. Almost every current flexwing hang glider can trace its roots to John Dickenson's 1963 wing; hang glider pilots everywhere are in his debt.

Posted: 19 Sep 2013

Airways trade show

Airways Airsports will be hosting an end-of-season trade show at Darley Moor airfield on October 19 - 20th. The "All Out, All Out, All In" event will offer try-before-you-buy, ex-demo sales, trial flight opportunities, fun paragliding and hang gliding competitions and more.

The major free-flight companies will be showing off their latest products and pilots will be able to pre-book demo wings, harnesses and equipment of all makes and models to fly from Airways' winch, aerotow or the local hill. It's a family event and microlight and tandem flights will also be available.

The Aviator's Bistro will offer a range of hot and cold foods, beverages and cakes. The Saturday evening will see a 1940s-style hangar party with swing music, an evening meal and a late bar. Airways will also be presenting awards for the year's flying achievements.

For details and demo flights go to the Airways website.

Posted: 19 Sep 2013

The Flying Show

Billed as the UK's biggest indoor aviation event, the Flying Show takes place at the NEC from Nov 30th - Dec 1st. The BMAA-organised show will feature microlights, gliders, gyrocopters, light aircraft, models, paramotors, paragliders and hang gliders, and training for most disciplines.

Seminars led by top industry personalities will cover topics of interest to all aviators; the BMAA will display their flexwing flight simulator; and British Paramotor team leader Richard Shaw will be encouraging paramotor pilots to take part in competitions.

A central attraction will be the Flying for Freedom team supported by the Hosties for Heroes girls. Entry will be £12.50 on the day, or £10 in advance on the Flying Show website. See also Twitter @The_Flyingshow and Facebook.

Posted: 19 Sep 2013

Lakes Classic thanks!

The Cumbria Soaring Club would like to thank all who attended May's Lakes Charity Classic. Two days of excellent flying provided deserving winners in all classes and raised £2,350 for local charities.

Pilots and friends were entertained afterwards with flying stunts and live bands at the Buttermere Bash. The 2014 Lakes Charity Classic will be held at the end of May; full details will be announced in due course.

Posted: 19 Sep 2013


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