British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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Skywings news items published in 2019 are displayed below.

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There are 42 news items for 2019 in our database.

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Skywings News - 2019

The BVHGR returns!

Dave Parsons and Vortex 120 at Hackpen Hill in 1997 - photo courtesy of  Justin Parsons The British Vintage Hang Gliding Rally (BVHGR) will return to Parafest for 2019 with displays of gliders and nostalgia galore. 'We had everything in place for a fantastic rally in 2018,' writes BVHGR Chairman Steve Pionk, 'but were stymied at the last minute by the weather.

'We think we've found the correct weather God to pray to this year and are planning to coax a few old hang gliders out of their bags to spread their wings. Parafest is the best flying festival in the calendar and we are looking forward to working with Mark Meadows again.

'Roll on July 11th, and see you there!' Tickets for Parafest can be found on the Parafest website, and keep an eye on the BVHGR website for the latest info. Photo by Justin Parsons shows Dave Parsons and Vortex 120 at Hackpen Hill, Wilts in 1997.

Posted: 5 March 2019
By: J. Schofield

PWC Superfinal info

The Paragliding World Cup Superfinal takes place at Baixo Guandu in Brazil from March 19th - 30th. Supporters can follow the event on the PWCA website where they will find live commentary and live tracking, plus pilot profiles, or via the PWCA app which now features photos and a 'follow' button to allow you keep up with your favourite pilots.

British pilots will include Guy Anderson (Ozone Enzo 3), Idris Birch (Gin Boomerang 11), Harry Bloxham, Martin Long, Russ Ogden (all Enzo 3), Julian Robinson (Boomerang 11), Theo Warden and Andrew Williams (both Enzo 3).

Posted: 5 March 2019
By: J. Schofield

Buttermere Bash

The legendary Buttermere BashThe legendary Buttermere Bash free flight festival, and the Lakeland Charity Open paragliding comp, will take place on Friday May 31st and Saturday June 1st at the usual location on the shores of Buttermere. Plans are being made to attract some of the world's top acro pilots to the UK's only acro display.

In addition, fantastic bands will fill the night with music. Camping will be available from Tuesday May 28th - details are available on the Air Ventures website. details of the charity paragliding competition, consisting of A and B comps and a coaching group for low-airtime pilots, can be found on the Escape website.

Posted: 5 March 2019
By: J. Schofield

Flybubble weather!

Flybubble weather - built on the RASP forecasting modelFlybubble have come up with an innovative free tool for paraglider and hang glider pilots. Built on the RASP forecasting model and using the known parameters of flyable conditions at each site, Flybubble Weather makes finding good conditions easy.

Its two-page presentation offers an overview map for spotting good days and promising areas, and a site detail page where you can scan through the next five days' weather to see the best times to fly. It includes airspace at selectable levels, Notams and a 'low cloudbase' filter, while 'amber alerts' warn of strong winds aloft.

It covers all of the UK and Ireland and over time will provide a reliable match between the forecast model and what really happens at specific sites.

If pilots flying 20 years ago had seen this they wouldn't have believed it possible - hats off to Flybubble and to team pilot Caedmon Mullin who developed and designed it. This innovative free tool is available on the Flybubble website.

Posted: 5 March 2019
By: J. Schofield

Flying Wing lecture

Jonathan Howes flying his Litespeed 2XThe annual lecture of the Royal Aeronautical Society's Human Powered Flying Group is entitled 'Aero-mechanical stabilisation of flying wing aircraft: reducing weight and drag'.

The lecture will be given by Jonathan Howes of Howes Aero-Nautics Ltd, a current hang glider pilot and one of the originators of the recent BVHG rallies. His lecture outlines an investigation into reducing an aircraft to the bare minimum using aero-mechanical servo techniques to control unstable configurations.

It's at 6pm on Wednesday February 27th at 4 Hamilton Place, London W1J 7BQ. Details and booking - free to all - is at RAeC Lecture or email

Posted: 5 February 2019
By: Joe Schofield

Solar-powered flight anniversary

The world's very first solar-powered flight at Lasham in 1978December 19th 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the world's very first solar- powered flight. Only a short hop was achieved at Lasham in 1978, but on June 13th the following year Ken Stewart covered nearly three-quarters of a mile in the same machine at 35 knots. 

Earlier, British architect Fred To had started a project to build a human-powered aircraft for the Kremer Prize. When it proved too heavy for human-powered flight Fred converted it to solar power.

Its 24-cell battery pack, weighing 30kg, powered four 36V electric motors driving a propeller at 1,100 rpm. The batteries were charged by 750 three-inch solar cells, by far the most costly part of the project. 

A later planned flight across the Channel was abandoned when it was found that the aircraft did not have the endurance. 

Last October Fred was presented with a long-overdue award when the PlanetSolar Foundation brought energy pioneers from across the world together in Switzerland. 

Fred To is still active in HPA circles and is currently working on a redesign of his successful 1982 Phoenix. 

Posted: 5 February 2019
By: Joe Schofield

Lasham fights back at airspace grab

In December the Lasham Gliding Society obtained the go-ahead from the High Court for a judicial review of the TAG-Farnborough airspace grab, seen by many as an unnecessary encroachment that disenfranchises all forms of lightweight GA flying for the benefit of a few wealthy private jet owners.

The TAG-Farnborough proposal directly affects free fliers. It closes off a major XC route and, more importantly, sets an inauspcious precedent for access to airspace.

Many observers have questioned the process by which the TAG-Farnborough proposal was approved and perceive that the current CAA process is predisposed in favour of Commercial Air Transport.

Lasham are now raising finance for their Judicial Review, arguably a step towards levelling the playing field between GA and CAT. The BHPA Exec has agreed to support it to as it directly affects our members' interests.

To support the campaign go to Lasham Airspace Campaign.

Posted: 5 February 2019
By: Joe Schofield


The Association's 2019 AGM takes place on Saturday March 2nd at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel (NG8 6PY), alongside the BGA AGM and trade show.

The BHPA Exec operates a rolling three-year tenure of officers; this year Bill Bell (competitions), Martin Heywood (insurance), Angus Langford (treasurer) and John Welch (clubs liaison) will stand down at the end of their statutory terms.

All four are happy to serve again; in addition members Andy Berzins and David Perryman, both of the Sir George Cayley club, are standing for election.

A 2019 AGM pack is available for download on this web site. The pack includes formal notice of the meeting, details of members standing for election, and a proxy voting form.

Posted: 10 January 2019
By: Joe Schofield

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last updated: 5 October 2021

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