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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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A History of Hang Gliding

Hang Gliding HistoryA new electronic book on the emergence of hang gliding is now available for download to iPad and Kindle tablets.

Author Mark Woodhams, a founder member of the BHGA and the Southern Hang Gliding Club, has gathered together a number of his articles originally published in Wings! and Skywings, with other supporting texts, and assembled them into a coherent narrative outlining the birth of the sport and its development from the very first days.

The book also covers an often-missed factor - just how rapidly the sport spread around the world and how pilots organised themselves into clubs and associations to protect their right to fly.

The history of hang gliding is as much the history of a movement as a story of technical development; this book is perhaps the first to chronicle this magical development from both a local and global perspective, yet to be completely on top of the technicalities. Readers will find footage of a very early Dickenson Ski-Wing in flight, and the flight testing in 2013 of a replica 1963 Mk 1 Dickenson wing.

Search 'A History of Hang Gliding' or Mark's name in the iBook or Amazon/Kindle stores. The book costs £8.49 at either site. For further details please visit the Amazon website, or the itunes website.

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Brett Janaway takes over Airtribune

xTc's Brett JanawayAirtribune, the GPS tracking and competition results service developed by Alex Belskiy, has been taken over by xTc's Brett Janaway.

Alex has developed Airtribune over the last five years with the help of a large team of professional developers, but Brett says there's still lots to do. Brett has long been known for his involvement in the tracking world and has worked wonders in developing competition tracking. His plans for Airtribune include expanding the device types accepted, allowing personal use, exporting features to link to SeeYou, new functions for event organisers and new ways to deliver results through iOS and Android apps, plus a new leaderboard integrating leadput points to see a task's true leader.

Airtribune is also able to supply reliable and easy-to-use Flymaster 360 trackers in sets of 20 - 150, ready to go. Costs vary but you can expect to pay around 15 euro per tracker per week, inclusive of all data. Currently they are offering 30% off rentals and half-price access to the tracking service.

Posted: 23 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Skyway Code (print version)

Launched online earlier this year, the CAA's new Skyway Code is now available as a hard copy. Described as a one-stop shop for safety rules and advice for GA pilots, the guide condenses the 'must know' info on recreational flying into an easy-to-navigate document.

Areas covered include pilot responsibilities, pre-flight checks and flight planning, airspace rules and regulations, risks and emergencies and links to useful safety and regulatory resources. It's still available as a free download too on the CAA website; the print version costs £12.95 from AFE online.

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

British Paramotor Open

Danny Kettle and trike about to launch courtesy of Paul SmithA pessimistic weather forecast led to a small turnout at the 2017 British Paramotor Open at Green Dragons' base in the Surrey hills. Nevertheless guest pilots were present from Poland, Turkey and Sweden. Despite strong winds, rain and low cloud over the four-day event, Meet Director Barney Townsend ran seven excellent tasks to validate the Championship, with Dylan Marsh winning the fuel economy task and Mark Morgan the navigation one.

Landing accuracy ultimately provided the tie-break and Michel Carnet, flying the Nirvana Instinct 200/Nucleon WRC31 combination he's been using for years, won the British Paramotor Champion Trophy for a record 13th time! There was a disappointing end to the competition for promising young pilot Dylan Marsh who was injured when he stalled his wing on a landing approach. He is reported to be recovering well.

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

PeaBee ready to fly

Flylight PeaBee nanolightFlylight's new PeaBee 'nanolight' trike made its maiden flight in September. According to designer Ben Ashman, the idea was to build a high-performance sub-70kg machine with superb comfort and build quality while retaining the performance of their SSDR microlights.

In practice this means that you sit in a roomy, well-padded seat with adjustable pedals, yet can carry carry camping gear, a change of clothes and enough fuel to actually go places. The trike unit can be folded in minutes to fit inside a car, and the machine is light enough to allow the pilot to switch the engine off and soar in good conditions. The trike unit was extensively tested with the Foxcub's 13TL wing and then married to the lighter 13T wing - itself already test flown - when the production versions arrived at Flylight's Sywell factory.

Using the 25hp Corsair M25Y engine and Helix prop, the PeaBee weighs in at 61kg empty, allowing enough fuel to be carried for three or four hours flying while remaining within the sub-70kg category. The PeaBee will be in production by the time you read this; list price is £8,300 + VAT but there will be a 15% discount on the first three units off the line. More details from Flylight Airsports Ltd, Sywell Aerodrome, Northants NN6 0BN, tel: 01604 49445, e-mail: info@flylight.co.uk, website: www.flylight.co.uk.

Posted: 3 October 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Pilots Declaration: Uncertified Wing

From the 1st August 2017, the submission of a stand-alone pilots declaration uncertified wing form has been superceded by a new declaration included in the membership renewal form.

When pilots flying any wing that is uncertified join the BHPA or renew their BHPA membership, they will now have to declare that they understand and accept the additional risks of flying an uncertified wing with no acceptable independent verification of airworthiness. Pilots who entered the old system will automatically be transferred to the new system on their next renewal. Anyone who wants to START flying an uncertified wing who was not on the old system and who has not renewed since 1 August 2017 will need to speak to a Technical Officer.

For further information about certification and flying an uncertified wing, please download a copy of the BHPA Certification Factsheet.

Posted: 14 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Pennine Soaring Club will hold its annual Penninefest on the Chipping Showground on September 8th - 10th.

A marquee will be in position with bar, pumps and a selection of local beers. Eric's marvellous barbecue will be available from Friday until Sunday. Saturday night is pizza night at the Sun Inn Pizza Oven restaurant close by in the centre of Chipping - you need to book early. Camping is available on the showground for a small nightly cost, with electric available on a first-come basis.

There'll be a task-based competition set by Chris Williams of High Sierras, and a reserve repack and a guest speaker on the Saturday. For updates see the Pennine flight club Facebook page and PSC website. Contact Graham Jones for pizza and repack bookings.

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey

Weird but wonderful!

Lilienthal Meet Model In May 1975, at the 5th annual Otto Lilienthal Hang Glider Meet at Pismo Beach in California, a dayglo-orange WW2-surplus amphibious vehicle was used to ferry pilots and gliders over a mile to the 450ft Guadalupe Dune flying site.

Hang gliding history buff and avid modeller Everard Cunion has recreated the event in miniature using scratch-built model gliders and a 1/76th-scale Airfix kit of the DUKW amphibian. The DUKW is 12.5cm in length and the hang gliders - made of toothpicks, tissue paper, wire and thread - are just 8cm long. Those interested in how Everard achieved this feat of miniaturisation should visit Everard's wordpress website.

Posted: 7 September 2017
By: Paul Dancey

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last updated: 18 November 2023

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