Hang gliding and paragliding School

                  Aviation Training since 1986                                                       (ATO no: RAA-005/008/42)

Launching your hang glider.


Just recently I watched a online video clip of a hang glider launch. It was a literal "launch" if I could be so blunt and as an Instructor realized this to be both the most challenging and the most easiest of all launches. (Now there's irony for you!) But in this "single step" it demonstrated the absolute essence of successful launches in a hang glider (and of all aircraft for that matter), every time you take to the air. And that "essence" I am talking about here is - your angle of attack. (Use full screen mode to see the pic - I know, some rookie render error!)

The angle of attack is the single most important ingredient to any launch and understanding this principle will take your hang gliding launches to new heights (Cheesy I know but I could not resist...  :)

Recapping on the definition of Angle of Attack - "it is the angle of the wing (Mean chord if you like but we are not getting too technical here) so, the angle of the wing to the relative airflow. (There is that term, "r-e-l-a-t-i-v-e" again! Don't get confused! ;)

I wonder if you are able to spot and understand the relative airflow over the hang glider wing vs  the pilots trajectory? Can you see what I am talking about? Can you see the relationship between the pilot's trajectory and the angle of attack of the wing during every step of the launch? (OK step might be misleading since there is not even one so second or 10's of seconds is probably better here :)

If you have picked up on that you are on your way to perfecting your launches every time from now on. Always keep your angle of attack relative to your trajectory. Hhhmm.... I sure hope you get my "trajectory"! :)

Please let us know if you found this informative and for any additional hints you would like to see in this section. Please leave a comment, we value your input.

Thank you for your interest!