Mixed Hangglider Control

My own creativity

While making the new version of this site (April 2005) I wanted to use 3D drawings in the section of "Few of my ideas". So I wanted to draw one for this old idea too. While drawing the fairing around the cockpit I started to draw other things and it ended in something that is better than the original idea.

Just look at it. A fairing like the rigidwing hangglider like SWIFT (see www.aeriane.com) but it is controlled by weight-shifting. So ...it might perform like a Swift, but still ...it is a part in the weightshift class. That is a totally different class in the USA competition (for so far I understand those classes in the USA). A possible winner? Bah, maybe once or twice till they changes the rules again.  ;^)

OK, guys (and girls), keep in mind that the drawings on this page where made in two hours! So, it might still been a lot of tinkering. But I like the concept this far. I need to know more about the displacements of the pilots body under a rigidwing (without flight-control-surfaces like in a conventional airplane) to be able to work on this idea a bit longer.

How does it work? Simple! Make a cage under the wing that can rotate sideways. The red stick in the pilots hands is fixed to the wing and cannot be moved. If you use force on it sideways, you start to slide the cockpit sideways and place the CG of the pilot and fairing out from the center. Normally a roll (beginning of turn) will follow.

"But how do you control pitch?", you ask. See those orange tubes. They are the tubes that hold the "seat" (more about the seat later). And ... they can slide over the side-tubes of the cockpit. So you slide your body forwards and backwards, just like in a normal hangglider. Those orange tubes have two functions.

  • making sliding possible of the body
  • holding the side-tubes at a certain distance. So, they are also a part of the "structure". Note: there is a fixed horizontal tube at the very end of the cockpit too (not easy to see).

That seat. You might now think "Hey, you nick a seat idea from the persons of SWIFT!" . Euh ... not true! This idea is as old as the streets (translation of Belgian saying in Dutch). I found a picture of the hangglider Henri Mignet made before his famous Flying Flea. It had the same seat. We are talking 1930's here!

Ok, I didn't draw a landinggear. True. Why? Euh ... how much work can you do in 2 hours? Just wanted this page finished as quick as possible for the new "release" of my site. What where my first thoughts. Place skid points on the fairing and have a bomb-bay door system to make it possible to footlaunch and footland. I thought to recall that footlandings are needed in the USA competition.

Why talking so much about USA competition? Well, I exchanged a few emails with Brain Porter (a winner in hanggliding competitions) and we talked about the new rules made in the hanggliding-competition to give the SWIFT less change to win. This idea came up to counter the new rules. Euh ... am I rebellious now? It might have a chance in the weightshifted hangglider competition. But ... the idea still needs a lot of tinkering.

I was told that those sliders for pitch control was not so good. OK, plan B. Still use the same stick in the middle, but this time also make the cage can tilt forwards or backwards. So ... now you have total control with that stick. I recently saw a hangglider using a cage very similar to my idea but it still had a outside going triangular shaped steering control. Seeing that I was convinced that I am close to the truth.

Will we see these designs in the weightshift competition in the future? Sure, unless they change the rules again.  :(

I have the original drawings of this idea on this site too. They are in two versions. One has struts from the fairing to the wings (to reinforce the wings a bit more) and one is like here, without struts.

Click the drawing below to get to the full texts.

Click this picture to get the larger file with explanations.