This is a spectacular point, and one I have come to realize. My analysis of the gliders is a side project...it just happened to intertwine itself with my current goals. Please do not confuse the fact that I started this thread out looking at the characteristics and data of intermediate gliders with a solid intent to make one of them my first wing. I was trying to understand the differences between novice/beginner gliders vs. intermediate ones so I knew if that was something I should be concerned with going into this, but of course I learned that it was not, and my focus should be novice/beginner gliders.Aaron S wrote: Here's a bit of a secret about hang gliding and hang gliders; people tend to think that it is the type of glider that defines what sort of pilot they are, but the reality is that it is the type of pilot that defines what sort of glider a glider is. In other words, too many people think they need a Sport 2 over a Falcon, or a U2 over a Sport 2, or a T2 over a U2 in order to be a real pilot, a good pilot, and advancing or advanced pilot. That's a myth. The truth is, a pilot demonstrates his or her aptitude regardless of glider type. A superior pilot on a Falcon is recognizable as a top pilot by the way he flies, and an inferior pilot on a topless glider is clearly recognizable by the way he flies.
Again, I am not concerned with what is "cool"...and hope other greenhorns are not either...if they are they will never get the enjoyment they can out of the sport. I have been told that from every person I have asked, including my father. I will be starting with a Falcon level glider, perhaps even the Falcon itself...though I cannot seem to find many used onesAaron S wrote: When most often the desire to move up the ladder to more elaborate gliders is motivated by one's own self image and not by the honest limitations imposed by the current glider, the result is that instead of the pilot appearing to observers as an advancing, "cool" pilot, they tend to appear to be goofy and not so cool.
I wish I could, many things are preventing me from taking action right now...winter, lack-o-funds, car trouble and family responsibilities. I will as soon as I can, trust me!Aaron S wrote: Dude, if you have a real "passion" for flight, then you ought to get away from the keyboard and get a Falcon, go get trained, and start flying. The joys of flight cannot be found within the pages of books, articles or pseudo-scientific theories.
To be frank I have been studying aerodynamics and airfoils since I was about twelve. They have always interested me. I may not know as much as someone with a degree, or lifetime of real life R&D, but I do see room for a more quantifiable study/improvement. That is all I was stating, and the quotes I posted simply showed that there are those who know much more than myself and still feel the same.Aaron S wrote: What you think is research and development shortage within the industry is misguided fantasy. Until you have mastered the gliding experience, blown your eyelids back while hanging your hide out in the wind under one of these supposedly poorly designed airfoils, you've got no idea whether or not they need improvement...Until you become a hang glider pilot, you really ought to reserve judgment on equipment, and while you are at it, reserve judgment on how good a pilot you might some day hope to become.
All the data I have gathered and posted here was for the purpose of discussion and through that discussion a furthering of my knowledge. By understanding the mechanics, I understand the theory. That combined with reading stories about flight experiences written by experienced HG pilots makes me feel more comfortable facing the risks all pilots must face.
Also, if I am put into a situation I have not encountered before while in flight I should be able to make an educated guess on how to save my hide using all that knowledge. My father and I are both firm believers in understanding all that you can about an activity where your life is on the line...before, during, and after you start.