Landings

A discussion restricted to the topic of hang gliding.
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Davis
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Landings

Post by Davis »

The major problem I saw when a number of these pre-World competitors were landing is that they transition to the uprights at 200' (no problem, just yet) and put their hands three quarters of the way up the down tubes (oops, we are beginning to see the problem) where they are most comfortably placed and then don't pull it (it's hard to do so when your hands are that high. They then slowly fly to the ground at trim speed without any extra speed to get through any gradient or to deal with any other air movements. When they get to the ground they have no extra speed to bleed off in ground effect and they have no ability to do a flare as the glider is already out in front of them, so that they often nose over or have a mushy landing on their knees. If you are going to get upright early, then you had better learn how to keep your hands low on the down tubes and how to pull in. I have often done this using my feet up on the base tube, getting in monkey position. It's hard to handle pulses from the side in the configuration, but you can really pull in with your feet (not that I recommend this procedure). I feel that it is too hard to pull in as much as I want with just my arms when up rights. I want to have one hand on the base tube to pull in and one on the down tube.
Last edited by Davis on Wed, Sep 05 2012, 05:59:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Christopher
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Re: Landings

Post by Christopher »

Davis wrote:If you are going to get upright early, then you had better learn how to keep your hands low on the down tubes and how to pull in.
Emphasis on 'learn'- with the relatively high amount of muscle required with the posture, a greater tendency to oscillate may need to be overcome. Alternatively, you can raise hands high and hang from them- not a dive posture, but delivers sufficient speed to deal with instability at round-out altitude. Not all control frame apexes relate to the center of gravity the same, though- will it make a difference?
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Post by Ridgerodent »

Alternatively, you can raise hands high and hang from them
This may prove to be VERY useful technique . Thanks Christopher
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Davis
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Post by Davis »

Well, I sure haven't seen anyone doing that.
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Post by Ridgerodent »

The technique Christopher describes sounds plausible and worthy of investigation and experimentation.
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Post by Christopher »

The technique developed out of landing into a thermal; hands high, ready to flare, with the glider suddenly nosing up, I did what I could- weight the tubes where they were.

Beginning launch runs, I typically wrap the down tubes and squeeze with my upper arms until the glider gains speed and is well loaded, with roll corrections made by squeezing more on one side than the other; it feels like holding down a building bubble of energy. Landing with hands high and carrying some weight for speed, it feels like a similar bubble of energy is being restrained, and roll corrections made by contracting one side more. Relax pressure on the bubble to ease out to trim. I can't imagine anything extraordinary it that. Try it on a docile, open approach. Not suitable for all fields, the method is no substitute for big slipping turns, stall-overs, whip-stalls, the clean lines of a long prone final, or whatever measure the approach demands. When whipping a 180 below tree height within a short field, I am most certainly not upright; I could have room for bettering my upright technique- the best tool for the job often looks like the one you are best with. Still, an assortment of tools is most definitely far better than having only recourse to one or two. It sucks to need a drill when all you have is a hammer.
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Jim Rooney
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Post by Jim Rooney »

A problem with the Pre World guys?
Sorry to be the asshat here, but by and large, HG pilots can't land for sh*t.

Why?
Because no one has ever taught them how, and they've never bothered to learn how... probably because they've never had the opportunity to learn. Because NO ONE TEACHES LANDING TECHNIQUES.

Every now and then there's a "landing clinic" which everyone raves about... every now and then.
And the people that go to them invariably improve their landings... even with the horrible techniques they teach at landing clinics.

Anyway.
Yeah, get your hands high any time before ground effect and you're SCREWED.
Enjoy your whack, cuz you're damn lucky if you don't (or you have wind).
Hell, you'll struggle even with your hands on the uprights.

Debbie Downer signing off.
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Avaicamp
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Post by Avaicamp »

So is there any good source of information that can show/describe landing techniques? An article or a video?
I would love to read one of those.
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Jim Rooney
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Post by Jim Rooney »

There's a few things here and there.
All seem to miss the #1 issue with landing a HG... the nose stalls before the tips.

There's so much focus on body position and hand position, which do help, but virtually nothing on how the whole shooting match works.
Quite simply, if you can stall the tips of your glider, you will have a good landing.
If you do not stall them, you will not have a good landing.

How you accomplish this is the source of so much debate.
So many inadequate explanations that all start with "well you just..."

Landing a HG is unnatural.
To do it well, you must come in fast.
You must stop the glider and make it tailslide... something you never do otherwise and never even toy with otherwise as the results would be disasterous.

You have to approach the ground at a speed both vertically and horizontally which, if you did nothing else, would hurt and would likely put you in the hospital. Every instinct you have screams at you to not do this.

Every bone in your body begs you to come in at a speed that won't hurt.
You *want* to slow down, both horizontally and vertically, to a speed which will not harm you.
This is the #1 reason people whack.

Because at this speed (descending at trim), it is insanely difficult to stall your tips. The nose of the glider will quite happily stall, leaving your tips flying and pushing the trailing edge up. This pushes the nose DOWN.
This is why pilots feel like the glider is "getting ahead of them".

This concept is crucial to any discussion of landing technique.
Before it is understood, no real progress is made.
There is so much emphasis on the rest of "how to land"... and universally, people skip the LYNCH PIN of landing.

If we get some windy weather (which could be likely today), I'll see what I can throw together.
The short answer is, no... what you seek does not yet exist (to my knowledge).
There are bits an pieces, but you have to scrounge around for them... and invariably, people just post up the "flare mechanics" gif/swf file and say... "there, like that"... which is horribly incomplete.

Jim
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Christian Williams
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Post by Christian Williams »

You have to approach the ground at a [fast] speed both vertically and horizontally

Why does the descent rate matter? Ah, I guess you mean that a dive is necessary to get up sufficient speed.

When I think about it, you do have to really dive a single surface on final to keep up speed. A DS is shallower, but you still should have to pull in like hell.

So--people are floating in too low? Bewcause once too low, you can't speed up.

Therefore, to maintain speed on final the location and altitude of the turn to final is critical.
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