ST. PAUL, MINN — Whaddyano? Many not only read this column; they act. Wills Wing received "a lot of inquiries" asking about a new glider mentioned here (5/92 issue). Surely they enjoy the way you like their gliders, but WW diver fans, you gotta let ’em finish it first. If you’re callin’ all the time, they won’t get much work done. By July they hadn’t selected a basic format, so no preproduction prototypes are flying. The company advises that average development time for a new glider can be 6-18 months after they’ve settled on a prototype. Wills indicates, "It is unlikely we will be able to begin delivery of any new high performance glider until the fall of 1993, after the 1993 World Championships." ••• Vigorous summer sales have kept their attention on glider production. Prez Rob Kells estimates they’ll surpass the 1,000 gliders per year barrier. Reaching "four figures" of glider production assures a slot among the Int’l Big Four. ••• NIFTY-WIDGET DEP’T: After several pilots — even some genuine sky-god types — have managed to launch with a control bar connection not connected, Wills developed a no-disconnect base tube. Employing a compact hardware arrangement, the control bar neatly folds in two, employing a sturdy hinge hidden in flight by a sleeve held fast with bullet snaps. Appears it’d be much handier to pack in your coverbag, too. ••• Launching with your glider intact might be more certain if you used a checklist. Every airline pilot uses ’em. So do most other pilots. Now you can, too. Just order the Hang Check, a plastic-laminated checklist and preflight guide that can hang from lower rigging. Condensed print keeps the comprehensive checklist small yet close at hand. Developed by Kevin Kratina, the Hang Check can be purchased for five bucks and an SASE. He’ll make your customized list for $10. Make a suggestion to him that he uses in future versions and he’ll send you a freebie. A single saved launch would make it worthwhile. Write 115 Woolbright #710, Boynton Beach FL 33435. ••• Pacific Airwave reports the multi-national company’s new K4 has established its winning ways early. UK star John Pendry took his fourth-in-a-row European Champs. Another K4 (Mark Chick’s) won the Japan Classic in another early-summer meet. Prez Ken Brown says this has allowed the American division to concentrate on development and marketing of the Vision Pulse. The company received HGMA certification for the K4 in June. ••• Brown says, "After looking at the statistics, it is obvious that… our membership is growing older and little effort is being put forward… to promote growth." Though he’s a bit biased, Ken feels, "A strong Pulse is what the industry needs." PacAir has long prided itself on supporting schools in their work to bring in new students. ••• Mal Gross is at it again! Yep, the NAA’s writin’ letters. The good news is, these letters are trying to preserve hang gliding in the San Bernardino mountains. NAA has a letterhead that boasts a long list of the "Right People." Under President Gross, the National Aero Club has used its prestigious name and broad connections to assist several sites. Many pilots recall the older NAA which seemed to have interests quite distant from hang gliding. Gross and his deputy, Art Greenfield, have gone the extra mile to win back support. Surely the Crestline Soaring Society welcomes help as they work to retain their popular launch and landing site. ••• Back East, the Tennessee Tree Toppers also had promising site news. The club bought its own launch several years ago, but leased a landing area. When it went up for sale last spring, club officials got nervous. A 260-acre parcel, which includes the LZ, listed at $300,000 firm, a lot for any organization, but especially for a hang gliding club. However, a deal was struck with a local land owner who will buy half the total. The club will retain a large landing zone (≈ 50 acres) by reselling 13 five-acre homesites as a means to fund their share. Papers were "at the lawyer’s office" in early July, reported club board member, Cliff Whitney. Interested in one of these desirable lots? Call the local shop (Sequatchie Valley Soaring) at 615/949-2301. ••• Here’s an event reminder as time runs short. The Grandaddy of HG Fly-ins is coming again. Easily qualifying as the nation’s largest assemblage of pilots, Telluride ’92 also incorporates this year’s Nationals at the sky-high site. Nats: September 5-12; with the 19th Annual Telluride Hang Gliding Festival following the next week. Need info? Write Nick Kennedy at PO Box 1026, Telluride CO 81435. You may also call 303/728-3905 (evenings). The Nats offers 125 pilot slots. Call soon! Need lodging? Call Telluride Accommodations at 800/728-9292. ••• Outta room! So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Fax or messages: 612/450-0930. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine