ST. PAUL, MINN. — Another British invasion? The approach is different (than Airwave) but the idea is the same. The UK’s "other" glider company, Solar Wings, is testing the waters by working with Tennessee’s Hawk Air Sports to import their Rumour glider line. They’ll start with the Fever model, a 12 square meter (≈ 130 ft2) machine. The first one has arrived and will soon be in Dennis Pagen’s hands for a review in HG mag. No other details yet. However, Bruce Hawk — one of those guys who literally built his own training hill near the tourism mecca of Gatlinburg, TN — has just established a new training site. He flew the Fever briefly at this facility and says "It is fast, rolls nice, and lands sweet." He adds, "The sail is different from anything here in the States." Gotta have one? Drop a note to PO Box 9056, Knoxville TN 37940. ••• A French invasion may follow as La Mouette attempts to penetrate the U.S. market, again… only this time with wings for powered trikes: specifically, their Ghost model. While the French giant has had mixed success with their free-flight gliders, they qualify as one of the world’s largest ultralight makers through good success with their trikes. For hang glider pilots, this could mean renewed interest in their aerotug. La Mouette (or Cosmos, as their powered company is called) was arguably the very first to offer aero towing equipment. ••• After many years in what Bill Bennett once derided as their "rabbit warren" factory, Wills Wing has moved into a new building! A timely change of quarters, Wills is also planning a celebration of their 20th anniversary. Besides a "birthday party" on Feb 27th, Wills plans a ten-day period of events, including ICPs for both hang gliding and paragliding plus dealer seminars for each. The festivities are topped off with — yes, believe it! — a golf tourney. Most of these are clearly aimed at their dealers, but if you live close enough or are traveling, call Wills for activities that may be open to all pilots. Their new number is 714/998-6359. If you’re old enough to enjoy golf, you probably can’t remember numbers anymore, so they’ve created a mnemonic (memory aid): 714/WW-TO-FLY. ••• In a move that surprised just about everyone, the board of directors of the American Paragliding Ass’n resolved to cease accepting new memberships. They’ve further asked USHGA to provide their APA members with USHGA paragliding memberships. If USHGA accepts, the APA will dissolve. The paragliding group has recognized that Yoo-shga has more experience to offer and has genuinely tried to assist the fledgling organization. APA is experiencing financial difficulties that threaten its future. The decision will be passed on to the USHGA board of directors by a written ballot on the subject. Watch HG magazine for further details on this development. ••• In a four-page newsletter that closes with the confident statement "References proudly provided," John Olson of Safari Sky Tours describes his varied trips south of the border. Safari is celebrating their fifth year. Olson changed how these tours were marketed by providing the glider. He formed a working relationship with PacAir whose gliders he supplies exclusively. To get your copy of the mailer, contact his agency, Welcome Aboard Travel (ask for Kim). Call 702/828-4000. Six pilots a week fills the available slots, so act soon to get the time you want. They can help with airfares, too. ••• Want to learn how to take better pictures while hang gliding? Think you’d like to have as many photos published as John Heiney? Maybe you can. Air Time San Francisco will host a Heiney HG photo seminar on February 13-14. Topics will include mounting, exposure, film, and more. Owner Jeff Greenbaum wanted to offer such a service and feels it might result in even better photos in the magazine. Get your pix tix from Jeff: $75 for the two-day, classroom and hands-on seminar (415/759-1177). ••• A couple positive mentions to close. Center of Gravity proprietor, Jay Gianforte reports his harness sales doubled in ’92 compared to ’91. "More pilots are going to the pod style of harness (CG 1000 and CG 2000)," says the New York harness builder. Jay also indicated a high percentage of pilots are asking for his BRS rocket parachute option and he’s installed many of them. He’s expecting the trend to continue for 1993. ••• Sport Soaring Center in Minneapolis/St. Paul reports an increase of interest in hang gliding from EAA clubs following this year’s Oshkosh air show. "This year’s flight demonstrations and the repeat presence of a USHGA booth are bringing genuine results," explains co-owner Pat Caulfield. The Twin Cities shop is a dealer and flight school that specializes in platform towing. ••• Outta room. So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Fax/Msg to: 612/450-0930. Good lift in your New Year… THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine