ST. PAUL, MINN., — The East rises again! Two spectacular flights within days of one another put a focus on the eastern half of the U.S. Internet author Davis Straub writes, "I was able to stay long enough in the air to break the current east coast hang gliding record by 20 miles. I flew my ATOS 212 miles from Wallaby Ranch to northwest of Valdosta, Georgia in about seven and half hours. This breaks the previous record set by Mark Poustinchian of 192 miles. It does not eclipse Pete Lehmann’s flex wing hang gliding record of 182 miles set in 1997 at Templeton, PA." So the $1,000 prize offered some years ago by Wallaby boss Malcolm Jones has been claimed. He put up the purse for anyone who could fly from the Ranch to the Georgia border. Reportedly, Jones is contemplating another XC prize to spur further achievement. ••• Shortly after this excellent accomplishment Aeros distributor GW Meadows wrote (with understandable pride), "Larry Bunner flew 213 miles from Leland, Illinois on a three-year-old Stealth 1. This flight not only is a new East Coast flex record, but it also eclipses Davis’ flight on the ATOS last week. Larry spent five and a half hours in the air and felt he had another couple of hours worth of energy in him when he landed. Larry landed only six miles from the Indiana/Ohio Border!" ••• Geez, guys… Well done! But wow, only a single mile of difference!? Although Bunner logged two hours less on his flight, he soared over two states’ worth of real estate. • If you’d like to read his detailed account — as well as one from Davis — wait no more. As it turns out, because Bunner wrote of his flight to Straub, both accounts can be found on Davis’ website (davisstraub.com). One hopes these will migrate to the magazine for those unwired (or Internet-weary) pilots. ••• Seedwings designer and boss Bob Trampenau writes, "Been pretty busy with some very interesting stuff." He was kind enough to fill in the blanks. • "My airfoil downtubes are getting favorable responses from the ATOS people." He adds that ATOS designer Felix Ruehle has a tubing sample ready to go into the University of Stuttgart wind tunnel. Bob is willing to sell "Tramp’s Tube" to any other wing producers. • Seedwings continues to produce the Sensor 610 F3 with kingpost and feels it delivers the highest performance for the money. Trampenau adds, "The Sensor is the only hang glider in the world with flaps." (…well, other than the rigids). • Of his topless CF3, he says changes include, "straighter leading edge tubes and a noticeably straighter luff." He adds, "The wrap on the luff is one inch greater, the purpose of which is significant midspan twist reduction and greater performance." Since Seedwing.com (note spelling!) is still under construction, you can e-mail Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-681-0604. • Trampenau is receiving some help from RC Dave Freund. Of his personally tweaked Sensor, he writes, "It seems to glide with the rigids at 40 mph. A few of the really good old timers say it is the most beautiful rag wing they have seen ever… I can live with this." ••• Moyes released the little Litespeed 4 saying it "is complete and in full production." With all the same design features as the Litespeed 5, the 4’s smaller wingspan and lighter weight is a perfect high performance solution for the lighter pilot, Moyes feels. The work was accomplished for the Aussie builder by Gerolf Heinrichs. The Moyes Boys say that although many downsized gliders merely have some span removed at the root, "The Litespeed 4 uses a different design approach based more on scaling and then modifying." For example, despite a shorter span and less area, the 4 has the same number of upper surface battens as the Litespeed 5, minimizing leading edge distortion. The 4 is optimized for pilots weighing 155 pounds. ••• US Aeros reports, "We’ve just gotten in our first shipment of Pulse 3s in the medium (10 meter) size. They were debuted at the Kitty Hawk Kites annual Spectacular event and the first impressions were very good. It’s basically a Pulse — it’s hard to get much better than that." • But their big news relates to the debut of the new Airwave Sportster at the Spectacular. They were overwhelmed by a positive reaction from attending pilots. Importer Meadows is pleased with the new offering, saying, "With a very sexy, curved tip look, this glider aerotows like it’s on rails." Sportster also has a cam VG that makes adding some more performance as easy as a thumb and forefinger pull. "This glider lands as easy as any glider you’ve ever flown," he adds. A 148 size is available on an 8 week order and a 159 will be available soon. Subsequently, a 134 should be out by the end of the summer, Meadows forecasts. ••• Shifting from product news, I found it intriguing that both Steve and Bill Moyes have been invited to join the Olympic torch relay for the Sydney Games. Obviously the Aussies want to include their native sports heroes, and I’m proud to hear that hang gliding figures in their thinking. Congratulations, Bill and Steve! ••• Finally, my old friend Ken de Russy has made his own impact on hang gliding, putting to work his years of pursuit of hang gliding memorabilia. The prestigious Seattle Museum of Flight has engaged his display of the sport and will run it from the present until February 2, 2001. Attaboy, Ken! • Museum visitors can explore the evolution of hang gliding, from legendary tales of soaring 4,200 years ago to the modern times. Called "Ride The Wind: The Story of Hang Gliding," the de Russy show is a collection of gliders, accessories, photos and videos to provide an overview. Visitors may also try their hang gliding skills in an interactive simulator and can review decades of glider technology in a progression from bamboo and linen, to plastic and synthetic fabrics, to aluminum tubing and Dacron materials. Reproductions of the pioneering 1893 Lilienthal Glider, 1896 Chanute-Herring glider, and 1902 Wright glider are part of the show. Floating above the exhibit, will be an array of "modern" gliders such as the diamond-shaped Batso, biplane Icarus II, delta Rogallo standard designs, and the ultramodern Ghostbuster. Ken de Russy, 51, is a Life Member of USHGA who has held a hang gliding instructor certification longer than anyone on the planet. He resides in Anacortes, Washington with his wife Bonnie Nelson. For more information on hang gliding he can be contacted at 360-293-8621 or by e-mail at "WeFlyUniv@aol.com" The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 East Marginal Way South in Seattle, and is open daily from 10-5, and until 9 on Thursdays. ••• So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Messages or fax to 651-450-0930, or e-mail to CumulusMan@aol.com. • All "Product Lines" columns will be available later at www.ByDanJohnson.com. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine