pre-Rogallo hang gliders that "look" like they might have come
post-Rogallo revolution have been anachronistically noted by some
contemporary users as "Rogallo" hang gliders out of respect for the
cause of the sensitivity to form and function that arrived in the
commenting persons, which cause was a rooting of experience from the
Rogallo Wing Revolution. No harm is done regarding the pre-Rogallo era
in seeing the French, etc. knowing and using flexible wing hang gliders.
Comment can thus be bifurcated for some instances of mechanical
occurrence where two things rise in comment, one from the awareness of
the post-Rogallo wing revolution, and one from a respect of the actual
historical time of mechanical showing. Look to Whitehead and
Beeson for stark Rogallo anachronisms! Look to the hang gliders of
Berck-sur-Mer for Rogallo anachronisms! And find--in
at least 1908--in a hang glider the most simple control arrangement:
cable-stayed triangle control frame or A-frame! That A-frame was used
morphed into almost all later powered aircraft as an undercarriage
landing device with wheels and skids, perhaps the most ubiquitous frame
part of aviation! We certainly do not let narrow self-serving orgs like
FAI to constrain what is a hang glider; FAI has fallen into disrepute
for its very low scrutiny of facts over hang gliding history matters.
The rich history of hang gliding shows a flow over several centuries, a
sport flow into three centuries, a commercial flow into three centuries;
in the middle third of the second of the three centuries came a Rogallo
Revolution in which enthusiasm played to spark an exponential growth in
participation in hang gliding; the Rogallo influence played a giant part
in the grand play.
The tension of agents that get stuck shorting parts of hang gliding
history is used for doing a sharper performance. All works will have
phrasings that may be improved. And showing multiple perspectives well
is ever a challenge. All are invited to sharpen the text and
presentation of this and our associated sites on hang gliders.
email@example.com with your images, notes, links,
and comments. Thank you. ~JoeF
pure inventive fully-limp canopy ram-air Rogallo wing may well have
helped Domina Jalbert advance into sharp-profiled two-layered-celled
canopy wings; Jalbert advance was so strong that a Jalbert parafoil wing
revolution began to give canopy hang gliders a surge; tie this to the
Barish Rogallo-wing influence to get canopy hang gliding (paragliding in
the sport realm). In such perspective, the Rogallo wing revolution
continued to flower into its limp-canopy branches. We received a
neat comment that seems close to this matter:
know is that from as far back as I can remember I've wanted to fly.
Probably my first experience of actual flight, apart from in my mind,
was as a small boy holding out my coat on the sea wall into a very
strong wind and jumping to the shingle below. In Stephan's book he
has a photo of someone doing much the same with a blanket from a hill
Nature shows that a simple stretched membrane between the limbs can
become a glider as in the flying squirrel. The water ski kites serve the
same function mechanically. Early "birdmen" used their limbs in freefall
with a stretched membrane before resorting to the parachute for landing.
The backs of my school exercise books were full of all manner of flying
devices. S ome were built as models with varying degrees of
success. A double skin ram inflated wing was tried which, as far as I
know, predated any other such devices.
The thrill of taking to the air is still strong in me and passing this
on to others is reward enough without the need for FAI recognition.
~ Tony Prentice, 15 Jan 2013
The 1940s and 1950s Rogallo wing hang gliders from
the hands of Francis Rogallo and Gertrude S. Rogallo.
A story of 1955 in Indonesia. Water ski-kite
(boat tow), indeterminate if there was Rogallo influence or not.
The direct Francis Rogallo kites and gliders that
he made and demonstrated to inform the NASA and NASA-extended community
in the late 1950s and the early 1960s; these kites and hang gliders and
Francis' direct communications and showings rooted a revolution that
would not stop growth and influence.
Tony Prentice, age 13, in 1960 crafting
of a hang glider, was not Francis-Rogallo inspired. Prentice's later
hang gliders became informed gradually by the flow of Rogallo-revolution
literature and images. But here is applied the above awareness where
some commenting persons will have a right and rationale to
anachronistically look at what Tony Prentice did in 1960 and say
"Rogallo wing hang glider" while respecting that Prentice was inspired
by non-Rogallo kite influences.
Barish Glide Wing was actually a Rogallo
hang glider (canopy paraglider hang glider), as Barish's developments
were influenced by the fully-flexible base Rogallo wing canopy; he
widened and segmented the Rogallo wing canopy; his improvements and
refinements were novel. David Barish.
Dickenson ski kites were Rogallo kites
and then eventually Rogallo ski-kite hang gliders (He and his
campaigner forward loudly an infamous false invention set of claims,
while the facts indicate roots in the Rogallo flow, and no mechanical
global invention novelty, as the wing and all parts and function were
extant and in the public domain already solidly. Even the simple
triangle control bar or A-frame cable-stayed was fully in hang gliders
in 1908; swing seats were patented by several before 1910.)
Klaus Hill Rogallo hang glider
Moyes' kites were also used as Rogallo
Bennett's kites were used also as Rogallo
Kilbourne's Kilbo-Kite was a Rogallo
hang glider. The plans were forwarded to 23 nations by Self-Soar
Association in its Low & Slow publishing flow; this spawned a
huge manufacturing flowering throughout the world following the big
mover-and shaker Otto Meet on May 23, 1971, picked up by National
Geographic, Los Angeles Times, and more.
Rogallo hang gliders have payload masses hung from a gliding wing that had
been significantly influenced by the flowering leadership of Francis M.
"Rogallo hang glider" is a meta descriptor under which one finds
builders adding their own local meaningful names. Rogallo hang glider
builders and users might find themselves calling their Rogallo hang
gliders a NASA paraglider, a Prentice string triangle control hang glider,
a Palmer glider, a Burns Ski-Plane kite-glider, a Miller glider, a Bat
Glider, a Batso, an Omega glider, an Eipper-Formance glider, a Bennett
delta wing glider, a ski-kite Dickenson kite-glider, a sport Standard
Rogallo, a Paresev paraglider, a paraglider, a Rog, a "rod," etc.
The leadership of Francis Rogallo that radiated throughout the world was
rooted in patents, speeches, conferences, white papers, talks, memos,
projects, investments, discussions, loaned NASA reports, photographs,
reports, models, flight demonstrations, and more.
Publishers, people, hobbyists, designers, builders, users, etc. extended
that body of leadership to far corners of the world, much of which is very
traceable in the literature.
One may wonder just what time-and-place arrangements let one man's
influence be so emphatic. For answers, one looks to the flow of large
historical factors: NACA, NASA, Russian Sputnik, space race, reentry
solution drive, war, freedom, kiting, desire to fly like the birds, model
aircraft flowering, serendipity of places ... combined with material
access, dreams to revisit strongly earlier hang gliding solutions, and
Smaller historical factors came to play also; a kite hobbyist Rogallo who
was an aeronautical engineer
communicator, tinkerer-builders like Palmer and Prentice,
dreaming-building Soaring Magazine editor Richard Miller, an itchy
aqua-kite showmen coordinating with NASA-Rogallo info streams in the hands
airman Mike Burns of Australia, jumping-flying Olympian kitist, Dacron,
aluminum tubing, bamboo, gifts from the past like the 1908 Breslau
cable-stayed triangle control frame (TCF) that remains true-to-form
over 100 years after a gliding club's use in a hang glider, etc..--all
these matters and timed flows of action gave foundation for writers,
publishers, designers, sportsmen, and hobbyists to give homage to Francis
M. Rogallo with the use of the terms Rogallo wing, Rogallo hang glider,
Rogallo ski-kite, Rogallo aqua-glider, Rogallo hang glider,
paraglider, Rogallos, etc. All such was an overlay on history
that has blossoms flying today.
In the 1940s aeronautical engineer Francis M. Rogallo was working
professionally and at home on wing matters. He invented a purely flexible
wing that when stiffened revisited early kites and gliders of the 1800s and
first decades of 1900s; but because of his time and place and his actions
of leadership in the midst of times of space-race needs, the fully
flexible and stiffened Rogallo wing received millions of dollars of
research attention and the care-to-tinker hours of thousands of people
around the world at nearly a dozen levels of glider genre: art, models,
model powered craft, principle demonstrators, governable parachutes,
space-craft-depolyables, man-carrying hang glider Paresev project kite
gliders, parawing toys, parawing parachutes, towed kite-gliders, towed
ski-kite pontooned aqua gliders, towed ski-kite gliders, 1960
string-controlled framed Prentice hang glider, 1961c Palmer's seven or
eight modifications (including in-front-of-pilot-triangle control frame),
powered payload-delivering Rogallo-wing gliders, and much more for
military and peaceful uses.
Tinkerers later would come up with quick builds and feel that old-time
important and exciting invention feeling while their actions had roots in
the NASA-flowered radiance of information and image that had Francis
Rogallo drawn into the exciting soup and swirl of building, flying, and
discussing. Thus a popular revolution, one then magazine:\ gave a title: "Rogallo
Revolution" placed Rogallo and NASA-spread images and reports into the
hands of experts and hobbyist sportsmen throughout the world. The
enthusiasm of users of those decades would even find themselves
anachronistically calling 1904 Frenchmen Jan Lavezzari's flexible-wing
hang glider a "Rogallo hang glider" in homage to their experience
with what flowed from the Rogallo Revolution; such anachronistic
play need not detract from the exploratory findings of the
turn-of-the-century French; both flows may joyfully dance in the history
of gliders with hung masses.
And that many from 1908 through 1950s would uncover the utility of the
1908 cable-stayed triangle control frame (TCF) for manned hang glider
use is just another happy part of the full Rogallo hang glider story. The
use of the TCF was evident in almost all aircraft in one modification or
another, mostly relegated to the important use of an undercarriage for
taking off and landing; however Pilcher, Beeson,, Breslau pilot,
Santos-Dumont, Spratt, Benson, and others made special pointed use of the
TCF. Then others would later follow the known arts.
Francis Rogallo was positively many things, but he was not a
comprehensivist as regards hang glider invention historicity; and in his
own enthusiasm one finds misappropriation of "invention" declarations.
Clearly the French 1904 Berck Beach use of a Jan Lavezzari stiffened
flexible-wing hang glider meant that at least by 1904 flexible-wing
gliders were understood by those skilled in the arts of wings and gliders;
indeed, one finds flexible wing gliders made and used in the first decade
of 1800s and before by such as Cayley and Walker. Frederick William
Brearey of 1880 is to examined and credited also. And the Beeson patent of
1887 clearly records use of weight-shift control of the pendulumed-massed
pilot on a stiffened flexible-wing kite-glider. The full story of Rogallo
more resides in a fortuitous combination of many circumstances combined
with his own leadership actions. All are invited to help tell the story of
Rogallo hang gliders.
It is certain that many people from many countries made contributions
to the development of the flexible wing hang glider. In the aviation
context of 'first flights' and recreational vs. commercial developments,
it must be noted that new and old inventions often complement in synergy;
it is in this evolutionary and social context that the crucial
developments put together by Sir George Cayley, Percy Pilcher, Otto
Lilienthal, Octave Chanute, William Beeson, Francis Rogallo, Igor Bensen,
Richard Miller, Barry Palmer, Volmer Jensen, Mike Burns, John Dickenson,
Bill Bennett, Bill Moyes, Bill Moyes, Joe Faust, Irv Culver, Dave
Kilbourne, Roy Haggard, and others were the ones that were most successful
and influential on the evolution of hang gliding.
Harris L. Woods andJohn
and their flex-wing glider in1962.
Call for full history. Anyone?
Thanks for any help on this one.
Woods-Blazek Flexionic Glider
Then they were also aiming at adding power.
NASA-Rogallo, etc. appearing inspired.
Full story should be interesting. They built and flew their
They, by Sept, 1962, had been
working out plans and possible kits to offer
for sale. So, did they do the plans? Did they sell any?
Are the two guys still living?
Only references, so far:
In 2008, the matter was discussed some in hang gliding history circles
without photos and details.
Now some photos appear on the table in the Sport Aviation magazine of
Sport Aviation, September, 1962.
From the book
we see the author rehearsing things about the man who would get Engineer
of the Year and also win the Kremer prize in man-powered flight, Dr. Paul
Paul MacCready, sailplane soaring luminary [[MacCready
Speed-to-Fly Ring calculator for soaring]] had a first hang
glider flight in a Rogallo-Palmer-Miller Bamboo Butterfly in
At the Lilienthal meet in Newport Beach, CA on May 23, 1971, the
author writes that Paul was towed up in Taras Kiceniuk's Batso
hang glider [[a Rogallo hang glider]]. The author did not note that the
cord used for that towing was brought to the meet by Joe Faust to supply
such actions as needed.
Two years after the Otto meet, a 3/4 sized version of the Batso
was made on which two other sons of Dr. Paul MacCready learned to fly.
Some interesting towing history of Rogallo hang gliders with a strong
Australian towing safety-critical rule result::
Notice the the above is distinct from the following 1904
Lavezzari ... an anachronistic Rogallo:
It has been shown that there were zero secrets in Dickenson's or McBroom's
kite gliders; so, nothing to steal; all was in public domain as regards
mechanical invention. John Worth had it all and simply--and before___Craigo,___Effinger,___Girard,
Henry Struck, others of the moment, and Palmer, Richards,Purcell,
Hobson, Burns, or late-comer JD. Indeed, even in 1908 it was accomplished:
battened flex wing with A-frame control and pilot hung from keel for
foot-launching hang gliding, not even needing a tow. And Whitehead
illustrated for us all the mechanics involved in a patent in the first
decade of 1900s; and he was expressing arts already in the common pool. No
mechanical invention for JD on Mark I or any further version. But his
significance in the Bills' play for merit of the Bills' eventual
follow-through firms a good story of one of over 12 important flows that
came together to form a renaissance that started in at least 1960.
And children who forget to point to parents might have cause for shame; a
child declares "I am the beginning and end of all things." seems to ring
of a god complex. ARP did not claim invention. The only one in the room
claiming mechanical invention is the GH-JD party complex. Even John Worth
did not claim invention on the used A-frame and hung payload from the
Rogallo-NASA-Ryan-inspired simple hang gliders and powered hang gliders.
That JD did not appreciate or know about his mechanical parents at the
beginning does not excuse him from failing to meet his parents and help on
the motion to alter the certificates and diplomas to properly reflect the
history of hang glider mechanical invention.Hobsondid
not claim invention in 1962 for a very very simple Rogallo Hang Glider for
foot launching. Charles Richards knew the public domain arts and was not
claiming invention in January 1962 when he project headed the cheap
Rogallo-inspired wing for the hang glider made in that month. Using
publicly owned arts in multiplicity is not a valid argument for claiming
ownership of that public-domain art. Sorry, no mechanical invention for
JD; and the FAI, etc. will do right to alter that fat "invention" claim
that you started and pushed over a lazy-to-history hang gliding community.
ARP's 1960 flex-wing hang glider was not by using Lee and Darrah as
reference, nor NASA-Rogallo progress. Age 13 from scouting and kiting, he
just built something that ended up also being an expression of
public-domain arts; but for him it was a special adventure in
kiting-gliding. He and all others and JD count for their local personal
breakthroughs; and their each enthusiasm is something making good story
usually; but local personal advances do not often rise to global
mechanical invention. And certainly by facts and examples, JD did not
globally mechanically invent what he personally tinkered up.
And ARP did make his hang glider of 1960 fly, but of course, never to your
satisfaction. But he was not active to satisfy you. How old were you in
I of a many-part series; see all parts. ARP flew his own Lilienthal way
more than you flew your nil-Lilienthal; but such is a side issue. What was
in public domain precludes invention; GH, please help the orgs undo what
came from your thrust; thanks in advance. The earliest 1960 hang glider of
ARP's design and make is not in the videos. That many boys and young men
were not aware of the fullness of the arts in public domain does not
justify any of them grabbing that public domain under false ownership at
the level of global invention; such hurts history, society, creativity,
and the merits of inventive parents. When such wrongful grab occurs in
hang gliding, then such hurts the face and heart of the hang gliding
community; let's hope that the hang gliding community will wake up to the
wrongful grab. Will each hang gliding participant(HG) take theGH
I made some templates for parts of the DC-8 aircraft; fellow workers then
made the parts by using the templates I made. Dang, I did not get credit
for globally inventing the DC-8 aircraft! Actually, only some details in
the sub-assemblies involved global invention; powered aircraft already
were invented before the design of the DC-8. Imagine the chaos in the
creative sector if the thousands of template makers all claimed that the
whole party started and ended with their template. intellectual property
(IP) theft and the making of templates for follow-on makes does not win
historical global invention rights. Even IP-unawareness does not win the
ownership of public-domain arts. GH, your sites yet neglect the robust
backstory that would undermine the paramount headlining of "inventor" for
JD; his true story without the hoaxing headline and untenable mechanical
claims would be better than the story you push, I believe, as believable
color and context could play without the having to doubt so deeply: "What
is this GH guy doing to JD … having JD carry an awful weight that puts the
whole run in suspicion?" Why the GH Test? Part answer: Hang gliding
community, in part, wants their better face back.
May 28, 2013:
The base line is, if Dickenson had not seen the photo of the delta
flexwing, self generating aerofoil, weightshift controled, Rogallo
inspired, Ryan flexwing aircraft, then the Dickenson ski-wing would NOT
have happened. QED
From very early on I worked on many very varied designs of aircraft in
model form and full size. The Rogallo design was but one of them and it
was based on a photo of the Ryan flexwing aircraft, seen in a book. I used
parallel bars for the support and control system because that was how the
earlier Lilienthal type was controlled and I was more comfortable with
that. The film and photos made available are but a snap shot of one moment
in time, not a complete history of any one of those machines. That history
is known to me and you only know what I have told or shown you so your
comments are just that and not the facts.
As with Dickenson's experience, money for materials was tight in those
days and that limited the range of material that could be used. Bamboo was
both cheap and available and despite its tendency to split it makes for a
very strong , light weight and resilient air frame. The sail material was
also very cheap material and was not windproof. The lack of performance on
all of the earliest machines was primarily due to this porosity. It was
not until I was able to obtain a cheap supply of rip stop nylon that the
performance improved markedly.
Neither the Aerostructures aircraft or Dickenson's were foot launched so
would not meet the FAI definition of a hang glider. They were both gliders
designed for tow launch with the same basic configuration but with detail
differences in their control linkage systems and water born
equipment(floats or skis). The basic wing was interchangeable and
Aerostructures used it's own wing on the Dickenson designed gliders they
produced. Even Dickenson was unable to tell the difference and ,at first ,
tried to sue Aerostructors for breaching his 'Patent'. He was soon put
straight as to who was first in producing such a wing and that a
Provisional Patent is nothing but a record of intent to take out a Patent.
It was never taken out and would, in my opinion, not been granted on
mechanical originality or novelty. As an ornamental design it might have
stood a chance.
Regarding the Purcell machine I do not know if he applied for a patent or
not but I suspect not. He and Rogallo had met and Rogallo had flown in the
Purcell machine probably when it had wheels and on floats. The ancestry is
plain to see with the Ryan flexwing being the source of the Purcell,
Aerostructures and Dickenson machines and indeed mine!