Links to Rogallo hang gliders
Send your links, notes, images, etc. to
Caution: Some dates on some NASA
photos regard when the actual print was made; the real action represented may
have dates that are earlier than the print-making date; careful research
over dates shown then must be done, if one wants the date of action.
Rogallo takes the Next Thermal
http://www.life.com/image/50530479 Notice how his hand is
grasping two sides of TCF that is cable-stayed, an echo of the 1908 Breslau
- In 1971 someone experimenting
Arthur Smith, Rogallo Tractor, Sep., 1971, Australia aeromodeller.
- Action date might be different than the photo-print date:
Paresev images (caution on dates: printing on pager date out of file may
well be different from the date of action of content)
cable-stayed mooring point (payload point, control point).
http://www.rogallofoundation.org/donate.html Rogallo Foundation
donate page. Founded by John Harris
Some Rogallo images
- [ ] "Frank" ??? Sent query to John Worth
Is it a memory typo or was a nickname used by whom? "He was Frank to me and
to Don Hewes-- we both worked with him closely."
- [ ] Date of activity content of the photo that show TCF with
platform mod.???? Sent query. [In e-mail, a guess is presented.]
- NEXT: [ ] What dates did you work in NASA's special projects group at
Langley Field? What date did the lower payload triangle frame (which
also showed in 1908 in a Breslau gliding club on a hang glider) appear in your
John Worth is mentioned.
- "model. The patent rights for the Wanner Wing
(miscalled Rogallo after the NASA engineer) were purchased and
200,000 Wing-Thing kits were produced using this concept."
The paragraph: ""Later he
returned to New York and became a project engineer for
Gilbert Company. A line of ready-to-fly plastic models were developed using
engines from Bob Holland and Hi Johnson. Bill and Henry Struck joined in
developing the first ready-to-fly gas powered Flex-Wing airplane model. The
patent rights for the Wanner Wing (miscalled Rogallo after the NASA engineer)
were purchased and 200,000 Wing-Thing kits were produced using this concept.""
Biography of Bill Effinger who had many patents where he saw well the Wanner
patent. See all Effinger patents. The leadership of Rogallo played big for
such miscalling for the beam-stiffened gliders and powered craft, but credits
to even 1880s William Beeson for invention of the
stiffened flexible wing must be given. Credit for Rogallo's
leadership and impact were beyond invention; he invented the fully-flexible
wing Rogallo wing, but not the beam-stiffened flexible wing. The beamed
wing could have been fairly called The Beeson Wing, but that is not how
history came down. Wanner was not the first, despite his patent; all
that Wanner claimed had actually been in the arts already from early aviation
- See AMA for bio on Robert Champine in their
- Find the date that the patent rights for the Wanner patent were purchased
- Ron Moulton, Project Parasol Rogallo Flex wing - August
- John Worth "wrote the book on Rogallo Wing"
Timeline of John Worth's intersection with Rogallo Wing
Tailless in 1962 plans. Compare.
Tailless and unusual
- Text source:
Taras Kiceniuk, Jr., designed this revolutionary tailless, rigid-wing, hang
glider. Like the flexible wing, Rogallo-type hang gliders, one person could
carry Kiceniuk's Icarus but she could fly it in more demanding conditions,
such as weak lift or turbulence, than she could fly a Rogallo glider.
The Rogallo wing stirred the upsurge in the popularity of hang gliding that
began in the late 1960s. Francis Rogallo designed this unique wing for his
employer, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA hoped to use
Rogallo's wings to recover spacecraft. Disappointing tests nixed this idea but
not before it had migrated to creative minds outside the space agency who saw
the potential to fly on very inexpensive wings.
A Rogallo wing is one of the simplest flying devices ever created. It is a
flying wing with no fuselage and no tail, ailerons, flaps, or other devices to
control direction of flight and altitude. These accessories equip conventional
aircraft and make them many times heavier and more complex to construct and
fly than a Rogallo. In its early, basic, form Rogallo's wing consisted of
three aluminum tubes, a central keel and two leading edges, all tied together
at one end. A person building the glider stretched a 'sail,' usually made of
cheap plastic sheet but later, Dacron fabric, between the three tubes like the
webbing on a duck's foot. Smaller tubes and wires added rigidity and support
the assembly. In the earliest Rogallo hang gliders, there were no wing spars
or ribs to spread and hold the wing to generate lift. Rather, the wind filled
the Dacron sail and held it open.
The Rogallo hang glider was simple and inexpensive to build and fly. Some
people made them from bamboo poles and plastic sheeting from local hardware
stores. Critics called the Rogallo wing little more than a parachute because
it did not produce large amounts of lift and the wing was not very
maneuverable. A standard, early Rogallo could glide one meter (3 ft 4 in)
forward for every 30.5 cm (1 ft) of altitude lost, a glide ratio of about 3:1.
Most conventional sailplanes of that day equipped with fuselage and tail had
glide ratios of about 25:1.
In 1971, Taras Kiceniuk, Jr., was still in high school when he built his first
hang glider. His father, Taras, Sr., worked as an administrator at the Mount
Palomar Observatory and he had taught at the California Institute of
Technology (Caltech). Father and son became very involved in the sport as it
blossomed and became popular in Southern California. An early
bamboo-and-plastic Rogallo wing inspired their first design but the Kiceniuk
version used an improved wing covered with black plastic. This unusual
covering inspired the name "Batso." Young Taras gliding "Batso" down the hills
around Palomar Mountain northeast of San Diego became a common sight. He also
flew this aircraft at one of the first hang glider meets to attract a sizable
number of pilots held on May 23, 1971. Plans to build "Batso" sold well enough
to finance young Taras' engineering degree at Caltech.
Late in 1971, the Kiceniuk men realized that they could improve significantly
on the Rogallo wing by moving to a rigid-wing configuration. The new hang
glider was radically different from nearly every other hang glider flying at
the time. It was a rigid-wing, tailless biplane and Taras named it "Icarus"
after the Greek legend of a father and son who fashioned wings made of
feathers and wax.
Lightweight aluminum tubing and Styrofoam ribs covered with clear plastic
formed the "Icarus" airframe. On the upper left and lower right wingtips, the
Kiceniuks placed sunburst logos and the word 'Icarus' written with Greek
letters. To mount the aircraft, a pilot stood in an opening built into the
center of the lower wing and supported himself and wing by grasping two sturdy
pieces of the airframe tubing that passed close on either side of his chest.
To launch the "Icarus," the pilot ran with the wing downhill and into the
wind. Once airborne, he or she sat in a small swing seat, feet propped on the
back of the wing leading edge tube to streamline her profile and reduce drag.
By pushing or pulling on the wing leading edge, the pilot could shift his
center of gravity forward or backward to climb or dive the glider, just as
Rogallo wing pilots did.
A rudder hinged between the two wings at both tips gave better turning
capability than any Rogallo hang glider. The pilot moved these control
surfaces using twist grips mounted on the airframe.
"Icarus" was an immediate sensation. No longer were hang glider pilots
restricted to flying the Rogallo gliders on short, "sled-rides" to the bottom
of the hill. Pilots of the rigid-wing "Icarus" could soar to altitude, ride
thermal and ridge lift to impressive heights and fly long distances. Maralys
Wills wrote this about the Kiceniuk's Icarus in her book "Manbirds: Hang
Gliders and Hang Gliding:"
"In October 1971 Taras and his Icarus cruised back and forth above the cliff
at Torrance Beach, California, an event seen on television. By January 1972
Icarus had made the cover of "Soaring" magazine. The advantages of his biwing,
and later the single-wing Icarus V, were obvious: In light or no breezes the
Icarus could stay up and soar above the ridge, and the eight-to-one glide
angle it boasted meant flights of long duration."
Taras continued to improve his design, with help from his father. He soon
finished the "Icarus II" and the original "Icarus" became the "Icarus I." The
"Icarus II" was another biplane but the wings swept back more steeply. Taras
set an endurance record of one hour and eleven minutes while flying the
"Icarus II" above the high cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Torrey
Pines, California, on July 2, 1972. Construction plans and drawings for the
"Icarus II" sold extremely well. The Federal Aviation Administration
recognized the "Icarus II" as an aircraft and officials assigned it an
aircraft registration number; something that never happened to a Rogallo wing
because of its limited performance. "Icarus III" and "'IV" did not pass beyond
conception in Taras' mind for he chose to concentrate all of his efforts on
designing and building his ultimate achievement in hang glider design, the
"Icarus V." This swept-back monoplane hang glider possessed a 10:1 glide
Taras Kiceniuk, Jr., donated the "Icarus I" to the National Air and Space
Museum on October 25, 1978. This important aircraft is now in storage at the
Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Suitland,
Maryland. END OF CLIP TEXT from
All possible history and notes about John Worth's gliders are invited. He is
still alive. He had the triangle control frame with hung-mass from the
stiffened Rogallo-influenced stream. Pre-dated gifts before Mike Burns of
Australia and certainly before the others following in Australia. Full story
and photos and drawings from files, etc. are invited. Mr. Worth, you too are
invited to post, as you wish. Bio and contributions by his associates are
invited. What he knew, drew, built, demonstrated … where and when and for what
purposes. What mechanical principles were incorporated? Control notions? Some
powering may also have been added in flying versions. Suggestion timeline
points 1960-62. His aeronautics involvement before that period is also
invited. Interesting items following that period would be neat also.
Though Bob Wills came into scene over a decade after John Worth, one may see
some mechanical echo of some of the works of John Worth. Here is Bob Wills in
Modeler Kelly did not apparently cross the seminal works of John Worth as
Frank G. Kelly developed an RC Flexi-Flyer. Frank spawned from Moyes; but John
Worth was doing similar things and larger things in big programs some 14 years
earlier. Frank gives plans: