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Invention of hang gliders has been occurring for centuries. Hang gliders are a class of objects larger than what particular organizations constrain for narrow purposes. Hang a payload tensionally from a wing, so the integrated system glides through a fluid is taken as a hang glider in this article.

Those who have contributed original and novel mechanical solutions gift to all a pool of art that builders may later employ to make hang gliders for enjoyment and commerce. Invention occurs inside and outside formal intellectual-property-protection systems. Finding points for the invention-of-hang-gliders timeline provides a resource useful for appreciation, honoring, learning, and efficient furtherance of novelty. This article will robustly fill out a timeline. It is a joyful thing for people to rediscover what already had been invented; sometimes the rediscover realizes their debt to the common public pool of art, sometimes the rediscover does not reach that level of awareness, and then can be found excited storymaking of "inventor" over things that were already available to those skilled in the attending arts. However, to encourage further invention, crediting pioneering inventing of useful mechanicals, processes, functions, and methods, this article aims expose earliest know mechanical arts. In a different article one may trace those who used inventors' arts to build and use kites and hang gliders. Craft and athleticism are worthy topics for other articles. Herein is a focus on the invention of the mechanicals, processes, functions, and methods. Getting good at using inventions is another important matter due attention in other articles being built.

Timeline of invention of hang gliders

Hundreds of notes deserve to be placed; have fun placing the art; give citations and illustrations as possible.
  • Pre-500
  • In the first decades of year 1800: Thomas Walker taught well many gliding mechanicals that remained useful up to today.
  • In mid 1800s Wenham embodied a triangle control frame in a high-aspect ratio low-placed prone pilot in a glider. Francis Herbert Wenham.
  • 1887 Many mechanical solutions found in the modern hang glider were recited in the instruction by William Beeson of Dillon, Montana Territory; filed: September 2, 1887. in a published and approved patent. He illustrated, perhaps invented before him, keeled flexible wings tensed about left and right leading edges; he showed that weight-shift controls and aerodynamic controls were at hand. He positionrf the pilot on a trapeze having two down members and basebar. He illustrated adjustment of the hang point for the hung structure. Jose Weiss (British, 1859-1919) seems to have had the Beeson itch; exploring his hundreds of constructions would be revealing.
  • 1890c: Otto Lilienthal found means to have a folding hang glider that could fit through a doorway and be then opened and ready for flying quickly. Otto became an astute aerial hang glider pilot as he used mechanical principles, functions, and methods already invented; he refined the known arts into fine craft and combined careful methodical pilot training. He seems to have been the first to design a combination of artificial hill, integrated hill-top shed, integrated sheded hang glider shop for hang gliding. He also seems to have been the first to serialize and sell production hang gliders. Sport hang gliding was fully in his text. He had monoplane and bipane hang gliders. Many see Otto Lilienthal as the turning poing from pre-modern to modern hang gliding.
  • 1904 in France a simple boomed boned flexible-wing hang glider was demonstrated in front of a crowd. Bereck Beach by Lavezzari. Image.
  • Jacob Christian Ellehammer
  • In 1908 a gliding club built and used a cable-stayed triangle control frame with pilot hung from keel holding and pressing the TCF as was repeated by others up to today. The mechanical arts employed were already in the art pool.
  • 1n 1945 the fully limp wing was in focus by Francis M. Rogallo for kites and hang gliders; stiffening such reverted to what was well known in at least the first ten years of 1900s following the 1887 Beeson teachings. The leadership of image and use by Rogallo with NASA used prior mechanical inventions while detail inventions were being produced profusely on top of the at-least-by-1887 William Beeson arts, each of which can be placed in the timeline carefully by editors (detail control systems, special deployment solutions, etc.). Secondary sport users for decades would use the the mechanical inventions of earlier decades.
  • Domina C. Jalbert invented the ram-air double-surfaced airfoil to be a game changer of first level for kiting in all its forms (parachuting, much of hang gliding, paragliding, powered kiting, powerkiting).
  • Spratt
  • 1953 Igor Bensen TCF combined with rotary wing for a rotary-wing hang glider. The TCF was already in the arts; his hanging pilot behind TCF was already in the arts. Rotary wing was already in the arts. But the world-around imaging and use of Igor Bensen penduluming tensionally behind TCF for kiting and gliding went far to instruct the minds of follow-on kiters and builders. (Guess who did rub strongly with the Bensen flow of tech?)
  • FLG : Flatland long gliding hang gliders
  • A subset of FLG are the SoGHGs or "stay-on-ground hang gliders" for introductions and training.

Did you know?

Controversies blossom fun, learning, distinctions

Historical revisionists blossom detail in support of favorite fathers while ignoring or playing down or making up false stories. Yet out of such effort comes enjoyable detail. Distinction practice is invited while flowing critical thinking over the presentation of revisionists. Nationalists dig deep to get favorite sons more-than-sometimes-due credit. We get the delight of all of that energy; we get to practice critical thinking while getting clear on distinctions. Such wonderful play can be part of even further creative actions. 'Let it all fly!'
  • Controversy:
When was the TCF added to the common-art pool for use by those skilled in the art of designing and making hang gliders?
We know that at least by 1908 a cable-stayed TCF with pilot tether-hung behind the TCF was installed in a battened fabric-laddened hang glider as we know so well today (thus a true kite system); but when, perhaps, before that 1908 point does one find the elements of the TCF? Looking at the offerings of Walker, Wenham, Pilcher, Chanute, Beeson, Otto Lilienthal, etc. there are mechanical elements that indicate pertinent matter on this TCF question. Certainly any claim by Bensen or Spratt and hundreds of others following 1908 have not global invention grounds on the matter; and very late comers after 1953 become part of the storytelling space that can itself be fun reading.
  • Controversy:
Boned flexible wing hang glider invention?
Looking before even William Beeson of 1887 published approved patent has one find boned flexible wing hang gliders. Fascinating 1880s public domain flexible-wing glider experiments gave a foundation for builders and athletes to try their wits on flying.

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