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Once in the air the HG pilot flies until landing (even if the "land" is water or artificial materials, perhaps a net or nest or special perch; my favorite flight dream is "landing" in a huge lemon pie; at a pre-HG era, the dream was jumping off a platform and body gliding into Uncle Scrooge's huge bins of coins; an interim era was spent body-jump-flying off a high jump apron and into a foam landing pit. Your dreams of launching and landing? Earliest dream was as four-year old running down the middle of the street toward the HOLLYWOOD Sign and just flying up into the air never coming down---Cole Ave--still seen in my daydreams).

How might a hang glider pilot get into that hang gliding flying mode?' By launching using some launching method! And there are many launching methods that have been used, tried, neglected, underdeveloped, and yet to be tried or polished. Each launching method has its specialized safety-critical matters best learned from fully digesting what is known about the method and getting training from seasoned veterans of the method. Physically challenged pilots seek to fly safely and well; launching methods are being developed to meet many kinds of needs; the blind have flown hang gliders; those without use of legs have self-launched; one-legged pilot have foot-launched. There are many towing methods and a vast of power-assist launch methods. Explorers are reaching for polished ways to launch oneself safely off water surfaces and land surfaces. Attention to particular wind conditions in combination with land conditions define separable methods needing skills to fit; consider sheer cliff, urban base skyscraper, balloon drop, helicopter drop, blimp-surface, chained-HGs release, and more. Specialists are invited to develop a wiki on each method. This article is intended to simply summarized a robust collection of launching methods; this cannot substitude for the detailed following articles combined with detailed training in the special skills. Assisting equipment adds costs of materials, inspection, maintenance, pre-flight checking, guards for the safety of pilot, assistants, permissions, sign-offs, waiver, site-use permission, and the public.
Each launching method has some common players and aspects: pilot conditions, ground traffic, air traffic, weather, immediate wind conditions, clothing, plan, ground texture, people, neighbors, regulations, agreements, expectations, ... Each launch is followed eventually by a landing; what is the plan for that? Launches seem to bring surprises, many of which may be visualized and managed with practices.


Pilot self foot launching methods

* True-flat GEG
* Mild-slope mild conditions GEG
  • Small-dune receiving fresh smooth breeze at the beach
  • Mild slope hill in very light uphill breeze
  • Mild slope hill in stiffer breeze
  • Steep mountain launch
  • Artificial inclined ramp
  • Cliff launching
  • Tall-building lauching
  • Parallel-bar arm-pit hang launching methods
  • TCF launching methods
  • Two down-stick (TCF with legs parallel and null basebar) launching methods
  • Short-string Prentice 1960 launch
  • PG launching
  • Paramontante launching
  • [VJ-23 SwingWing and VJ-11] So-Lo three-axis aerodynamic-controls launching Article, Spec VJ-23,

Tandem foot-launching

  • Pilot-in-command perspective
  • Participating passenger perspective

Scooter tow launch from flatland field

Pay out using motored vehicle and platform/bracket

  • Payout Winch
  • Bracket and release
  • Vehicle's driver perspective. Wind direction and speed. Vehicle speed. Winds aloft.
  • Pilot's perspective

Big O electric-vehicle assist to get to moderate launches

Personal car or truck driven by self to launch

Receive a ride up to a launch in vehicle separate from your hang glider

Static line tow by moving car

Use wind and drag-chute to pull towing line through pulley

Aero towed launch using foot-launch

Aero towed launch using cart

Aero towed launch behind trike

Balloon drop

Sky-hook separate kite drop

  • Separate skyhook kite with pilot pulling up hang glider and self to a skied kite system
  • Separate kite lift by line straightening after hooking to pulled-down mid-kiteline
  • Kite lift by hook and line-let-out
  • Kite lift by kite swoop and catch
  • Kite towed through pulley
  • Energy-harvesting kite charges club ultracapacitor for charging HG onboard ultracap-frame

Robotic microlight tow of hang glider

Boat towed launch using foot-launch on shore only

Boat towed using ski or skis off shore start

Boat towed launch using dingy-held platform

Friends tow with V-line

V-line bungee launch

Friends tow with single line

Mass-drop tow

Towed by water chute with pulley blocks

Catapult and deploy

Maglev capsule-held packed HG launch; deploy aloft

Blimp drop

Blimp-top clubhouse incline launch

Animal power tow

Self-kiting unpowered

Self-kiting powered with gear separated

Self-kiting powered with all gear kept with flight assembly

Leave no gear behind. Flike across nations. Fly XO (cross oceans).

Onboard-power-assisted launches

Each source of power has its special concerns that modify the launching operation. Motors and engines and perhaps propellers may stay with the hang glider or be released to glide back to club site. Mounting position of assisting power gear affects launching and flying. Best practices in each power-assist method? Some methods are well developed; some methods have yet to mature.

  • Jet
  • Rocket
  • Internal combustion engine (ICE)
  • Electric motor and batteries
  • Electric motor and ultracapacitor, perhaps ultracapacitor found as fully integrated double-purposed airframe members
  • Power-cable hugging and release of conductive cable
  • Parallel balloon-carried electric power-source with cable
  • Powerbeaming
  • Pilot muscle,
  • Compressed-air
  • Combines of several types of power, ...

Flying-releasable powered platform launching

Here the flying platform is released for its own glide back to club takeoff area; perhaps a radio-control operator on the ground guides the launch platform back to takeoff area. Perhaps homing robotics bring the released flying platform back to takeoff area.