the bipe and the bro's

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hinote
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the bipe and the bro's

Post by hinote » Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:27 am

Here's an interesting composite photo:

In the upper photo, that's me piloting the Easy Riser, and my bro on the ground after assisting at launch.

The photo was taken on Presidents' Day 1976.

The lower photo is a bit more famous; it's the first photo ever taken of an aircraft in flight; the date was Dec. 11, 1903. The Wright brothers are the participants in this photo, as everyone probably knows.

The similarities are remarkable:

1. Both aircraft are biplanes.

2. The individuals are brothers.

3. The pose of the brother on the ground is nearly the same in each photo.

4. Both scenes are in the environment of sand dunes, near the ocean.

Etc., etc. I'm not claiming any fame or accomplishment by the "brothers Hinote"; but, it's interesting to note that we each have had an avid interest in aircraft, and a pretty good logbook of in-flight experience.

FWIW.
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re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:20 am

Ha-ha-ha... a nice parallel -- and a very nice picture in itself, by the way. Easy Riser? Man, that's ancient history! That's a Chanute design, right? Was it the one where you hung by your armpits? Was that as terribly uncomfortable as it has always looked to me?

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Re: re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by hinote » Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:33 am

Bruno Ogorelec wrote:Ha-ha-ha... a nice parallel -- and a very nice picture in itself, by the way. Easy Riser? Man, that's ancient history! That's a Chanute design, right? Was it the one where you hung by your armpits? Was that as terribly uncomfortable as it has always looked to me?
The Easy Riser doesn't go quite that far back, I'm afraid.

It was the commercialized version of the "Icarus" rigid-wing hang glider, developed by young Taras Kiceniuk (his father was the director of the Palomar Observatory).

I was heavily involved in early hang glider developments and built 3 of these--each one better than before. Luckily for me, I lacked the fortitude to really "go for it" and detoured to real soaring instead, with the fabulous composite sailplanes that were being produced in the '70's and '80's.

The whole thing is an experience not to be compared by many others. I've been very fortunate, indeed!
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Re: re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by hinote » Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:41 am

Bruno Ogorelec wrote: Was it the one where you hung by your armpits? Was that as terribly uncomfortable as it has always looked to me?
You're right about that. The original versions actually relied on this method of "man-to'airframe" attachment. Luckily, everybody was scared stiff when the altitudes got serious-so I was a part of the effort to develop a harness that would allow the required movement for weight-shifting (and provide the necessary flexibility to foot-launch and -land), but would keep the pilot in the aircraft.

We ended up using seat-belt strapping and devised some pretty unique hardware to do the job. In spite of this I never felt very safe.

Imagine yourself attached to a 72 lb. aircraft, many hundreds (or even thousands!) of feet in the air, with only your skills as a pilot to get you back to mother earth.

Scared the HELL out of me, I can tell you.
Bill H.
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re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by Mike Everman » Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:55 am

I'll never forget a National Geographic article about hang gliding, featuring Taras and the Icarus, and a plastic bag and bamboo Rogallo. Man, that made me forever interested in home-made flight!
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re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Sun Apr 16, 2006 6:22 am

Ah, yes; I forgot about Kicenuk. A good thing you quit when you did. As you surely remember, in those days, hag-gliding was waaaay out of the envelope. Experimenters were just finding out the hard way what worked and what didn't.

Having sand under your butt helped a little if you mishap happened low down, but as your altitude increased the benefit disappeared. Only the luck of the brave was there to help you.

At the time, I was starting to build a hang glider after my own ideas -- somewhat unconventional, with a single swept wing that had a cable leading edge.

What I did was use two aluminum poles perpendicular to each other, in cross planoform. The shorter one was a keel and the longer one was the wing spar. Their tips were connected by tight wires, which kept them aligned, forming a diamond shape in which the tubes were diagonals in the diamond and the sides were wire.

There was a conventional kingpost on top of the cross and the triangle on the bottom. It was an extremely lightweight and very strong structure. All the long elements were wire and the short ones were aluminum tube. I still think it was a clever arrangement, even if I say so.

Now, having a wire to form the leading edge is not exactly very good aerodynamically, so the idea was to have the leading edge wires first sleeved in thick PVC and then have short cylinders made out of high-density styrofoam threaded onto the cable, like pearls on a string. They would form a pretty thick (about 3.5 inches) leading edge for the wing, while an ordinary cable was to be used as a trailing edge.

Dacron fabric was to be wrapped around the leading edge and stretched to the trailing edge cable, forming a double surface wing. It was 100-percent double surface, unlike the more modern hang-glider wings, in which the double surface extends only over part of the span. The leading and the trailing edge were not parallel. the trailing edge had less sweep and the wing thus tapered slightly towards the wingtip.

The whole thing looked very space age.

Problems started when I tried sourcing the duralumin tubing. Back then, it was just not used by anyone for anything in my country. Dacron I found in Austria at exorbitant price and would have had to pay an equally exorbitant amount in import duty to be able to take it home. Stainless steel cable cost about as much as solid gold. Aircraft quality fastenings were unobtainable. Sailboat fastenings were only slightly easier to source and cost as much as Michelangelo sculpture, ounce for ounce.

Only the lčeading edge styrofoam was easy. I found the elements ready made and very cheap from a fishing supply company, They were used on big commercial fishnets, threaded into the upper edge of the net to keep it floating near the surface.

The worst thing was, my mother got wind of the plan. Without saying anything to me, she persuaded my father to offer me a deal -- to buy me a motor bike instead. I had just thrashed the old one pretty badly; it was basically scrap, and really wanted a new one. In the end, I relented.

A few years later, I was helping pick hang gliders from treetops at the nearby flying site and decided that choosing a bike was perhaps not such a bad idea after all. We don't have a good beginners' site nearby; what people use here is a ramp at the edge of a pretty high cliff, with the pine forest below. Whenever you do something wrong, you end up in pine trees.

It is much nastier than it sounds. The biggest problem is that the forest is very tall and the trees are completely bare up to the height of perhaps twenty feet. Once you manage to free yourself from your wrecked kite, you face the problem of getting to the ground from the very tall treetop...

Still, sometimes I look at the drawings of that kite very wistfully...

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Re: re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Sun Apr 16, 2006 6:31 am

Mike Everman wrote:I'll never forget a National Geographic article about hang gliding, featuring Taras and the Icarus, and a plastic bag and bamboo Rogallo. Man, that made me forever interested in home-made flight!
Oh, yes, people were flying everything in those days. Remember the Conduit Condor? The name says everything. I can't remember the name of the bamboo thing, but I do remember reading about it. Hang gliding was quite a sensation in those days. I even saw an article about it in the Aircraft and Space Technology magazine (if I remember the name right -- it was a respected US trade magazine; haven't seen it in ages).

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re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by Mike Everman » Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:13 am

Aviation Week and Space Technology ?
I just started getting that again now that I'm back in the AIAA. Best magazine.
I started building a glider in high school. Good thing I started with the fuselage, when it crumbled on saw horses, I only fell two feet. ha ha If I'd actually been in flight, I would have looked like crap from a giant seagull.
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Re: re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:56 am

Mike Everman wrote:Aviation Week and Space Technology ?
I just started getting that again now that I'm back in the AIAA. Best magazine.
I started building a glider in high school. Good thing I started with the fuselage, when it crumbled on saw horses, I only fell two feet. ha ha If I'd actually been in flight, I would have looked like crap from a giant seagull.
YES! Aviation Week and Space Technology. That was a really classy magazine in its day. Haven't seen it in ages.

You must have been crestfallen, to have a mighty project like that fall apart. A good thing that we absorb such things easily when we're young.

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re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by Mark » Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:06 pm

I remember one time near Stinson Beach I got out of my car to admire the view and out of nowhere a fellow ran past me and jumped off the cliff. I didn't even see him set his glider up, I just turned and he was taking the giant leap right next to me. Impressive.
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re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by cudabean » Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:09 am

Bruno said:
I can't remember the name of the bamboo thing...
I believe it was called the "Batso" In fact I found a pic:
Image

My dad and I nearly built an Easy Riser (never finished). It was from an early kit that had the blue foam ribs with the wooded cap strips. The project dragged on, meanwhile my dad bought an American Aerolights Eagle and then a Kasperwing. I got a chance to fly each of them exactly once.

Marlin

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re: the bipe and the bro's

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:51 am

Thanks! Yes, I believe it was indeed Batso. Looks familiar on the photo. Kasperwing was a move in a completely opposite direction back then. Very sophisticated.

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