HANG GLIDING / PARAGLIDING
Often the question comes up... What is the difference between "hang gliding" and "paragliding"? As shown in the picture at right, a hang glider is on the left side and on the right a paraglider. They differ in many ways. The hang glider has an aluminum frame inside a shaped sail that typically has a pointed nose and a V shape as seen from above or below. The paraglider is essentially a "parachute" wing, has no frame and is fairly elliptical as seen from above or below. Check out the comparison chart below.
A COMPARISON OF WING TYPES
|Wing Weight with harness & reserve parachute
||65 to 100 lbs
||30 to 40 lbs
|Average New Cost (wing & harness)
||$4000 to $5000
||$4000 to $5000
|Assembly time on the hill
||10 to 30 minutes
||6 to 12 minutes
||18 to 60 mph
||15 to 25 mph
||Typically a 15 to 20 foot length resembling a telephone pole. A rack for your car is a necessity. On air carriers, early arrival, some strange looks, and a short 13' breakdown with bubblewrap taking 30 minutes is recommended. (Some air carriers don't allow it.)
||Resembles a large backpack. Goes into the trunk of your car. On air carriers, it is usually checked similar to a suitcase.
|Days or lessons for training to mountain solo competency
||Varies, typically about 5 to 15 lessons.
||Varies, typically 5 to 10 lessons.
||This is mostly a factor of the real desire of the pilot to want to fly safely. About 1 out of 1000 pilot years results in a fatality. (If the average pilot flys 100 flights per year this means 1 in 100,000 flights per fatality.
||Much the same as hang gliding. Although it started out in the early nineties with a higher fatality rate, it improved over the years to a much higher safety level.
|Age of the sport.
||Early beginnings might be argued to be late in the 19th century but the modern resurgence started in the late 60's.
||Started in Europe in the mid 80's. Popularity still growing but not as it did from 1988 to 1994.