Experience | Hang Gliding
A lightweight, non-motorised aircraft with a delta wing is called a hang glider. The craft is generally constructed of aluminium with the wing produced from a derivative of parachute fabric and sail material. The pilot, encased in a harness which supports the whole body, shifts his or her bodyweight to control the direction or height and uses a control bar to maintain or change position of the craft. Using thermal uplifts, a hang glider is able to soar for hours and at considerable height.
The pilot usually has a parachute included into the design of their harness, which is sufficient to enable pilot and craft to safely land should a serious problem be encountered. In addition, other safety equipment includes a helmet, a 2-way radio, first-aid equipment and a knife for cutting parachute ropes or harness should entanglement in a tree, or a water-landing result.
Generally, hang-gliders launch from a hillside, however it is also possible to launch by tow from an aircraft, by utilising a ground-based tow-system from vehicle or boat, or even from a hot air balloon.
Experienced pilots learn how the terrain can affect air thermals and it’s even helpful to observe the pattern of birds as they use thermals to control their lift, feeding on insects or soaring to locate prey on the ground.
It is important to receive the correct, professional tuition and Devon provides some truly magnificent scenery to experience from the air, providing a completely different perspective to the wide variety of terrain on offer. From dramatic and rugged coastline to sweeping moors, woodland, sandy beaches and hidden coves.
Enjoy South Devon as you have never seen it before, with the potential for a 20 - 90 mile flight, depending on conditions, from Dizzard Point in the North to Whitsand Bay in the South, crossing Dartmoor and its awe-inspiring moorland along the way.
In North Devon you can enjoy Woolacombe, Putsborough, Barnstaple and Westward Ho! Exceptional sites for viewing the many beaches, coastline, rolling green hills and surrounding farmland that the North coast has in abundance.
In South Devon visit the South Devon Hang Gliding & Paragliding club website for guidance at http://www.sdhgpgc.org.uk and in the North of the county, visit the North Devon club, which were one of the pioneers of the UK hang gliding scene, for further information at http://www.ndhpc.co.uk.