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Hang Gliding 101

You don't need an airplane to experience the thrill of flying. Kidzworld checks out the the high-adrenaline sport of hang gliding.

Hang Gliding - History

  • In the late 19th century, a German named Otto Lilienthal designed an early hang glider made from wood and fabric. For his first flight, he ran onto a spring board and leaped off. Once he was in the air, he shifted his body back and forth to steer. More advanced hang glider models were developed in the 1960s and 1970s and hang gliding pilots began launching from hills and cliffs.

    Hang Gliding - We Have Lift Off

    Hang gliding pilots rise into the air by taking off from cliffs, mountains, ridges or other high up spots and making use of thermals. Thermals are bubbles or columns of warm air. Thermal lift occurs when the sun heats up the air and causes it to rise. A pilot catches a thermal by circling the warm air, which pushes him or her upward. Thermals can send a hang gliding pilot up to 20,000 feet above the ground!

    Hang Gliding - Getting Started

    So, you think you're interested in taking to the skies in a hang glider? To begin hang gliding lessons, you have to be at least 12 years old and weigh at least 85 pounds. It's also best to take your lesssons from a certified instructor. When you're just starting out, it's recommended that you only fly from hills that are under 100 feet in height and only fly in mild winds. Hang gliding can be dangerous, so it's important you try the sport with proper supervision using proper equipment. Hang gliding can also be an expensive sport so you're best off taking some lessons and renting gear before asking your parents for a brand new hang glider for your birthday. For more info on hang gliding school in your area, click here.

    Hang Gliding - Fun Facts

  • Manfred Ruhmer holds the world record for longest distance traveled in a hang glider. He traveled 700.6 kms (437 miles) during a flight over Texas in July, 2001.
  • Experts believe that hang gliders were used as the first spy planes. Over 3,000 years ago, Chinese soldiers were tied to gigantic kites. As they flew into the sky, these soldiers would look out for enemies.
  • A group of hang gliding pilots who fly together are called a gaggle.

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    Sports In The Forums

    "FBGirl" wrote:I like cheerleading, but definitely NOT a sport! Sports are physical activity with competition and GEAR. The closest thing cheerleaders have to gear are pom-poms. And, yeah. Boys CAN cheerlead, but chances are they will be made fun of(not by me). Cheerleaders do A LOT of physical cheers and stunts, and we use ourselves instead of gear. A lot and most people underestimate cheerleaders for just some girls with poms and uniforms going "go team! yay!" because they have seen that in movies and tv. look up some cheer comp videos and still only some people with change their view of cheerleaders as girls on the sidelines doing uncreative cheers and stupid words to match. I hope this helped you understand a little bit more about cheerleading and cheerleaders. Peace Out!
    reply about 2 hours
    "lamiraclelemiracle" wrote:no cheering is not a sport it's something to turn people and the players up I was a cheerleader for 2 years (before I aged out) and we do not only wave pom poms int the air and yell "go team!!". All cheerleaders and coaches put A LOT of effort and time into making and practicing cheers. It is true that cheerleaders turn people and the players on...but it's much more than that. it's about having fun, teamwork, having some more fun, getting some exercise (uh that kinda makes it a sport right?), and great times with the other girls on your squad.   Rant over lol
    reply about 2 hours
    Lolly20 posted in Xtreme Sports:
    of coarse girls can be stronger than boys but some are not :wave
    reply 3 days
    How the game works: you roast the favorite american football player of the person above you  EXAMPLE: Mathew Stafford LIONS QB USER BELOW: hes the worst qb in nfl did you know that? Ok first person to reply roasts my player:  Favorite NFL Player: Antonio Brown #84 Pittsburgh Steelers
    reply 4 days
    Lolly20 posted in Cheerleading:
    as long as they r happy i think it is fine :)
    reply 7 days