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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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  • 0 Comments

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    F1098381610125

    Coolest Action Sport? Vote!

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    Sports In The Forums

    LUCYQWERTY123
    well in my opinion i think its a sport cause its more of gymnastic and gymnastics is a sport so yeah :D :punk :nerd :nerd :nerd :punk :punk :punk
    reply 4 days
    1PhanTrash
    It's definitely an American thing - here in Australia we have like no Cheerleaders or Cheerleading groups. I think it's a sport but I'm not really into it. I think any girls or boys can do it. :3
    reply 4 days
    1PhanTrash
    "Dubadins" wrote: I have never been a cheerleader but I think it is a sport because it is very active and a lot of difficult looking moves. I agree
    reply 4 days
    Wolf74
    Wolf74 posted in Dance:
    use to like ballet and now gymnastics cause ballet does't suit me
    reply 5 days
    Enki
    Enki posted in Xtreme Sports:
    Sure, many girls can fight, in fact some can fight really well, however it is a fact that women are generally physically weaker than men, which means that if a healthy male and a healthy female were to fight then the outcome wouldn't be 50/50 but rather 25/75 if even that much, this assumes that both the male and female have the same experience, training and of course both are healthy. This doesn't mean that women are inferior to men, but I am just pointing out facts, the notion that men and women are exactly the same and should be carrying out the same tasks is ridiculous.
    reply 7 days