Robert Doornick is again ready for takeoff—late '70s to early '80s

(Robert Doornick wrote earlier about how he introduced the new sport of hang gliding to the east cost back in the 1970s. He has located another rare photo from those days, when he showed people what it was like, how safe it could be and how much fun it was. As he said in his story, “Hang gliding is the most absolutely beautiful thing a human can experience…When you’re up there…you have experienced that takeoff, that moment of flight, when a human being becomes a bird…you are also in communion with yourself and your god, and you have wonderful conversations…”)

Hello Ira

If this if of any value, this photo filtered down from the office recently. It was one of the many public/media demonstrations I would give as a way of promoting a safe approach on behalf of the Sport, so as to gain greater public acceptance, and through that, greater local support from Land Owners, State Parks and Government Agencies which I needed to befriend for permission to use their mountains and hills where pilots could then practice safely.

The glider was an early generation Seagull design with cambered leading edges (notice the gentle curve alongside both wings) which made the glider easier to take-off with and land, as well as more forgiving in the air. Subsequent designs became more aerodynamic still, where the nose-to-tail dimensions got shorter, and the wing-span much wider to still offer the needed wing surface/lift for a given pilot weight, but with greater performance (an ability to cut through the air more smoothly, fly faster and maneuver more like a sports car version of the earlier generations. Such new gliders had wing spans of nearly 35′ and required greater skills, caution, etc.

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