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Thread: How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

  1. #1

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    My girlfriend helps, neighbours have offered...and all that is very much appreciated when I am loading up at home, but how am I to unload my wing on my own at a quiet field and how am I to load it back on to the roof-rack afterwards?

    http://www.instructables.com/answers...JUVSGLG068MNZZ

    It is 38kg (about 83lbs), 17' long and has to be lifted just above head height on to a ladder-based roof-rack. I am attempting to be self-sufficient, despite having a bad back. It amazes me that hang-glider pilots have always had to do this and have coped (though I wonder how many have managed without a mate to lend a hand?). I appreciate that many pilots just hangar their trikes these days, but I am really keen to be mobile, as you will see from my blog.

    I would be very grateful for the advice of anyone who has done this themselves and lived to tell the tale.

  2. #2

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    Hi,
    I use a VW Caddy van, and carry hang gliders and microlight wings on it. I have a front support fixed to the front bumper and 3 x roof bars above the van body.

    To get the wing on I start with it on my right shoulder and stand on the Driver side of the van facing towards the back of the van, with the wing at about 30 degrees from the line of the van. I rest the nose of the wing on the rear roofrack and then walk backwards towards the front of the van, raising the wing as I go so that finally I walk around the front of the van and rest the tail of the wing on the front support.

    To get it off I start at the front of the van and lift the wing, then walk along the side of the van, keeping the wing lifted high with it's nose resting on the rear roofrack, until I am at the balance point. The wing is then at about 30 degrees to the van so I can just walk backwards with it on my shoulder.

    This is easier to do than describe!

    A ladder on top of the van will make it more difficult - but if you tie the ladder along the roof bars on one side of the van it should be OK.

    Alternatives; platform shoes / buy a car (or a breakdown wing and a motorbike and sidecar as I know one person had). DON'T TRY USING STEP LADDERS - too easy to fall off!

    Good luck

    Andy

  3. #3

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    Thanks Andy.....even getting it on my shoulder fills me with dread, though since I asked the question I did go and try lifting it, and it isn't as bad as I thought, and I dare say I'd get a knack for it.

  4. #4

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    Hi Peter,

    My Meriva probably has a lower roof than your van but I rest one end of my 5m ladder on the front bar and the other end on the ground. I lift the wing on to the ladder then lift and slide the whole thing onto the roof. I have used a towel to protect the front bar in the past but a gash piece of plastic gas pipe would be better. Perhaps this only works with a 5m ladder? We can talk about this and much more in the wind at Rougham tomorrow.

    Cheers,

    Steve

  5. #5

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    Just to be clear, Steve, I am not bringing the Dragonfly Sunday? Or were you expecting me to bring it tomorrow?

  6. #6

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    Peter,
    To lift the wing onto your shoulder first elevate the nose of the wing onto a chair.

    Then start at the tail end end rather than the middle, and work your way along it until the balance point is on your shoulder.

    This avoids bending down to lift too much weight in one go

    Andy

  7. #7

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    sorry

    I meant to say, I AM bringing it Sunday

  8. #8

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    that seems feasible, Andy, yes, thanks

    does it put a strain on the contents of the bag to have it pointing into the ground like that?

  9. #9

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    Back in my hang gliding days....I used to transport the wing on an aluminium ladder....on the 2 bar roor-rack. The ladder, (with a couple of cushions), had the advantage of suppoting the wing along it's entire length for the journey. At the field....I simply pulled the ladder from the rear of the vehicle...with the glider still on it. Put the rear of the ladder on the ground, (the front of the ladder still on the roof bar), then remove the glider. (The ladder would 'scrape' along the rear roof bar - I fitted a plastic drain pipe tube to stop the annoying 'squeal'. An excellent and better mod would be to fit a 'roller' behind and parallel to the rear roof bar. You can often see this fitted on plumbers/builders vans).

  10. #10

    How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

    Peter E wrote

    does it put a strain on the contents of the bag to have it pointing into the ground like that?

    ------------------------------------------------

    Less strain than on your back!
    If ground muddy, or on concrete / tarmac put something under the end of the bag to pad it out.
    The bags tend to be double thickness at the ends anyway.

    Andy

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