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

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  • 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.
    X-air pilot
    Previously owned flexwings, incl. Quantum 15-582 and Flylight Dragonfly.

  • #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

    Comment


    • #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.
      X-air pilot
      Previously owned flexwings, incl. Quantum 15-582 and Flylight Dragonfly.

      Comment


      • #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

        Comment


        • #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?
          X-air pilot
          Previously owned flexwings, incl. Quantum 15-582 and Flylight Dragonfly.

          Comment


          • #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

            Comment


            • #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
              X-air pilot
              Previously owned flexwings, incl. Quantum 15-582 and Flylight Dragonfly.

              Comment


              • #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?
                X-air pilot
                Previously owned flexwings, incl. Quantum 15-582 and Flylight Dragonfly.

                Comment


                • #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).

                  Comment


                  • #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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

                      thanks very much, guys. Peter, I like the idea of rolling the ladder over a roller - in fact I have a few of ythose royal mail parvel conveyor ones. Wonder how much heavier the wing will feel with the ladder on?
                      X-air pilot
                      Previously owned flexwings, incl. Quantum 15-582 and Flylight Dragonfly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

                        I fixed 2 alu tube J pices on the side of my van so only had to lift the glider on one end at a time about 5ft just clear of the door, or on the pax side a bit lower.
                        Another scheme was a 12inch plastic drain tube, or bell mouthed Alu tube, about 8 or 9 ft long .
                        , fixed on the roof rack. raise one end of the glider into the mouth, lift the other end and slide in.Overhang about 3 ft at the back, 6 ft at the front.A jury strut from the front bumper helps, but you MUST wind a tightish belt round the glider at each end of the tube and tie it, or you will lose it. If it starts to slide try not to brake any more or it can shoot ou in front of you
                        wilyflier

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                        • #13
                          How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

                          Simon Murphy does a little two wheeled trailer for moving HG or bagged flwexwings around.



                          http://www.turfhouse.com/acatalog/co...cessories.html

                          For putting the wing on the van there is a very expenive but easy German unit desinged for vans that allows you to place the wing on the rack halfway down the van then flip it onto the top.

                          Designed for a VW van but can work elsewhere. I can't find the info now but will post it if I doas it's a superb piece of kit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

                            Walk to the rear of the wing when it is on the ground lift by the wing tips,and wlak under it with the nose on the ground and wing on which ever shoulder you prefer. Once you are far enough under the wing it will be very easy to just rotate it up onto your shoulder. Walk to your car (side) with the nose of the glider to the rear of the car allow the nose to come up over the roof bar (padded of course) at approx 25 to 30 degrees to the side of the car rest the nose of the glider over the roof rack allowing the weight to come down onto the rack then simply edge yourself back towards the wing tips and when far enough back walk into the side of the car and place the tips of the glider over the front bar. I would suggest it is absolutely neccesary to fit a glider rider to any wing being transported for a number of reasons not only for security but to stop wing flexing and it also stops the roof bars being twisted and flexed in directions they are not designed to be twisted and flexed in.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How do you load a hang glider wing on to the top of a van, single-handed?

                              William,

                              Quick question, what is a 'glider rider'? When I googled it I found a video game and a child's bike, but nothing that could support a flexwing.

                              Best regards,

                              Bob Hood
                              XL's forever! Well, one of them anyway. It's all I can afford, not to mention the Raven and the Mini-Max. Oh, and I almost forgot the Spectrum as well :-)

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