Launching a hangglider and ascending to the clouds.

This series of pictures shows me rigging a hangglider, launching it, flying it, and gaining height, ascending to the clouds.
(But I did not enter the clouds, since that is a wet and shaky experience, and involves flying blind in fog.)

The wing is a Wills Wing Ultrasport.
You may also have a look at my old page.


The hangglider is packed in a 5.3 m long bag. When unpacked and rigged, it has a wingspan of 10 m. To rig it, the wings are spread apart, aluminium spants are inserted, wires are connected and tightened. Everything has to be done thorougly, and inspected for faults. After all, I am going to fly this thing, and do not want anything to fail. Fortunately, hanggliders have become quite secure, and my wing is quite solid.


The wing is fully rigged, and I have mounted it. I am wearing a harness with tigh straps, and a parachute on the chest for safety when flying and padding when landing, which I often do horizontal instead of on my feet.

The harness is connected to the middle of the wing with straps and a carabiner on the back. (Certified 3000 kg) One always tries hanging from the wing before starting, to increase safety, since forgetting to connect the harness to the wing is one of the major fatal mistakes.


I have studied the wind at the ramp, and found it to be acceptable. So I launch, by running down the ramp, adjusting the wing while I get progressively lighter, until airborne.

Note that the wing has now become firm, as it shapes up in the airstream.


I have left the ramp, and am now flying. I am adjusting the attitude, yaw, pitch, speed, and heading of the wing, while trying to put my legs into the harness. This requires some training.


I am now flying normally, with legs retracted into the harness. I will close the harness zipper later for safety, since this requires the use of an arm. My height is now 350 m above the ice covered fjord.


The fields were free of snow, so they got warm in the sun, heating the air, which then ascended. I am circling in this ascending air, noticeable by examining the right wing, which is unfocused because of higher speed.


The updrafts were fantastic this day, 1 Mars 1998 at Sundvollen.


Hey, I am ascending faster than the yellow wing, and the pilot is good, while I have not reached even level 3 of 5 yet. My brand new Wills Wing Ultrasport sure is a good wing to ascend with.


I am getting near the base of the clouds. The lift increases noticeably, and I fly away to avoid beeing sucked into the clouds. Besides, I am approaching the legal height limit of 1067 m above sea level.


This is where I landed. I am the white line in the middle of the picture. You can see a low point on the mountain to the left. The photographer, Pål Leontin, had enough trouble finding the dot in the sky that was me. Anyway, it is easy to land on ice, since it covers such a big area.


Totally the trip lasted 1 hour, and was one of the nicest I have ever had. It was the first tour with thermals I flew on my new wing. I flew over the fjord, and to the north end of the fjord. The view was fantastic, and I also saw Nordmarka, the wilderness around Oslo, and the Oslo Fjord, and the radio towers at Tryvann.