Hang gliders, unlike other aircraft, are unpowered. They maintain flight by using what is called an aerofoil, or a wing. They require air movement to stay aloft. So how does a hang glider fly?
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Since a hang glider doesn’t have motors, it can’t take off from the ground. It has to be launched from somewhere higher like a hill or mountain. There are four forces involved in flying: Thrust, drag, weight, and lift
Thrust: This is the force that makes anything move forward. You get this from running, and the wind the pushes you forward. You get thrust when you overcome the force that stops it.
Drag : Drag is what keeps us steady. When drag is overcome, we move forward.
Weight : The weight of the pilot and the glider is the main force on a hang glider, which is gravity. The aerofoil is shaped as such, so you don’t fall like a rock but instead move forward mid-air.
Lift : The lift of course is responsible for getting you aloft. The wings are designed to let air pressure gather up beneath the wings and speed by atop it, thus generating lift.
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