ST. PAUL, MINN. — Since you’re reading this in early December, the holiday season is soon upon us. Because we all end up doing that gift thing, I thought I’d present a number of smaller, flight-oriented items that you might consider. If you like ’em, you might show this column to those buying for you (this gift thing is a two-way street, y’know). ••• But before we start, I want to pass along the correct phone number for Dragonfly Park in central Florida. You recall this is where Bobby Bailey and troupe are building Dragonfly hang glider tugs and where lots of pilots are getting some air… warmer air, it’s worth adding. That number is 813/424-0070. The address is 1805 Dean’s Still Rd., Davenport, FL 33837. • By the way, that’s not the only spot where towing takes place in the area. The Draggin’ Flyers club is also preparing a tug. I’ll have more info later, but meantime, try contacting Steve and Barb Flynn at 407/894-5715. ••• If you make it to Florida, you’ll fly behind aerotugs. However, lots of water-based towing still occurs. So you may want to purchase a set of David Kincheloe’s Safe Floats. He makes them in 6, 7, and 8 inch sizes for calm water, for more flotation, and for tandem use, respectively. Two floats attach to the side wires so they don’t protrude in front of the control bar. Therefore they won’t conflict with tow lines. A set sells for $69. FMI: 919/376-9602. ••• If you’re not lucky enough to escape winter’s chill by heading to Florida, perhaps you need good old reliable bar mitts. You may want to check out Caldera Air Sports’ Heatseekers. These $80 mitts are made from sheepskin with "very dense pile and a thick durable hide," sewn with seams you can’t feel from the inside, says Robin Conners, proprietor. For another $12-15, you can add a nylon mitt cover that provides both mitt protection from wind and dirt plus a clear vinyl map cover. FMI: 619/934-2125. ••• Maybe you want to protect more than your hands. Among the best in brain buckets is available from Sequatchie Valley Soaring. See their color ad for details, but the argument for full-face protection is serious. SVS has several choices so you’ll want to call them (it’s a free 800 call). With prices starting under $100, you shouldn’t ignore the safety message. These helmets sold over 3,000 pieces in Europe last year alone! They meet DIN standards. To order: 800/34-GLIDE. FMI: 615/949-2301; dealers may also inquire. ••• What goes up must come down… regrettably. When you get to terra firma, it’s important to know what Mother Nature offers in the way of winds. A proven windsock system is available from longtime producer, Hawk Airsports. These high quality wind indicators start at around $100 for a whole setup in a portable, breakdown-style configuration. If your club or business wants to help show the wind and do some advertising, boss Bruce Hawk just announced his Windsok XXL, meaning extra, extra large. The giant 30 inch by nearly 12 foot Windsok XXL retails for $235 and uses heavy-duty 1.75 inch tubing to stand a proud 15 feet tall. Hawk Airsports also has a fancy computer graphics techno-gizmo that can do a great job on logos and words. To order: 800/826-2719. FMI: 615/933-9296. ••• Next, a wrist watch. What’s an ordinary watch doing among these flight items? Well, this one’s got enough features that I asked for a demo. More after the checkout, but listen to the specs: The Avocet watch from Owens Valley Soaring is "a combination vario, barometer, timer, thermometer, alarm clock, averager, and trender." The watch can read in metric or feet, and altitude reads in 10-foot increments. It’ll record your highest altitude and best climb throughout the day, week, or year. Plus it’s made in the USA. Now the price. Ready? How about only $110 which includes the shipping. FMI: 619/387-2673 (voice or fax). ••• From products to art… Last year, Jeff Greenbaum of Airtime San Francisco imported the beautiful Drachenflieger HG/PG calendar from Europe. It was so well received, he’s repeating the effort, and at the same price: $19.95 plus shipping. Dealers may also inquire. The calendars are larger than USHGA’s and feature international scenery. Many pilots will want both of course. For the Euro-calendar, call 415/759-1177 or fax 759-1182. For the USHGA calendar, call 719/632-8300 or fax 632-6417. USHGA also has a dealer program and this year’s calendar is one of the best. ••• To close, an old friend, Terry Ferrer, has opened his West Wings Aviation Art Gallery. San Francisco area pilots know Terry’s professional artwork. Now, you can all tap his talent for various kinds of air-art. Terry has some special posters that he’s highlighting. In 1976 the only Hollywood production to feature hang gliders was "Sky Riders." The movie bills are 27 by 41 inches and will impress anyone. As only a few remain, they represent a piece of history. You can have one for the special price of $75 plus $5 postage and handling. FMI: 510/527-5895. ••• Some of these items ought to get your holiday shopping into gear, eh? So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. V-mail/Fax to: 612/450-0930. Merry Christmas from "Product Lines." THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine