ST PAUL, MINN — Aloha! With his wife, Toni, Jerry Forburger completed his deal with airpark developer, Bill Fulton. The ATOL’ers have begun employment with Sport Aviation Hawaii and will begin by offering tandem intros to the islands’ millions of visitors. Tourists and students will get to soar some the smoothest lift in the world (“…after about 700 feet, lift seems to fill the whole valley.”), viewing spectacular scenery: incredibly steep green mountains, cascading waterfalls, and an uncommercialized tropical landscape. Few outsiders have ever set foot in the Kaaawa Valley ’til Fulton made his deal with the Kualoa Ranch family. Says Fulton, “We’ve had visits by several experts. Many think Sport Aviation could be one of the world’s largest schools.” To qualify for such a title, the business will count an expected 20,000 Japanese tourists a year flying on the world’s longest Hang Glider Simulator®. ||| Fulton orchestrated hang gliding participation in the Navy Hydrofest ’90, a fund raiser (needed after budget cuts) to help the Navy provide recreation for the thousands of sailors who regularly dock and restock at Pearl Harbor. The Navy opened the facility to the public for the first time ever, drawing the largest crowds of any Hawaiian event. Fulton and the Forburgers provided 70 ATOL tows during three days of optimum Kona (non-tradewind) conditions, earning a repeat invitation from the Navy organizers. USHGA provided colorful merchandise which was displayed in Sport Aviation’s booth. ||| PacAir is experiencing good response to the little K2s. “Performance from our 190+ pound K2-145 pilots [seems to show] that the K2-155 will be ‘the large version’.” Deliveries are reasonable now, about 6 weeks. ||| The Salinas outfit ran a survey (as they often do). A plurality of their dealers wanted PacAir to get involved with paragliders (though most weren’t themselves actively involved). PacAir will discuss with Airwave UK plans to bring in the British company’s Black Magic line. Topping the request list was a tandem glider, surely reflecting the growth of this activity as a teaching medium and “cash crop.” PacAir promises a Double Vision (cute, huh?). Possible specs: 212 ft2 area, 6.15 aspect, weight range 220-420 (!) pounds. Unlike regular Visions, this one will probably have an exposed crossbar. Surprisingly, they claim weight is only 61 pounds. ||| Down the coast in Santa Barbara, Seedwings has attracted well-known, repatriated sailmaker Bob Schutte to chief the loft. Owner Bob Trampenau was pumped about the company’s latest version of their venerable 510 series. In certifying the E model to the tough 1990 HGMA standards as well as the German Güteseigel (“Seal of Approval”), Seedwings performed many performance tests. Says Trampenau, “We think [we’re experiencing] 15:1 [with] fully streamlined airframes and harness. Min sink is on the order of 155 fpm.” You’ll have to fly one and decide for yourself of course. Trampenau feels 15:1 is achievable; though he observes the “real world flying, like at the [Morningside] glide angle contest” doesn’t fully exploit the performance. Nor, he says, did Pagen in his magazine report, as the test 510 was a pre-certification model. Pagen’s glide-angle report in the Sep ’90 issue concluded a top glide of 10.5 based on 133 test flights with pilots trying their hardest. Seedwings 15:1 claim may reflect glide “potential,” but glide “performance” by real pilots in real air seems to be much lower. ||| Further south in Santa Ana, Wills has released their smallest 144 Spectrum. They rate the beginning glider at 130 to 200 pounds. Order taking began about Oct 1 and deliveries should now be underway. ||| Wills Wing raised prices in October, reflecting the declining value of the dollar and their heavy purchases of cloth and tubing from Europe. Interestingly, the company reports that bright yellow accounted for 23% of the total colored cloth sewn into wings. They express consternation over the effort of stocking a wide variety of colors when these must all be imported and those distant mills change colors frequently. ||| Greg “Fly America” DeWolf was at the Washington D.C. board meeting. He reports settling in nicely at his cross country destination: Kitty Hawk. Having amassed a great deal of towing experience, it seemed logical to begin offering tandem instruction on the beaches of the popular resort town. After his first summer, DeWolf reports delivering nearly 1,000 tandems (at $65 each). “Local officials have been very accommodating.” ||| Finally, bad news… the first aerotowing-related fatality in Tennessee. After release, the ultralight tug pilot apparently suffered a structural failure (flying-wire shackle?). The glider pilot is OK. More news on this unfortunate incident in next edition. ||| Outta room. Got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Call 612/457-7491 (days). Fax 612/457-8651. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine