ST. PAUL, MINN — The season is hot… or at least heating up, what with the 4th ECC92 (East Coast Champs) now over. Other news and There-I-Was stories will tell the tales. Here we’ll do our review of glider brands flown in competition. ••• As expected Wills had the majority at 34% of the field, up a point from ECC91. In a solid 2nd was UP at 28%, up seven points from last year, influenced by five Green Team pilots all flying TRXs (tho even without these, UP still held 2nd with 17%). A rather distant 3rd, Moyes had 13%, all-in-all a respectable finish for an import brand. Another Aussie brand, Enterprise, came in 4th with 12%, while Pacific Airwave — usually a strong contender — managed only 5th with a mere 9% of the field. Only six brands competed; Seedwings (4%) trailed the pack. ••• Some of the reason for Moyes to be showing well may relate to a blur of activity. This resurgence appears to coincide with the company’s co-development of the Dragonfly aerotug. The old master himself, Bill Moyes, will direct western U.S. tug clinics as the summer begins. Next, he plans to do the tug flying for Tomas Suchanek and son Steve as they try for some out-and-return records prior to the Owens meet. Finally, he’ll head to Europe. In discussing these promotion and travel plans for the tug Bill says, "I haven’t had so much fun since I was a fair ground performer!!" The tow planes are proliferating, with over a dozen now sold (a high figure for such a specialty aircraft). And soon we may begin seeing the sailplane they have been [in-air] testing. More info? Call 818/887-3361. ••• Apex composite rigid wing designer, Danny Howell, called to say his project — though greatly delayed by the Washington to California move — is still alive. In fact, he has recently attracted longtime HG design guru, Tom Price, to his development team. "The big challenge is reducing the empty weight below 100 pounds," says Howell. More info? Call 714/696-0887. ••• Howell may be onto something if the recent Popular Science coverage of Eric Beckman’s Swift is any indication. The March ’92 issue gave six full pages of glorious color coverage, including graphic portrayals and excellent photos. The text had a dramatic slant (somewhat anti-ragwing), but by and large Beckman and crew should be smilin’ widely. ••• UP America, UP Int’l’s U.S. marketing arm — run by new VP, GW Meadows — just opened its first retail store, in San Diego. Plans are underway for #2 in Salt Lake City. More are also planned as part of a comprehensive new approach to selling gliders (and lessons) in America. UP Int’l also has marketing subsidiaries in Japan and Europe. Info: 801/876-2211. ••• Being the old veteran, my attention is not often held by books about our sport. Contrarily, Dennis Pagen’s newest opus, "Understanding The Sky" is one I believe I’ll actually do cover-to-cover. Few books offer all sport flying enthusiasts such a comprehensive and understandable view of weather and flying in the medium. Peter Cheney’s training book is in the same pro league, being graphically more lavish. Yet it’s for beginners. "Understanding the Sky" is for beginners and know-it-alls. Pagen’s book is a worthy purchase offering 280 pages of solid information; no space is wasted. Dennis’ presentation of micrometeorology may be the finest in the industry. Combined with his own effective style of artwork and more professional graphics, "U-T-S" is a slick book that should be on all dealers’ shelves and in all pilots’ flight libraries. Also, Dennis, congrats for a fine #2 finish in the ECC92 (behind — who else? — Larry Tudor). ••• Nearly done, so a brief review of Pork’s "Torrey Pines Pilots" video. Anyone who knows the unique, inimitable W. A. "Pork" Roecker will appreciate his droll sense of humor in watching this 56 minute, $29.95 tape. You’ll hafta love him… the tape is simply no match for the more professionally edited videos presented here recently. Fun it is. A good look at Torrey Tricks it also is. Great videography it isn’t. But who cares? To order, write Flyin’ Pig Productions, Box 586149, Oceanside CA 92058. ••• Got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Call or fax via 612/450-0930. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine