One problem with hang gliders is their big, awkward frames. Getting them up the hill usually requires a truck, or a large van, with a roof rack. Once at the launch, it takes time to assemble their metal tubes, steel wires and complicated harnesses. That rigid frame, though, means most hang gliders can fly twice as far and twice as fast as most paragliders and, significantly, a hang glider will knife through the turbulence surrounding rising columns of air known as thermals with much less drama. But it takes longer to learn to handle all the power.
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
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