On this page, you will find out more about the history of Airborne, how we operate and help you and we answer a number of frequently asked questions. Please click below to 'jump' to the section of interest;
Hang Gliding FAQ's
Hang gliding is the original self launch aircraft. The original Rogallo invented by Francis Rogallo when he was working for NASA in the 1960's space programme. These high performance flying machines are capable of speeds in excess of 70 mph and a glide ratio of 12:1 plus. This combined with higher take off and landing speeds mean that it will take you longer to learn than paragliding, which, if you are a newcomer, we recommend you try first.
Airbornes’ roots go back to the Northern School of Hang Gliding founded in 1973. We were the first school in the country and since that time the club has taught literally thousands of pilots the art of hang gliding.
The sport of hang gliding offers you the exhilaration of speed and the advantage, once you are skilled, of flying in slightly stronger winds. The weight and bulk of hang gliders demands that you are fit and strong. In addition, you must be keen, enthusiastic and have much patience. With applied effort, you will be rewarded with the delights and challenges that hang gliding offers.
Our courses run full time using the very best hills in the Pennines. We have courses in Winter in the warm climate of Lanzarote. Our centre is based on a 17th Century Yorkshire farm in the heart of the Pennines, close to Hebden Bridge. UK Training is on hills within easy commuter distance from Leeds or Manchester. You will be trained to the highest standards. On qualifying you will receive a certificate and can join the Airborne Club. Annual club subscriptions are only £29.
How do you start?
We normally meet at 10 - 10-30 am and after a brief theory session, you will be on the hill learning how to control the hang glider without taking off. Once you can manage this you will attempt to make your first flights on gently sloping ground, no higher then some kitchen steps. Your first flights will be tethered for your safety. As your skill and confidence increases, you will progress higher up the hill to make longer, higher solo flights. At this stage we will use two way radios to guide you safely through the air. Those first soaring flights may take some months since we require perfect conditions - it is worth waiting for!
Do I need to take all my days at once?
No, in fact with British weather it is unlikely that you will get a full course completed in one go. Most people come at weekends or two days at a time. Unless you are very fit that will be enough anyway!
Can I get personal accident insurance?
Yes, click here
A Skyfloater is a modern entry level hang glider. These are much easier to fly than its’ predecessors, which traditionally were designed for maximum performance and not necessarily for ease of flying. You Once you purchase your "Skyfloater" you will soon be able to progress swiftly and safely within the Club environment.
What is Skyfloating?
Well originally conceived by Colin Lark, a pioneer of hang gliding, he aimed to solve the inherent problems of hang gliding – weight, difficulty of flying, transportation not to mention the name! Hang gliding just conjures up an image of well … death, to put it bluntly and he felt the whole sport needed a new image.
The Discovery Skyfloater offers the ultimate in flying pleasure. It has been designed for easy flying and has safe and forgiving flight characteristics that will inspire pilot confidence. The Discovery is ideal for new pilots or recreational pilots and is the perfect wing with which to improve your flying skills or just have FUN! Light to carry, quick and easy to rig (only 12 battens to insert) and very user friendly, it packs down to half its length in only a couple of minutes (to between 2.9 and 3.1mtrs depending on size).