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Hang gliding is one of the most freeing experiences in the world and having a glider of your own is exciting. But what are the best hang gliders?
Have you ever considered buying a hang glider? Whether you’re just getting into the industry, you’re a novice pilot, or you’re an advanced sport pilot, buying your own hang glider gives you the freedom to fly whenever you want. But just like any other big purchase, you don’t want to just buy the first glider you see. What are the best hang gliders?
The best hang gliders on the market are the Wills Wing T3, North Wing Liberty, Wills Wing Alpha, A-I-R USA ATOS VQ, North Wing Pulse, Wills Wing Falcon 4, and the North Wing Freedom. With any of these hang gliders, you really can’t go wrong and you’ll be ready to fly in no time.
There are a lot of different hang gliders on the market, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will discuss the best hang gliders on the market and why they are worth your money. Each glider has its own unique features that make it a great option for anyone looking to purchase a hang glider. Whether you're new to the sport or you've been flying for years, there's sure to be a glider here that's perfect for you!
At Flight Notch, we strive to provide our readers with only the best, most helpful content possible. So when you come here looking for the best hang gliders on the market, I want you to leave knowing that you have an accurate list. To ensure this, I combine my own glider experience with research and input from other enthusiasts. Forums, interviews, and research come together to form this list below. Enjoy your glider!
What Is A Hang Glider?
A hang glider is a type of aircraft that looks sort of like a big kite. It mainly consists of a rigid metal frame with a fabric wing stretched over the frame. The pilot is suspended from the glider in the prone position and is attached via an intricate harness system. Using control bars and by shifting their weight, the pilot steers the hang glider.
Hang gliders are different from other types of aircraft because they don't have an engine. Instead, they use the wind and various air movements to keep them in the air. The wing acts like an airfoil — think wings on an airplane — and generates lift by causing a pressure differential above and below the wing.
Even though it’s not for the faint of heart, hang gliding is widely considered to be one of the most relaxing extreme sports there is. That’s a bit of an oxymoron, a relaxing extreme sport, but it’s true! When you’re up there soaring through the skies, nothing else matters. You’ve got the wind in your face, breathtaking views in all directions, and more. It’s an incredible experience.
That said, it’s important that you have the right hang glider. People often ask what kind of hang glider they should get, but there’s no one answer to this question. It all depends on what type of flying you want to do and how much money is in your budget!
There are many different types out there so make sure that whatever glider you choose fits your needs before making any final decisions about purchasing it.
How Much Do Hang Gliders Cost?
Hang gliding is an exhilarating sport that can be enjoyed by just about anyone that’s physically and mentally fit. Whether you’re flying solo or with a group of friends, it’s sure to bring some excitement into your life! But it’s not exactly a cheap sport to get into since there’s so much equipment involved. The biggest one is, of course, the actual hang glider itself.
How much does a hang glider cost?
The prices of hang gliders vary depending on what they’re designed for, what condition they’re in, and if you’re buying new or used. If you just want a basic, used hang glider that will get the job done, you can find them for $1,000 to $2,000. For brand new high-performance gliders, expect to pay upwards of $10,000 or more.
As a general rule of thumb, most gliders will set you back about $2,000 to $6,000, but it all depends on the actual glider itself. For more detailed information about how much hang gliding costs, check out our full article on the topic here on the site. You’ll find everything you need!
What Are The Best Hang Gliders?
Now that you have more of an idea about what hang gliding is and how much it costs to get into the sport, let’s get into the really good stuff. These are the eight best hang gliders available on the market today.
Wills Wing T3
The Wills Wing T-series has been around for a long time and is known for its durability and performance. The T-Series is available in three different trims (T3, T3 Race, and T3 Team), so you can choose the one that's best suited to your needs. It's made in the USA so you know it’s of the highest quality. As one of the best high performance gliders on the market, the base trim of the T3 will set you back just over $10,000.
The T3 is popular among competitive hang gliding pilots thanks to its great performance and easy handling. It's perfect for cross-country flying and thermalling, and it's also very stable in turbulent conditions. With its new bearing tips, the redesigned T3 has better performance and handling than ever before. If you're looking for a durable glider that will perform well no matter what you throw at it, the Wills Wing T3 is definitely worth considering!
North Wing Liberty
The North Wing Liberty hang glider is a great option for anyone looking for an easy-to-fly, high quality hang glider. North Wing gliders are known for their stability and easy handling in general, making them perfect for beginner pilots. But as for the Liberty in particular, this one was designed with a little more performance in mind.
North Wing included speed vents near the tips of the Liberty that help the wing keep its shape at high speeds by preventing the under-sail flaps from inflating. The Liberty is a double surface glider with a refined sail area that’s designed specifically for performance and handling. In terms of pricing, it’s a bit on the higher end, starting at $5,790 for the 148-square foot model.
Wills Wing Alpha
The Wills Wing Alpha is a great glider for anyone looking for an easy to fly option. This glider is made in the USA and is known for its quality construction and smooth flying capabilities, just like all of the other gliders from Wills Wing. This is one of the newest gliders offered by Wills Wing and is designed with beginner pilots in mind.
The Alpha is what’s known as a low aspect ratio glider, which means that it has less wingspan but more area. This design is ideal for gliders that are lightweight and easy to transport. It’s also the main reason why the Alpha flies much slower than many other gliders, making it an ideal option for anyone that just wants to get out there and enjoy the sport.
This is the most affordable option on this list from Wills Wing with a price tag of just over $3,800.
A-I-R USA ATOS VQ
The A-I-R USA ATOS VQ is one of the most popular hang gliders on the market for the serious recreational pilot. It has a full carbon fiber keel and weighs just 86 pounds, making it lightweight enough to be carried by hand or shoulder strap while still providing plenty of strength for its size.
This glider offers excellent performance at all speeds with good lift characteristics throughout its range. The design is based largely off of the ATOS VR that is replaced, but the VQ incorporates a shorter wingspan with curved tips instead of the winglets. This slowed the glider down but improved its roll and handling by quite a bit.
You'll also love how easy it is to set up and pack away thanks in part due to its collapsible design. You should be able to go from start to finish in just 12 minutes no matter if you’re setting it up or taking it back apart.
North Wing Pulse
The North Wing Pulse is a great hang glider for anyone looking to get into the sport. It's made by one of the most well-known manufacturers in the industry and has been around for years. It was actually discontinued for a number of years, but due to popular demand, the Pulse is back in production and it’s better than ever.
The standard features of the popular Pulse include an airfoil kingpost, 4-ounce sailcloth, 7075 aluminum frame and ribbing, quick setup, and three stock sails for you to pick from. You can also add streamline uprights and a comfort bar for an extra $50 each if you so choose. The Pulse is a bit more affordable than the Liberty mentioned above, with pricing starting at $4,690.
Wills Wing Falcon 4
The Wills Wing Falcon is a series of great all-around hang gliders and has been in production since 1994. Falcon gliders have long been one of the best on the market for new pilots thanks to their accessibility, ease of control, and smooth handling.
The newest iteration in the popular lineup, the Falcon 4, is the best version yet and should absolutely be at the top of your list. The Falcon 4 comes in three sizes depending on pilot weight: 145, 170, and 195 pounds. Its new sail cut and panel layout increase stability at higher speeds to make it even easier to fly.
This hang glider falls in between the other two options from Wills Wing on this list in terms of price. You can get your hands on one for just under $4,500.
North Wing Freedom
The North Wing Freedom is a high performance hang glider that's perfect for anyone who wants to take their flying experience to the next level. The high aspect ratio wing and curved tip design of this model makes it extremely stable in turbulent air, so you don't have to worry about getting tossed around by strong winds.
North Wing markets the Freedom as a “single surface” glider with 40% double surface coverage, making it a great glider to transition from single surface to the more advanced double surface models. The Freedom is easy to fly, quick to set up, and has incredibly smooth handling. There are three different models of the Freedom depending on weight: 150, 170, and 190 pounds.
All three Freedom models start at $4,775 and go up from there if you decide to add the company’s Full Race options.
Which Hang Glider Should I Buy?
I really wish there was a one size fits all solution to this question, but it’s going to come down to what you’re looking to get out of the hang glider and how much you’re willing to spend. If you need something that’s more performance-oriented and you’re not too terribly concerned with the budget, then the Wills Wing T3 should be at the top of your list.
From the same company, you could spend less than half as much and get your hands on a Wills Wing Alpha or Falcon 4. Personally, I’d choose the Falcon 4 out of any of the three Wills Wings models, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Additionally, the gliders from North Wing are favorites among many enthusiasts, and the ATOS VQ is incredibly popular as well.
At the end of the day, it’s going to be a personal choice that you’ll have to make. But any of the options in this guide, and just about any gliders from Wills Wing, North Wing, or A-I-R USA will get the job done and you’ll be happy with your purchase. So get out there and get flying!