The inventor of the Modern Hang Glider in 1963
Note the battens in the trailing edge of the sail.
Photo courtesy of Rod Fuller 1965
In 1963 Mr. John Dickenson, then living in Grafton, N.S.W, Australia, invented the aircraft type that revolutionised the sport of hang gliding.
The invention inspired ‘Ultralight Aviation’ globally leading to the development of a global industry worth many millions of dollars, even hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
A carefully study of the evidence also shows that it plays a major role in the commencement of the sport of Paragliding.
Provisional Patent Application
4th October 1963
To enlarge click onto photo repeat to shrink
This website is the result of a great deal of research, while it will tell the story, as it is understood by those who have examined the evidence, the website’s primary function is to provide a research tool for anyone interested in Global, and/or Australian history.
Of course the material presented here will also be of great interest to anyone interested in Aviation History.
John Dickenson’s invention is a milestone on the road of human evolution. John Dickenson did not invent hang gliding, nor did he build the first hang glider and when he set out on the project he did not even intend to build a hang glider.
The thing is that John Dickenson built the best hang glider ever witnessed until that time. John had the complete package. The Dickenson Wing did not boast the highest performance but it had the following characteristics.
Strong and durable:
Easy to fly:
Easy to build:
Profound:...................................................................................................................................At At roughly the time that Neil Armstrong walked upon the moon, representing humankind, back on Earth mankind was still striving to conquer the mystery of bird like flight. In Grafton, New South Wales, Australian John Dickenson was solving that problem, with wings that were lighter than the pilot, and able to be picked up by the pilot, alone, and that were capable of being foot-launched and landed.
Finally mankind could fly with birds, in formation with them as we soared the coastal cliffs or circled with them far above the mountains and the plains. In hang gliding finally it was no longer about “Low and Slow”. The old rule that you “Don’t fly higher than you are prepared to fall” fell away like the earth as mankind soared and swooped. Today it is about higher, further, faster, but there is still a place for those people who just want to fly, for fun.
John Dickenson discovered the secret formula that would have allowed Leonardo da Vinci to build and fly a hang glider. Humanity long had the materials capable of building a flying machine; they just lacked the right plan.
© Copyright Graeme Henderson
However the story continues at www.australian-hang-gliding-history.com