HISTORY OF PARAGLIDING
History of Paragliding
When once you have tested flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always want to return
- Leonardo da Vinci
These were the words from an individual who had a desire to fly. Human beings from a long time has a life long dream to fly and the motivation came from the free soaring bird’s touching the blue sky higher and higher. For convenience it didn’t took much time to invent “Wheel”, but to fly took a long time before understanding the science of aviation.
The stories we heard of Icarus & his father Daedalus from ancient Greece, the scientific experiments of Leonardo da Vinci, the vague stories of magic carpets in Arabia, Chinamen flying man-carrying Kites, or the stories from Ramayan of “Pushpak Viman” bringing back Ram, Sita, Lakshman and the famous Himalayan trip of Hanuman with power to fly. All these stories have cropped out of human mind for the strong fascination of flying free, like a bird in open sky.
The modern age of aviation began in 1891 with Otto Lillienthal , who developed bat like wings & managed to complete two thousand flights. His publication “the flight of Birds and the fundamentals of Aviation” made considerable contribution to Wright Brothers who developed practical aircraft.
Later during the World War I a parachute type device was used for controlled landings of Army personnel’s, supplies and tanks to remote places where aircraft landings were not possible. Significantly during World War II modifications were done on the parachute which can now be land towed, in places such as Germany & Holland. The round parachute required a lot of tow force to stay aloft and weren’t very controllable.
A new style parachute “Para commander” with a more oblonged shape, cut outs and longer panels & vents to increase the glide angle and more steering capability. This revolution was developed by Pioneer Parachute Corporation in late 1950’s. the Para commander had a glide ratio of 2.5 as against the conventional round vertically falling parachute. David Barish in 1963 did some serious work for NASA (National Aerospace Administration), for experimentation in rocket recovery devices. Francis Rogallo is one of the pioneer in developing both hang gliding & paragliders.
Domina Jalbert a Canadian made a new type of parachute, where between two layers of cloth a vertical webbing was done to hold it’s shape like a airplane wing. It was called as “Parafoil”. A constant development work was happening through the early seventies and eighties, but the attention got diverted by hang gliding in early seventies from parachutes.
In 1978 in Micussy France that became the first Mecca of Paragliding. Many pilots started coming to this place for flights of over 1000 meters in height. Races began to be organized with its increasing popularity against the heavy, risky and cumbersome Hang gliding.
Paragliding is a relatively new sport in India. This site is created to provide information for people in India who are looking to learn paragliding and don't know where and what to look for.
This site is also helpful for people who are travelling to India (Yes, there are many and I meet them every weekend) for a paragliding holiday near the city of Mumbai and Pune. So if you are one the those, thinking of a paragliding India holiday, just checkout this information for details. If you need any help or information (about paragliding sites, where to stay, approximate expenses for stay and flying, flying weather etc.) please feel free to contact us at email@example.com and be assured of the reply asap.
Paragliding Schools in India
Here are the most popular paragliding schools or clubs I am aware of:
Temple Pilots (Pune & Mumbai)
Contact Person: Anita & Avi
Kamdhenu Riddhi, C-25 S. No. 54/11,
Mahatma Society, Kothrud,
Pune 411029 India
Nirvana Adventures (Pune & Mumbai)
Contact Person: Astrid & Sanjay Rao
2/A Takshashila apartments
Tagore Road, Santacruz west
Wings and Flights (Pune & Mumbai)
Contact Person: Eric Menezes & Mangesh Dighe
Tupe Nagar, Malwadi,
Near Sadhana High School, Hadapsar,
Space Apple (Mumbai)
Contact Person: Samson D'Silva
"Ish-Krupa" Gajbhat, Next to Catholic Bank,
Agashi, Virar (W), Mumbai 401301
PG Gurukul (In Himalayas [Manali, Billing])
Contact Person: Gurpreet Dhindsa
Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Western Paragliding Association (Mumbai)
Laksh Aviation Pvt. Ltd.
5 Siddhisadan, S.V.P Road, Borivli (W), Bombay 400103 India
R & R Aerosports
Contact Person: Mr. Pankaj Tyagi
30,Kiran Vihar, Delhi - 110092, India