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Rogallo - Jalbert, dirigible kites became serious propulsion and good fun

#@hanno; december 1967 Home »


Kiting Rogallo, Jalbert; surfing, buggying, DIY

Cross-roads Jalbert - Rogallo

Domina C. Jalbert invented the airfoil shaped kite resulting in the parapente, Rogallo developed dirigable single surface parachutes for spacecraft recovery, they called them parawing. These later became hanggliders and Nasa-wing kites.
Both started with kites and parachutes and their craft ended both as kites and aircraft!! The pictures below more or less tell the story.

Rogallo / NASA

From flexible kite his designs migrated via the bamboo framed rogallo type pvc covered gliders to the modern hanggliders. The other path his invention took was in the direction of kite and there are some remaining applications as dirigable parachutes.

12 sqm Jalbert parafoil, pulling like a horse

In the seventies we were completly into kites. After the first Powel stuntkite, soon the flexifoils came and I started design of a large parafoil.
6.5 m by 1.5m a really big kite. When finished the pull was so enormous six of us were dragged along the filed. Later when we attached it to the car we could even lift a person, more than 4 m we found too dangerous.

My brother re-bridled the kite for two line control and although the kite is slow in its response it is controllable as can be seen from the pictures

Kite buggy-ing; Fast and easy

With all the winter kite activities, it was not long before we started kitebuggy-ing.
The first time we tried it the wind was relatively strong force 5, the beach very flat and we thought this was normal ...
As the sport is easy for now I only show some pictures.

Kitesurfing between sailing and flying.

My initial idea of flying wen surfing was with a surf wing, see the picures. Professional acreer and marriage prevented working further with this idea, but luckily some others took it a little further.

Bean, semi-rectangular 6 sqm, 4-line kite.

This relatively simple kite gets you lots of pull for little money and you quickly learn 4-line control
If I would make another one I would decrease the aspect ratio a bit and increase the diameter of the leading edge carbon fibre rods, as they keep breaking in the inevitable ground stabs.
This comes from the need to start the kite when it is "upside down" fly it backwards up and than turn it ...

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