Hang glider repair and maintenance in Pacifica, CA
To order a glider or parts (Wills Wing or Moyes), see details on my other site, California Hang Gliding.
|Bottom side wires replacement||$80|
|Complete VG service||$130|
|Mylar LE inserts recondition||$120|
|Sail-off inspection + test flight||$350 Falcon, $400 others|
|New sail install + frame inspection + test flight||$350 Falcon, $400 others|
|Other work||By quote|
– I service Wills Wing, Moyes, and the North Wing Freedom.
– Overlapping jobs are billed at a lower rate.
If you want to “help”, I charge double. I only can do careful work on your glider when focused and at my own pace.
Bottom Side Wires Replacement
The bottom side wires are the most common periodic replacement item on every model of glider. Unlike any other wire on the glider, a bottom side wire break renders the glider totally uncontrollable and necessitates a parachute deployment. They can get damaged over time from hard landings, bad pack-up, exposure to salt water, abrasion, aerobatics, and repeated use.
Replacing these periodically is also a good practice because it’s an opportunity to check components in the control frame and xbar-LE areas that are often damaged or misassembled.
This job requires new nuts, a special punch (on most Wills Wing and Moyes gliders), and hardware must be reinstalled with the correct tension to allow the tangs to self-align. After replacement I set the glider up partially to verify correct alignment of all parts and load test the wires.
For gliders equipped with VG, a nice easy pull depends on several parts in the glider being as low-friction as possible. These parts wear, become dirty, need more lubrication, and are sometimes misassembled.
I replace the bottom VG rope (rope cost is extra) and check the pulleys condition and alignment, bearings condition, xbar-LE connections, noseplate connections, keel surface, basetube corner bracket, and cleat. As needed I lubricate the corner bracket bearing, keel, and xbar center bearing (T2/T3).
The upper VG rope, which goes along the keel, normally does not need replacing unless it is fraying, in which case it will be an extra fee. The lower VG rope starts at a point inside the downtube and is good to replace periodically because of abrasion and dirt.
This involves pulling the sail completely off the frame, inspecting the inside of the sail, and disassembling several components to check for wear and damage.
Depending on the manufacturer, the official recommendations are to do this about every year, 100 hours, or 300 flights. I recommend it also after major structural damage or a lot of rough landings.
- Bolts – bends, corrosion
- Safety Rings – bends
- Ball Lock Pins – sticking
- Washers – wear
- Frame Tubing – dents, bends
- Battens – shape
- Batten Tips – strength, wear
- Batten Strings – fraying, shrinkage
- Tip Wands – cracks
- Sprogs – free movement
- Lock Nuts – replace
- Flying Wires – kinks, broken strands, torn coating
- Wire Tangs – bends
- VG Ropes – fraying
- VG Pulleys/Bearings – rust, damage
- Other Ropes – fraying
- Aluminum Fittings – bends, crushing
- Sail – wear holes
After the inspection, if the glider appears airworthy I do a test flight at Funston.
An inspection is a good time to address key maintenance items that are due on the same schedule as an inspection, which I can do at half the normal rate during the process:
- new bottom side wires
- new hang loop
- VG service
Eventually it can be a good idea to replace the other lower wires (bottom nose wires and bottom rear wires).
Manufacturers suggest lubricating a few things periodically.
Based on the their recommendations and my experience, for any glider where applicable I recommend lubricating the keel, tip wands and receptacles, battens, VG bearing, and glider bag zipper. I use a few different lubricants depending on the location/material. This will keep everything moving the way it should during setup and flight and help parts last to avoid costly replacements.
New Sail Install
Before ordering a new sail, I remove the old sail and fully inspect the integrity of the frame and all components, and then we can order any replacement parts along with the sail. This is why a new sail install is the same rate as an inspection.
If I have already done a full inspection on it recently enough, the price for a sail install will be less.
This is a good time to address key maintenance items, which I can do at half the normal rate:
- new bottom side wires
- new hang loop
- VG service
When it’s all done I do a test flight at Funston.
Mylar LE Inserts Recondition
Your leading edge sail depends on mylar inserts inside for a good airfoil shape. When the inserts become creased, your glider suffers in handling and predictable flying characteristics. The turn your glider has developed could be from this.
The creases are hard to prevent and can be caused by tight sail ties, racks, or folding the tips.
I remove the mylar inserts from your sail, use a careful application of heat that brings them back reasonably flat, and reinstall them.
Topless gliders with stiff carbon-kevlar leading edge inserts do not need this service.
I coordinate with a local professional who does a great job replacing entire panels. If it’s a small puncture in an area that is not in danger of tearing further, I apply sail tape appropriate for the material.
or call David Kiesling 510-754-6842