Hang gliding can be dated back to the days of Leonardo da Vinci, whose sketchings portrayed his desire for human flight. Through fact and fiction, silent aviation has played a major role in man's dream to soar with the birds.
From the time of the ill fated flight of Icarus to the turn-of-the-century pioneers of the sport, such as Otto Lilienthal, Octave Chanute and John Montgomery, man has attempted free flight in just about every phase of modern history. As the Wright Brothers continued their pursuit of powered flight, they honed their flying skills in "hang gliders". After their famed Kitty Hawk flight, the world became increasing interested in the technological advances of powered flight, leaving hang gliding for another generation.
Hang gliding didn't emerge again until the 1960's, with the development of Francis Rogallo's "Rogallo wing", a NASA project for a possible recovery system for spacecraft. Little did Francis know that his design was going to begin a rebirth of hang gliding in the early 1970's.
In 1971, the Southern California Hang Gliding Association was born. Through steady evolution of the sport, today we are known as the United States Hang Gliding Association, with a membership base worldwide.
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