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Leg wings

Big foam flippers for hang gliders
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(+4, -1)
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Why don't hang glider guys use flippers like scuba divers? They must be missing out on a lot of power there. They could be designed like Force Fins but be about 6 times as long.
JesusHChrist, Jan 31 2005

Force Fins http://www.forcefin...S/scuba_catalog.htm
[JesusHChrist, Jan 31 2005]


       How would the flippers affect take-off and landing?
robinism, Jan 31 2005

       Probably make it difficult. But they might make it possible to go up.
JesusHChrist, Jan 31 2005

       You could swoop down and slap bald men riding bicycles on the tops of their heads - Benny Hill style.
benfrost, Jan 31 2005

       I was thinking you might say "Take off by being towed by a plane" or "Take off from behind a speed boat" or "Water landing, like a duck." I was just making the opening for you...
robinism, Jan 31 2005

       You could take off by standing tip toe on your big flippers and bouncing up and down until you got enough height to start gliding. Landing, your legs would be dragged behind you by the flippers until your body and face came into contact with the speeding ground. Landing is for wussies.
JesusHChrist, Jan 31 2005

       I think it would be impossible to tilt your ankles far enough backwards to make an angle that would create lift from forward momentum, this leaves bending at the knees which will offset your balance and cause you to dive. Also aren't the feet of hang gliders tucked into a sleeve of some sort?   

       robinism seemed to have the idea, water landings would be very easy. And water skiing for a take off might be a little jerky but it could work.
fridge duck, Jan 31 2005

       Flippers flapping, and, as an elevator, you could waggle a huge duckbill. This would be orange or yellow, of course, and strap onto your face.
ldischler, Jan 31 2005

       I think the Navy Seals skydive while wearing swim fins. I saw that in the picture on the box of a "navy seal paratrooper" GI Joe.   

       Of course, that's not Hang Gliding. I think the wind resistance of foot flippers would be more of a hinderance for hang gliders. I've never hang glided, or sky dived, though.
-wess, Jan 31 2005

       These could be like 5 or 6 times as big as scuba fins, and maybe you could be ontop of the hang glider frame instead of hanging underneath it - sort of using it as a kickboard.
JesusHChrist, Feb 02 2005

       Not sure what factors would determine the effectiveness of flippers in air vs. water. Wouldn't the fact that water is nearly 800 times denser than air, and therefore much less compressible, be significant?
half, Feb 02 2005

       Imagine you are lying on a kickboard-like wheeled cart wearing your flippers. Could you propel yourself by kicking? Imagine someone gave you a push. Could you keep yourself moving by kicking?   

       I imagine that if the flippers were big enough, you could get some motion out of them. To make them big and light, you could construct them like the glider itself, with lightweight fabric stretched over sticks.   

       I suspect that flippers large enough to have an effect would tire out your legs very quickly.   

       Maybe the flippers could serve as a rudder.
robinism, Feb 02 2005

       Anybody read "The Smoke Ring" by Larry Niven? There were some foot fins that collapsed on the forward/down stroke, for flying. I would think that it would have to work if they were large enough.
tiromancer, Feb 02 2005


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