This was taken from a German-made rigid-wing hang glider called the ATOS (one of which sits in my garage at home) and is looking out toward the Dolomites in Italy. Spectacular. Notice the carbon-fiber D-cells making up the leading edge, as well as the ribs. This wing has a 42-ft. wingspan, yet weighs only about 83 lbs and can be transported on top of your EVIL SUV (The one shown here is a flex wing. Rigids are twice as wide, but the same length). A far cry from the lawn darts they used to pioneer this sport in the ’70s. This model of glider has flown cross-country record distances in excess of 400 miles (I did mention that it has no engine?).
This photo was reminiscent of a spectacular flying day a few years ago near Dunlap, CA (40 miles or so east of Fresno). Launch was from a ridge at about 4,000 ft MSL. That day, lift was to about 10,000 ft. When topped out, I was virtually looking down on King’s Canyon. Too bad I didn’t have a camera.