Soaring Above

Hang gliders suspended over Baggage Claim

Have you ever been at Baggage Claim in Terminals A or B and looked up? If so, you may have noticed a new addition to the hang glider exhibit. A Wills Wing T3 now floats over Carousel 2 in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal.

The Wills Wing joins another T3, a T2 and a Sport 3 as part of an ongoing exhibit in the Terminal. The exhibit was first designed and installed in 2009 by hang gliding enthusiast and pilot, Owen Morse. Earlier this year, Morse flew the newly added T3 in a declared goal “out and return” world record attempt in the Owens Valley. The ten-plus hour flight covered 232 miles for a total of 104,000 feet of climbing to altitudes up to 15,000 feet. The Wills Wing T3 increases the cross-country performance of the hang glider through the incorporation of carbon fiber airfoil support and a unique system of bearings in the wingtip for added control.

In 2009, Morse won the presidential citation award from the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association for creating the exhibit at John Wayne Airport. “Hang gliding is a very safe and peaceful recreational sport. It’s a marriage of high tech and nature,” says Morse.