Rogallo Flexible Kite (Flexikite)

by Victor
(CA, USA)

Kite in flight with graphic from a old magazine on dimensions to make it.

Kite in flight with graphic from a old magazine on dimensions to make it.

Replica of a Rogallo Flexikite. Tarp material was used as Mylar was rather hard to find in the proper thickness. Completely sparless single membrane plastic parawing. Bi-conic wing design reminds one of the early hang gliders.

Flies at very high angles and can be easily dual lined. Very survivable even when compared to Jalbert parafoils due to its single membrane wing. This is a single keel design compared to the often twin keel NPW series and does not generate as much lift or pull as twin keel designs.

Six leg jute bridle while the flying line is thick sewing thread. Tail length is 48 inches for light winds and 87 inches or more for strong or gusty winds. Drogues are amazingly effective in stabilizing this kite.

Some data...

Artist or Author: Victor
Creation Year: 2013
Width: 15 inches
Length: 21 inches
Type: Kite Object or Accessory
Geographic: United States
Kite Type: Inflated
Materials: Plastic
Significance: Scientific

Comments for Rogallo Flexible Kite (Flexikite)

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Wrong material
by: Graeme Henderson

The patent clearly stipulates paper or fabric. The original was a kitchen curtain. Mylar is not a part of any Rogallo Patent.

There is also a huge diffence between the "Flexible Kite" and the 'Flexikite' which he did not patent.

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Rubbish
by: Graeme Henderson.

Please, show me the evidence to support your claims regarding Dr Rogallo. There is no evidence of any contribution by Dr Rogallo, unless hiding the Dickenson Wing from the world for 8 years until he was able to put his name on it, with Dave Kilbornes help.

Dr Rogallo fooled everyone, and like most hang glider pilots, pilots in general, your ego means you can't bear to admit that you were sucked in by the con artist.

What you saw is no more than what you thought you saw. 12 years of research says he is a fraud.
Your evidence is?

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Graeme Henderson's comment
by: Allan Gaines

What is your problem?!

There are PLENTY of photographs of Francis Melvin Rogallo, when he was young, with his parawing kites.

I met the man three or four times when he was still living. He retired to Southern Shores, North Carolina [USA], in the NC Outer Banks. He would attend 'events' put on by KITTY HAWK KITES in Nags Head, NC {which is where I met him}. He was RESPECTED by both hang gliding enthusiasts and kite flyers. If he was a fraud someone would have brought that to light at some point while he was still living.

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Fraud
by: Graeme Henderson

Francis Rogallo was a fraud. His claims to have been the inventor of the flexible wing is self promotion, nothing more. Further, Rogallo has no claim on any bi-conical wing, only on the all flexible diamond shaped bi-cylindrical kite with tail.

Rogallo has no claim of delta wings, and photos showing him holding a bi-conical all flexible delta wing, made from a curtain are dishonest. You will not find a photo of a young Rogallo holding the wing.

There is no connection between Rogallo's work and modern hang gliders. He made a fool of everyone and his generosity in giving his patent to the US government is a sham, the patent was worthless.
He took credit for many people's work, including John Dickenson's, whose glider Rogallo dishonestly affixed his name to.

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Thanks
by: Victor

Thanks Tim. I'm glad to hear that this kite evokes memories of those classic hang gliders. I appreciate the "Contribution of the Month" title and thank you for creating a great online source of kiting information.

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Historical
by: Tim Parish

Thanks Victor - fascinating. The kite history buffs will appreciate this contribution! Most importantly though, it looks like it affords the simple pleasures of kite flying like any other kite big or small :-) Your mention of the Rogallo concept hang gliders brought back memories of my old Mars150 and the relaxed coastal flying I used to have in it...

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