Wills Wing Control Bars
Wing offers a wide range of control bar configurations,
each designed to provide the optimum balance
of performance, economy and ease of use appropriate
for a given glider model and its intended
use. This page contains complete information
on the available Wills Wing control bar designs,
their relative performance, and their applicability
to various glider models.
of the control bar section summarizes
the significant differences in effective
drag area (= performance) and geometry
between the older AT style airfoil downtubes
and the new Slipstream and Litestream
comparison graph shows the relative
L/D performance of the three types of
control bars (mounted on a Talon) at various
speeds (in mph).
Downtubes: FAQ and Wind Tunnel Test Results
The Wills Wing Slipstream
Control Bar -
The First Affordable
Ultra High Performance Control Bar System
Wills Wing was
the first to introduce an economical
aluminum performance downtube, the Slipstream
downtube, and to integrate an interchangeable
streamline aluminum speedbar option with the
pilot's choice of either the carbon or aluminum
Slipstream downtubes. The Slipstream aluminum
downtubes, and the aluminum streamlined basetube,
each retain a very high percentage of the
performance advantage provided by the more
exotic carbon tubes, while offering improved
durability and substantially lower cost.
Slipstream 2 - In April 2005 we began using the Slipstream 2 control bar, starting with the new T2 hang glider. The only difference between the Slipstream 2 and the original is that with the Slipstream 2 the VG cord runs down the front of the tube instead of the back of the tube. With this change, swapping between Slipstream 2 and LiteStream Control Legs no longer requires moving the VG pulley on the keel near the Control Bar Apex. On the left side, Slipstream 2 and Slipstream downtubes are interchangeable. On the right side, where the VG cord is routed, Slipstream and Slipstream 2 downtubes are not interchangeable.
|WW Carbon and Slipstream airfoils are the only tubes on the market that have been independently wind tunnel tested. The complete
report is available on our website.
The Slipstream / Slipstream 2 Control Bar, with either Carbon Streamlined or Aluminum Streamlinwith either Carbon
Streamlined or Aluminum Streamlined basetube, is the highest performance control bar available for pilots who are serious about competition or the pursuit of world records. The Slipstream 2 Control Bar with Aluminum Streamlined Basetube is now standard equipment on all T2 gliders, and the Slipstream 2 Control Bar with Carbon basetube is standard on all T2C's.
The Wills Wing Litestream Control Bar -
The First User Friendly High Performance Control
For 2003, Wills
Wing released the Litestream control bar
for performance oriented recreational pilots.
The Litestream control bar combines the same
low drag aluminum streamlined basetube used
on the Slipstream control bar with a slightly
shorter chord, lighter weight, easier to hold
Litestream aluminum downtube.
|The Litestream bar is standard equipment on our U2 High Performance glider and our Sport 2 glider, and optional on the T2. The Litestream control bar can also be purchased as an add-on accessory for the Falcon 3 145, 170 and 195 models. The best control bar for high performance recreational flying, the Litestream bar comes very close to matching the performance of the Slipstream bar, while saving 1.5 lbs in weight. The smaller profile makes ground handling and launching significantly easier, especially for pilots with smaller hands. (For comparison purposes, the performance given up by dropping down from a Slipstream to a Litestream control bar is approximately equal to the performance that would be gained back by removing the coating from the bottom side wires. By comparison, moving up from an AT style streamlined control bar with round basetube to a Litestream control bar does away with over 90% of the drag of the control bar, adding approximately one full point in L/D to the glider's performance.)
Here are a few other
examples of how various options affect performance
as compared to the difference between a Slipstream
and Litestream control bar. On a T2, the
difference in performance between Litestream
and Slipstream is less than the difference
between coated and uncoated bottom wires;
less than the difference between a tight fitting
harness and a loose harness or between a Rotor
type harness and a conventional harness; about
the same difference of a faired instrument
pod vs an un-faired instrument mounting; about
the same difference made by a streamlined
harness main suspension system; less than
the difference between bulky clothing on your
arms and tight fitting speed sleeves; and
about the same as the difference between a
Hydranet and a Mylar full-race T2 sail.
Wills Wing Second Generation Carbon Speedbar -
Redesigned for 2008!
| The new carbon speedbar will fit all gliders fitted with Slipstream or Slipstream 2 control bars (Talons, T2's). A Litestream compatible version is available for all gliders that have Litestream Control Bars. Features of the new carbon speedbar include a re-designed shape, with a deep offset planform. The grip positions are optimized for comfort, control and aerodynamics in all phases of flight. Specially designed flares in the grip area allow for effortless maintenance of optimum bank angle when thermalling.
|Structural features include an extra thick laminate constructed from aerospace-grade carbon and Kevlar pre-preg, cured at 230 degrees Fahrenheit and 105 psi pressure. A stainless steel internal safety cable and corner fittings machined from solid blocks of wrought aluminum (Wills Wing has never used the far less reliable cast fittings) insure the structural reliability of the basetube.
|The 19mm x 77mm speedbar airfoil section is analytically optimized for minimum drag and wind tunnel tested, and includes linear and "V" boundary layer trips for further drag reduction.
The new WW Carbon Speedbar is now available with Litestream-compatible end brackets as well as the original Slipstream compatible brackets. This means that you can now order the Carbon Speedbar as an upgrade on, or as a retrofit for, any Sport 2, U2, Litestream equipped T2 (or Talon), or Litestream equipped Falcon 3.
New Litestream Fittings on WW Carbon Speedbar
(click image for larger view)
Control Bar - Designed and Built For Strength
The Wills Wing Tandem Control Bar is purpose
built for, and standard equipment on the Wills
Wing Falcon Tandem glider.With downtubes made
from stout 1.25" diameter by 0.095" wall tubing
, and featuring specially designed, strong
and durable machined aluminum corner fittings,
the super-sized Tandem bar provides the ideal
complement to the Falcon Tandem glider.
|Falcon 3 Round Control Bar
All Falcon 3 145's, 170's and 195's come standard with round downtubes and a round, speedbar (comfort bar) basetube with corner hardware similar to the Tandem control bar. Note that these control bars are different from, and not interchangeable with AT type control bar used on earlier Falcons - see the article Falcon Control Bars Not Interchangeable for more information. This control bar configuration will accept either the 5 inch diameter Hall wheels or the 8 inch diameter Finsterwalder wheels, mounted directly on the basetube. As an option, Falcon 3 170 and 195 owners can purchase an additional Litestream Control bar kit - consisting of a complete Litestream performance control bar - streamlined downtubes and streamlined basetube, along with all fittings, that will bolt right on to the Falcon 3 using the same flying wires that came installed on the glider.
The Wills Wing AT Hardware Series Control
(No Longer Used on Production Models)
Streamlined Downtubes With Folding Basetube (No Longer Used on Production Models)
The Wills Wing AT streamlined
downtubes offer enhanced performance over
conventional round downtubes in an economical
streamlined profile. The folding speedbar
basetube option shown speeds set-up and breakdown
by eliminating the installation or removal
of any nuts or safeties during the process.
A more economical, non-folding speedbar is
AT Round Downtubes With
Straight Basetube (No Longer Used on Production Models)
Conventional round downtubes and straight
basetube offer the most economical control
bar option for entry level and medium performance
recreational flight.The round downtubes can
be combined with either the conventional speedbar
basetube (standard on the Eagle, for example),
or with the optional folding speedbar basetube.
Wills Wing World Team
Carbon Control Bar -
The First Ultra
High Performance Control Bar System (No Longer Available)
| Wills Wing
released the first commercially available
ultra high performance control bar system
in mid 1999. The Wills Wing "World Team Carbon
Control Bar," with 3.2" chord / .77" thickness
profile carbon downtubes, featured the first
high-pressure, high-temp, pre-preg composite
airfoil tubes available for hang gliders.
These carbon control bars added over a full
point in L/D to competition class gliders
and demonstrated such a compelling performance
advantage that they were purchased by Moyes
and Icaro for their top competition pilots.
aerodynamic corner fittings, computer machined
from a solid block of aluminum, were the first
application of 3D CNC machining for hardware
produced for hang glider applications. Although
CNC machined fittings from wrought aluminum
are expensive to produce, they are both stronger
and more durable than comparable castings.