- 09 September 2009 | Kiteboarding
Francis Rogallo, known as “the father of hang gliding,” died on September 1st, in Southern Shores, near Kitty Hawk, the birthplace of aviation. He was 97 years-old.
Rogallo and his wife Gertrude invented a “flexible wing” flier that was the precursor of personal flying machines like the hang glider, paraglider, ultralight aircraft and kiteboards.
He graduated from Stanford with a degree in mechanical engineering and aeronautics.
In 1963, NASA awarded Rogallo the highest cash award to date for his generosity of offering the US government the use of his patents.
He was inducted into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
On May 11th 1997, the NASA Langley Research Center recognized Rogallo for his many contributions to flight.
Today, members of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association are called "Rogallo" members.
Kiteboarding owes Francis Rogallo, the father of hand gliding" a huge thank you.