Charles Richards (NASA engineer)
Designer engineer Charles Richard used data from NASA research over Francis Rogallo's mechanical inventions to produce a wing configuration for manned hung-pilot kite-gliders that was to be found copied only with slight ornamental variation in a decade of hang gliders. Richards was of the Flight Research Center's Vehicle and System Dynamics Branch. The four-beamed wing folded from the noseplate; one of the beams was the spreader beam that kept the flexible-wing's sweep. Those in the following decade copying the Charles Richard wing configuration expanded kiting, hang gliding, ultralight, and trike flight.
- 1961 December : Charles Richard is given a directive from NASA's Paul Bikle to build quickly a cheap kite glider that could be used to give pilots practice in flying in free flight using simple weight-shifting that would change the attitude of the wing relative to the hung position of the pilot and payload.
- 1962 February 12 : Charles Richard and his team completed a first kite-glider that achieved obtaining an FAA registration. Many versions followed first flight tests.
Clarification of terms
To follow the literature surrounding the constructions by Charles Richard and his team member engineers, a distinction of terms is useful, as use of some of the terms have changed over the decades later. Here are the terms that may confuse one studying the contributions of Charles Richard: kite, manned kite, glider, kite-glider, parawing, paraglider (as then used opposed to how the term is used in 2008), Rogallo wing, lobe, flexible wing, fully limp wing, inflatable wing, and hang glider (traditional expansive use vs specialized uses). The terms are sometimes confused in the pertinent related patents, public-relations announcements, memos related to NASA's progress, and communications between contractors and the public media.
- http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/Photo/Paresev/index.html NASA Dryden Paresev Photo Collection
- Charles Richard and his key designing is noted in the 407 page online-available book On the Frontier at http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4303.pdf
- http://www.aviation-news.co.uk/Parasev.html Aviation Journal's Aviation News, The Rogallo Parasev: A revolution in flying wings
- http://www.nasaimages.org/luna/servlet/detail/nasaNAS~2~2~6690~108312:?printerFriendly=1 NASA Images Detail View