What You Need

We entered this journey not knowing the answers to this question. We know more now, but are still a long ways away from being able to give a precise answer.

To start with: You need to know how deep down this rabbit hole you want to go. I can tell you right now, there is no limit to what you can spend or build or buy. It will be up to you and what level of realism you are looking for. In an extreme case, you could spend more on virtual Hang Gliding than you would on real life Hang Gliding. From The Hang Gliding Files perspective, we are going to do as much as we can to make it seem real to us. What we document of this quest should be taken in that context. There are points along this path that anyone could stop and say ‘that is good enough’ from me” and be happy as Larry. We are on a quest.


You need to know what simulator(s) you are going to be flying in. Check out our descriptions of what we found out about the current state of aviation simulation here.

The simulator software will determine almost everything about the what/when/where/how your flying will occur. It is quite likely that you will end up with more than one.


We started exploring virtual hang gliding using old basic computers that could only run old basic simulators. That is what we had at the time and we were successful! If you have older equipment, are not afraid of some hard work and are persistent, we can show you how to do what we have done.

But we found out quickly, that the most modern of simulators were WAY beyond our current technology stack. We needed a serious upgrade. Click here to see our computer requirements. If you are going go down the rabbit hole, know this: You will need some new gear!

And besides new computers, we also needed flight controllers, head tracking units, headsets and other miscellaneous bits and pieces to make for a workable system. We are still not finished finding what we need!

Virtual Reality

These headsets have been around awhile but of no real use. They had yet to have their ‘killer app’ that makes it imperative that you have one. Well, virtual Hang Gliding is that app for us.

When we started the project, there were ZERO platforms that would allow us to fly a Hang Glider in pure, 3D, Virtual Reality, in a way that would make you feel like you were really Hang Gliding. Today, there is. And we think eventually there will at least 1 more!


Until the Freeflight Experience simulator came along, there was no way to simulate Hang Gliding in VR in any simulator. This is a Virtual Reality Hang Glider simulator we are currently learning how to use. Watch this space!

For other flight simulator(s), we found we needed to force them to be able to by building our own software app to control the sim the way we need it to act. In addition to that, we need all sorts of help from other software developers to get ridge lift, thermals, scenery, meshes, and gliders.

We plan on updating this application to force other simulators to bend to our will. Specifically Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. This simulator runs on XBOX, mobile phones, desktops and virtual reality and will give the greatest numbers of people a chance to experience some level of real Hang Gliding if we have our way. And the only way to do that is to make them bend to our will.


There is more to Hang Gliding than just the glider. Some times you need something extra like instruments and a radio. These come with the glider and/or simulator for now. But what about oxygen systems, harness variations, vario setups, and helmets? Another important and mandatory piece of equipment is your means of transportation! The menagerie of glider vehicles is legendary and should be part of any sim!

The thing we can do now is use VFR navigation maps and real-world flight computers that run on mobile devices! We can show you how to use these while flying in simulators!.