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HandLaunch Gliders, and how to chuck it all

A handlaunch glider is launched from a flat field, without the need for a winch or high-start. This is a simpler way to get your glider in the air.

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However, it does require good launch technique, as well as knowledge of how to find thermals.

Launching can be by javelin-type throw, side-arm launch, or discus-style launch.

Handlaunch gliders are optimized for these different launching styles (flight character and strength vary), so read your instructions to know your launch type.

The javelin launch is the simplest style, holding on to the fuselage and giving the airplane an overhead throw, with an optional run-up. This is also the style that's most tiring for the arm and shoulder.

The side-arm launch involves holding the wingtip (left tip if you are right-handed, glider out to the right side of your body, back of your hand facing forward) and using a side-frisbee-type motion.

This can achieve great launches, but the wingtip and wing structure need to be strong enough to handle the launch loads.

The discus launch looks like a discus throw using an airplane.

There is a "launch peg" placed vertically through the wingtip, and this peg rests on the fingertips.

This type of launch is generally highest, and easiest on the shoulder and arm (although you can get blisters on the fingertips).

The structure must be stronger than for the other launch types, and these hand launch gliders tend to be the most expensive.

Some options for your first handlaunch glider are available here.