Larry Tudor was known as the “Dark Prince” back in the day. We roll the clock way back to 1973 when Larry learned how to fly his first hanglider in the seated position (yep, pre-prone days) on a wing that got a worse glide ratio than today’s smallest speed wings. The stories in this episode are going to make your head spin. Remember when hangies flew the Owens every day in the summer? Guys tumbling out of the sky and not using reserves? Flying without instruments? Larry was the first person to fly over 200 miles (in 1983!) and was the first person to fly over 300 miles in 1990. His 308 mile record from Hobbs, New Mexico in 1994 wasn’t beaten for a decade. In the mid 80’s Larry was widely regarded as one of the best hang gliders in the world and this conversation covers a lot of awesome ground. Scary close calls, whorehouses, guns, cowboys, flying in tornados, trouble with the police, flying with air force bombers and early towing nightmares- this podcast is a glimpse into a crazy world of the pioneers who laid the ground in free flight. Larry left hang gliding in 1999 but has recently discovered paragliding with his daughter, making his career span over 40 years. Strap yourself in and prepare to smile and laugh, we had a lot of fun with this one.
A buck an episode, that’s all we ask.
- The earliest gliders
- The early legends and mentors
- Discovering thermals and staying up
- Scary beginnings
- Early competitions, long before race to goal
- Lucky vs good
- Wing transformations and discovering cross country
- CRAZY close calls
- Figuring out how to thermal, discovering the Owens, chasing distance
- Whorehouses, guns, cowboys, hurricanes, police, bombers, and towing nightmares
- Flying 200+ miles for the first time, flying 300+ miles for the first time
- Discovering Hobbs and other record sites
- Flying for “smiles not miles”
- Mentioned in this episode: Bill Frarey, Charlie Baughman (Hawkman), Gary Folkers, Mike Tingey, Pete Brock Brock Racing Enterprises Corvette and Shelby Cobra, Jerry Katz ( History of hang gliding – Wikipedia ) 100 miles from Cerro Gordo (Scare your gourd off), Steve Moyes, Tom Kreyche, Mark Axen, Kevin Cristopherson ( http://kingfm.com/wyomings-world-record-hang-glider/ ), Christ Santacroce, Dinkub Jako, George Worthington, Don Partridge, Kari Castle, Ted Boyce, Manfred Ruhmer, Gary Osoba, Will Gadd, Antoine Girard, Wills Wing, Steve Pearson