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Francis Rogallo (1912-2009) Developed the Rogallo wing, a flexible wing that earned him the title "father of modern hang gliding." Originally designed to facilitate the astronauts' landing back on earth from space, the Rogallo wing was adapted for commercial use in hang gliders and kites.

Both Rogallo and his wife, Gertrude, worked on the design, using curtains for the wing and constructing a wind tunnel in their home to test the wing. In appreciation, Rogallo applied for the patent in 1948 in her name, and both were inducted into the First Flight Shrine in 1995. Gertrude died in 2008.

The Rogallo Foundation

Father of Free Flight Passes

Rogallo Hang Gliders

Patent for Flexible Kite




Copyright 2007-2016 Janice Therese Mancuso
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission except when published with this credit: Excerpt from Thirty-One Days of Italians, 2015 Janice Therese Mancuso.