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Howell Apex
A 1995 hang glider for Advanced pilots, the Apex has a D-tube structure at the leading edge and dacron at the trailing. Unlike the Swift, though, the leading edge is not structural. The D-tube stops short leaving a fiberglass fairing to absorb the impact of an ungraceful landing.
The Apex was built by Danny Howell, Monte Westlund, Lonnie Fiester, Mitch McAleer, & Floyd Fronius, to name a few.
The original Apex had some damage after a truck tow ended with the Apex upside down and still attached by the nose safety line. One rudder damaged which Chuck Rhodes rebuilt and the tow rig frame bent beyond repair.
In 1998 Danny Howell, the designer of the Apex, offered the use of the molds to build another Apex. They had been stored in Mitch McAleer's workshop for the previous 2 years. With the help of Mitch and Roy, the wing mold clam shells and the spar tools were moved to Roy Bailets' hanger in Mojave.
They were machining a redesigned root fittings to allow the wings to fold in the usual hang glider fashion and carry the loads of the 42 ft. span in just 16% chord D-tube.
This new Apex will have the same 42 ft. span with rudder tips. Danny had wanted to put some spoilers on the upper surface near the tips. The entire wing (including D-tube) was to be covered with Poly Fiber P-106 fabric and 2 light coats of Poly Brush. The smaller and lighter D-tube will still have a forward and aft spar. Spar caps are pultruded carbon bar stock. These changes have resulted in a calculated 80 lb. glider. The orginal Apex had a 135 fpm minimum sink rate and the spoilers will make it easier to turn and ground handle. The Apex wing alone, without a pilot suspended below it, has a calculated 28:1 glide. The pilot will lower it to around 18:1.
Wing area: 16.4 m²
Wing span: 12.8 m
Aspect ratio: 10
Hang glider weight: 36 kg
Minimum sink rate: 0.7 m/s

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