I never had the opportunity to meet John but always felt like I knew him through the AMA. John was a giant in model aviation and will be missed by all. My condolences.
Dr.Sandy Frank on October 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm said:
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We were friends since the 1950s
you were appreciated and will be missed…
Pleasing thoughts and soft landings…
Dr. Sandy Frank
AMA Fellow # L69
From John’s daughter, Chris, in regard to the photos of the “Rogallo Wing,” above:
“When my Dad came home from the Pacific at the end of WWII, he was 21. He didn’t go to college, but with his wartime experience got a job as a mechanic/engineer at the national Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) at Langley Field, Virginia. NACA became NASA in 1958
In the photo gallery is a picture of him working as part of the small team that flight-tested the Rogallo wing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogallo_wing) at NASA with helicopter drops and later manned flights, as NASA was looking for the best way to return space capsules to earth for the Gemini space program.
If you hang glide or parasail, you can thank these guys for it – in 1968, the wing moved into sports and recreational territory.
Later the “college boys” went to NASA in Houston, just as chuck Yeager lamented in The Right Stuff, having been left out of the astronaut program; and Dad stayed behind at Langley Field for a few more years having a good time flying other stuff.”
-Chris Miller, Sarasota, FL
I knew John since the 1960’s, every time I would see him he would always have a smile on his face. He would always say hello to me with a great big grin. I will miss him! Ray Juschkus
A sector of John Worth’s contributions involves his modeling, showing, and flying the triangle control frame for payloads in the Rogallo hang gliders/paragliders. His works formed part of the art and image that grew the resurgence of 1960s hang gliding. Thank you, John!
World Hang Gliding Association
We feature John Worth and his contribution to hang gliding with his direct permission at RogalloHangGliders web site. Others who teamed with him or have information of any detail concerning the flex wing hung-mass gliding and powering … are invited to help grow his legacy. We welcome your notes and photographs. I am so glad that I was able to contact John directly. See you soon, John.
Thank you so much for posting, Joe. Our family really appreciates the information on the Rogallo Hang Gliders site. I am combing through some old papers and photos and we may have something to add to your material. I will keep a close eye out for related items as I sort through things in the coming weeks. So far, I’ve come across a handful of papers I planned to send to historians at NASA and the U.S. Air Force — I’ll check to see if anything in that is related to the Rogallo work.
I remember, as a very small child, going out one afternoon to a field at Langley Air Force Base, as we often did on weekends. Some of the NASA families were having a potluck picnic as I recall. If my memory is accurate, someone was piloting a “Flexi-wing” (as I knew it) and there was a terrible crash. We children were shepherded away and I always thought that the pilot had been killed. It was only recently that my father told me he had not, but, rather, had been badly injured. Would that have been Frank Rogallo?
No, it was not Frank (Francis Rogallo). An injury was sustained during a tow. It was one of the eight Paresev hang glider pilots.
John Worth made it at least impossible for anyone following his crafting to validly claim “invention” of the triangle-control bar cable-stayed Rogallo hang glider. Years later a tinkerer tried to claim “invention” for just such; the loving companion of the guy also pushed through awards about the “invention,” all the while the craft was evident priorly at least in the hands of John Worth.
Association’s Flex-Wing Hang Glider Gold Air Award, shared with others who highly contributed to the mid-1900s renaissance in hang gliding. John presented refreshingly the public-domain A-frame for control of the position of hung payloads combined with four-boom flex-wing within the Rogallo-NASA-Ryan environment. http://energykitesystems.net/WHGA/FlexWingHangGliderGoldAirAward.html
Dear Monica, Chris, Barbara and Mark,
My heart ached when I read your beautiful tribute to your dad. We were such good friends when I lived across the street in Fairfax for so many years. Your dad was a friendly, wonderful person and I always enjoyed talking with him.
My deepest condolences to you all,
Sincerely, Jane Moore
To Joe Faust and fellow enthusiasts, thank you for acknowledging my father’s work in your arena with the May 20th recognition. He would have liked that very much.