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Bill Bennett

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:23 pm
by JoeF
All about Bill Bennett is invited.
William E. Bennett
William Edward Bennett
"Uncle Bill" to some.
Half of the Two Bills ... to others.
Aussie moved to USA.
Ornamental design patent that he never enforced; allowed action against art sculptures, etc.
Appearance of line. NOT A MECHANICAL PATENT.
U.S. Pat. No. D-224,248 issued on Jul. 11, 1972 to William E. Bennett, titled “Passenger Carrying Tow Kite”
The ornamental appearance were very close to the ornamental appearance of Dickenson's Rogallo tow kite,
and thus might have been invalid. The implied aircraft mechanically was extant in 1960-1 by John Worth
and in James Hobson's Rogallo hang glider, etc. It is easy to tweak an artistic line to get ornamental appearance patents.
It is far more challenging to get a mechanical valid patent. Since the implied mechanical aircraft was in public domain by at least 1960,
then neither Dickenson nor Bennett could patent the basic machine exhibited at least by John Worth in the NASA circles.

His 1972 article reported what he considered was a niche world record flight.
He saw his craft as a "Rogallo wing glider"
... clip from EAA Sport Aviation in 1972
BillBennettDefine.jpg (55.71 KiB) Viewed 5784 times

New York Times:
Bill Bennett, 73, Is Dead; Championed Hang Gliding
Published: November 17, 2004

Re: Bill Bennett

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:45 pm
by Bob Kuczewski
Among other accomplishments, Bill Bennett is credited with building the "Bennett Bunny Hill" to the east of the Torrey Pines Gliderport. It saddens me to say that today I saw the first "chipping away" of that hill by a bulldozer.

One of our Torrey Hawks club members, Bill Armstrong, has been a champion of restoring that hill to use for years, and the Torrey Hawks have supported his efforts. Bill brought his case to both the Torrey Pines Soaring Council and to the Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board. Neither of those two "pilot organizations" would lift a finger to help save the hill. Neither USHPA's Brad Hall nor USHPA's Ken Baier have been willing to ask the Council for any kind of recommendation to save the hill. The same is true of USHPA's past and current Presidents who appointed and reappointed them (Lisa Tate and Rich Hass).

This is another example of hang gliding being thrown under the bus by UShPA.

Re: Bill Bennett

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:23 pm
by Bob Kuczewski
Email sent to current USHPA President (Rich Hass) and USHPA's Soaring Council Representative (Ken Baier) with copies to others (May 17th, 2013 at 11:05 PM):

Rich Hass, Ken Baier (cc/bcc others),

Today I saw the first bulldozer chipping away at the training hill know as the "Bennett Bunny Hill" just to the east of the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

Bill Armstrong and others (including myself) have long been advocating that the Torrey Pines Soaring Council take some kind of action to try to preserve that hill for hang gliding training. Bill has brought the matter to the Council on several occasions. Yet the USHPA representative(s) appointed by Lisa Tate and Rich Hass have done nothing.

And please don't tell me that it's not the Soaring Council's job. I watched for years as Gary Fogel rallied the Council to speak to defend the sailplane runway ... even trying to block the construction of buildings that weren't even on the runway. I even spoke at public meetings in support of Gary's efforts as a sign of goodwill between the gliding groups. That issue dominated the Council's discussions for months and even years (check the minutes). And that was on the EXACT SAME PIECE OF GROUND as the training hill.

So where is the support from the Soaring Council when our training hill is being threatened? Rich, you've "played nice" with the Soaring Council by sustaining Ken Baier as USHPA's representative on the grounds that you wanted someone who could "get along" with the Council. Well, how is that working out now? Now we could use some vigorous support from all the people that Ken has coddled for years. Let's see how well they repay him and USHPA.

Ken, I am asking you to bring this issue to the Council and to get support from them that is comparable to the effort they expended on the sailplane runway. Rich, I am asking for USHPA's support to help stop the destruction of that hill.

Let the record be clear.

Bob Kuczewski

P.S. I will be updating this discussion on the US Hawks forum. Here's a link to my first post related to the topic:

Re: Bill Bennett

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:16 am
by Bob Kuczewski
I did a little more reading on the history of the Hawks' efforts to save that training hill, and it deserved another email message to Rich Hass and Ken Baier:

By the way, here's just one post I found from well over a year ago (January 17th, 2012) regarding that training hill...

During "New Business", Willy brought up the question of the Training Hill for hang glider training. Several of the Hawks echoed the idea that the training hill would be an asset to the site and would allow training of hang glider pilots. This would allow training of all forms of powerless aviation at the facility. David Metzgar of the San Diego Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association resisted the suggestion, and Byron Lowry expressed that it wasn't in the Soaring Council's purview to make suggestions on that property. Bob Kuczewski commented that the Soaring Council was already involved with the sailplane operations on that property, so including the training hill would not be outside of the Council's scope. Bob Kuczewski asked if the Council would endorse the idea, but it wasn't supported by any of the Council members. Bob Kuczewski then asked if the Council would oppose that use of the land, and no representatives voiced opposition either. It was somewhat surprising (and disappointing) that neither the SDHGPA representative (David Metzgar) nor the USHPA representative (Ken Baier) would endorse the use of the land for a training hill.

Rich, Ken has not only done nothing to support the Hawks, but he's also done nothing to support the growth of hang gliding at Torrey. But then that's consistent with your position as well.

Bob Kuczewski

Bennett Bunny Hill

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:41 am
by JoeF
Bennett Bunny Hill
Such would be a very significant plus for the City of San Diego.
Let the people play!

Petition the entire city of San Diego?
How many signatures would it take to get on the ballot.

However, if it turned out too controlled, then the "play" would be taken out of it.
Have parks. Let people play.

So very munch of aviation was founded on bunny slopes!
One of the great things San Diego could do is to have confidence over its aviation heritage and have at least ONE bunny slope.
Too bad Waldo Waterman is not still with us.
It is up to us, or US, that is USHawks and Torrey Hawks, perhaps.
Thanks, BobK, for your activism in the past. :thumbup:
Somehow a bunny slope near Torrey would become a win for all parties, I trust.

Re: Bill Bennett

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:10 pm
by Bob Kuczewski
I just wanted to update this topic to mention that bulldozers appear to be dismantling the Bennett Bunny Hill as of yesterday (November 30th, 2015).

The letters and quotes above give testament to the fact that USHPA was asked many times to help and they did nothing. I personally spoke to USHPA's president Rich Hass asking for help through USHPA's appointee to the Torrey Pines Soaring Council, but Rich did nothing.

This topic is about Bill Bennett, and I think the Bunny Hill was part of his legacy. However, it shouldn't dominate this topic, so I've started a new topic ( to discuss the loss of the Bennett Bunny Hill.

Re: Bill Bennett

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:34 am
by JoeF
Notice that Bill distinguished between "Kites" and "Gliders."
I had conversation with him about how his "gliders" were "gliding kite systems."

Logo of his company as shown on an early sail.
Photo image credited to Don Durkin on Internet page here.

Mike Dorn in 1972 in Hawaii ... with Bennett product and other wings: