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Early Ultralight Aircraft


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Guest Maj Millard

I have just recently dug out a June 1983 copy of 'Glider Rider" which was the UL mag of that period in the US. It actually started as a hanglider mag, but as they evolved into ULs, so too did the magazine.


I have obviosly kept this particulary copy for some reason, maybe I'm in it...can't remember.


A quick flip through it the other night shows that it is nothing short of an historical document, as far as our sport goes.


Front cover has an in-flight shot of the Kasperwing I-80 with an associated artical entitled "Flying the vertical mush ".


I am hoping to photograph, and then post some of the content of this magazine including the half page ad by Maxair Sports Inc. showing the first Drifter with it's new 'standard tail'. The ad is entitled "If you liked the Hummer, you'll love the Drifter !" .................................024_cool.gif.7a88a3168ebd868f5549631161e2b369.gif


Tomo, The British had a whole collection of early aircraft that would now be discribed as ULs. I have a book full of great photos and designs from from their early 'UL' period of the 20s and 30s.



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Thanks Ross, those old pathe newsreels sort of took me back to the days when I was a just a kid in the early sixties and my dad built one of these (Flying Flea) and to think that he built it from a book written by Henri Mignet who designed it. It only did two flights that I could remember (may have been more) both those flights ended up in the fence at the end of the paddock with the old man swearing a lot (maybe thats what I remember most) The second time he wrote it off, funny how the prop survived and ended up on a airboat he built. 041_helmet.gif.78baac70954ea905d688a02676ee110c.gif


PS. There is one of these in the aerotec hangar in Toowoomba



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You could build the "POU de CIEL" from plans and materials that would be available in the equivalent of Bunnings circa 1930. and use a motorcycle engine. Henri covered the use of various kinds of engine, in a book that I have in the original french. The favourite engine was a 2 cyl inverted parallel twin SCOTT two stroke, especially built as an aircraft engine. This put flying within the reach of practically anyone who wished to do it. Henri always considered himself a poor pilot and the graveyard spiral and the spin were engineered out of the "Flea". They had a chequered career and were subjected to grounding by the british CAR (or whatever it was called then) due to a tendency to "nose over" if subjected to too shallow an angle of attack. They were a true ultralight in form and function. Many were built and they still have a following today when more is understood about their problems and modifications to overcome them, incorporated into the design. Nev





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Quite right there Nev, the plans were in the book, dad had the first english edition which I had until lost in a house move years ago. The old man put a "bonny" engine in his and seemed to fly around ok, dad's problem was the landing I think and after its demise used the same engine in the airboat.



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