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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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There are 139 news items for all non archived years in the Skywings News database.

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Skywings News - all non archived years

New electric records

Electric-powered Extra 330LE aeroplaneFour months after setting a world record time to climb to 3,000m (see Skywings, February), the FAI has ratified two further records for the electric-powered Extra 330LE aeroplane.

Two flights were made in Germany on March 23rd, at different weights, to secure speed-over-3km records of 337.5km/h (500-1000kg class) and 342.86km/h (1000-1750kg class).

Siemens, the company behind the electric-power technology, described the records as a technical milestone. In 1922 a 440hp Curtiss V12 engine was needed to push the world air speed record only just beyond that figure to 359.72km/h. The Curtiss weighed 314kg; the Siemens motor weighs just 50kg.

Posted: 9 May 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Paratrikes

We are pleased to announce that in respect of wheeled undercarriage for paramotors (paratrikes), our work with the CAA has borne fruit.

On 26th April 2017 the CAA published an exemption which allows paratrikes to fly without the need for a pilot's licence. This applies to aircraft which weigh less than 70kg (or 75kg if the aircraft is equipped with an emergency parachute recovery system) and have a stall speed below 20kts. The exemption only applies to aircraft flown solo.

For the full wording of the exemption please visit the CAA website.

In response to this and as a temporary measure, BHPA Exec has decided that any BHPA member who holds a power rating can now fly a paratrike and is insured under the BHPA master policy.

Over the summer, FSC will be considering whether further training will be required to fly a paratrike and may, at some date in the future, require pilots to undertake training, or demonstrate experience, in flying with an undercarriage.

FSC are rapidly working with the few schools that could already legally teach pilots to fly a paratrike to generate a syllabus for teaching this discipline. Until this work has been completed and published, instructors who could not previously teach pilots to fly paratrikes are not yet authorised or covered by the insurance to give such instruction. This is something that we hope to have in place very quickly.

Posted: 29 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


A secure future for Avian

AvianLast June Steve Elkins announced that he was putting Avian up for sale after running the business for nearly 30 years. It is now clear that engineer, hang glider pilot and Hang Points columnist Tim Swait will be taking Avian on.

Tim will be taking over all aspects of the business but Steve will remain involved as a consultant, training Tim and providing assistance with new designs. Avian will continue to manufacture and sell Avian gliders, provide factory support, servicing and repairs for all models of hang glider, and act as agent for AIR rigid wings, High Energy Sports parachutes and Icaro gliders, helmets and other accessories.

Tim's first priority is to maintain continuity in all Avian's services; in the longer term he plans to implement further innovations. To raise capital for this he is launching a crowd-funding campaign offering rewards such as substantial incentives on gliders and servicing. For further details please visit the Avian website.

Posted: 9 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Magical Hang Gliding talk

Tom WeissenbergerTom Weissenberger's Magical Hang Gliding show in Sheffield in March was a real treat. His series of very well shot and edited XC videos, backed with superb music, covered the entire hang gliding spectrum from low-level dune flying to astonishing ten-hour triangle flights.

Additional examples of sheer devilry included a half-kilometre 'swoop' about ten feet off a mountain lake ('500m is exactly the distance a hang glider takes to stop!'), and diving between two tower blocks just 30m apart at Iquique. Tom's presentation starts with a 15km overwater glide and ends with him gliding with golden eagles. In between you begin to understand his belief in hang gliding as the Last Adventure.

The man is hugely experienced and very determined; his 353km and 340km out-and-return records were gained in Chile in 2013 after four years of trying, during which he flew 80 hours and 3,000km. Tom is currently raising money for the forthcoming World Championships at Brasilia. ";Red Bull don't sponsor me for comps," he says, "only the crazy stuff!"

Posted: 9 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Bordairrace!

Billed as a 'semi-official' European Hike-and-fly championship, the Bordairrace series has run in Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia since 2008. From a common starting point pilots choose a distant personal turnpoint and attempt to make it back to the start within 33 hours.

A ground crew of one or two supporters is allowed but not obligatory. Several successful X-Alps pilots cut their teeth on the Bordairrace, not least Paul Guschlbauer, Thomas Hofbauer, Sebastian Huber, Chrigel Maurer and the late, great Steve Nash.

This year's series starts at Aschau (Chiemgau, Germany) on May 5th-7th and takes in Austria's Ramsau am Dachstein (June 22nd - 24th) and Kössen (September 1st - 3rd). For details please visit the Bordairrace website or the Bordairrace facebook page.

Posted: 9 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


100km+ in February

The 2017 XC season started with a bang on February 24th with a 100km+ Ozone Zeno flight by Graham Steel. Graham left Selsley Common near Stroud at 11.30, and landed nearly four hours later at Wokingham after 114.5km.

The same day saw Richard Osborne (Zeno) fly 92.5km from Woolacombe and Remi Pickett (Icepeak 7) make 70.8km from Selsley in company with Graham.

Posted: 9 April 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Carl's European record

Carl Wallbank (photo courtesy of Michelle Wallbank)Carl Wallbank's 264.99km straight-distance-to-goal record of last April has been recognized by the FAI as a European record. Carl's flight, on Moyes Litespeed RX 3.5, retraced the route of his 2012 UK record flight from Llangollen to land at goal at Weymouth (in 2012 Carl missed out on a similar goal by a few hundred metres).

In 2015 Carl topped the hang gliding XC league with over 1100km; last year he won again at 1,197km.

It's worth noting that the European obsession with alpine triangle flights for big records means that record straight distances and flights to goal are less common.

As a result Carl's 2016 flight stands as a previously unset European-area record, surely a unique distinction!

Posted: 6 March 2017
By: Paul Dancey


RAeC Trust bursaries

A final reminder that applications for Royal Aero Club Trust bursaries close on March 31st.

The bursaries are of up to £1,000; last year the Trust awarded 50 of them to young pilots of up to 21 years to progress their flying qualifications and further their dreams.

New rules introduced last year allow previous winners of up to 24 years to make further progress.

In 2016 BHPA teenagers Ryan Jenkins and Joe and John Ashman all received substantial cash support to pursue their flying goals, and in 2015 Theo Warden's bursary enabled him to pursue SIV training. If you are between 14 and 21 and financial assistance would help you progress, please visit the Royal Aero Club Trust website. If you are a young BHPA pilot - apply now!

Posted: 6 March 2017
By: Paul Dancey


Skywings news last updated: 8 June 2018 at 12:26:43 AM

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