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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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Skywings news items published in 2019 are displayed below.

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There are 42 news items for 2019 in our database.

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Skywings News - 2019

Tandem microlight record!

Colin & Louis Fargher At 07:27 on Saturday September 14th Skywings designer Colin Fargher and his son Louis set off on an Air Creation Skypper trike from one of the most easterly airfields in France, heading for the furthest airfield in the west. Their aim - to traverse the entire country and set a new tandem flexwing microlight (RWL2) non-stop world record.

The distance from their home in Vesoul, near Besancon, to Quimper in Finisterre is around 780km. Colin's machine is powered, uniquely, by an aerial version of the frugal three-cylinder four-stroke engine fitted to the Toyoya Aygo city car. With an auxiliary tank boosting fuel capacity to 72 litres it has a still-air range of ten hours and around 850km. An earlier test flight had already yielded 400km in 4.6 hours, averaging 85km/h. The existing record record had been set at 749.8km by German pilot Hans-Ulrich Dörr in 2017.

'Arriving at the Bretonne peninsula with 20 litres of fuel remaining and 100km to go, we were pretty sure of our prize and could soon see the Atlantic,' reported Colin. 'Crossing beautiful Bretonne bays and beaches on our final approach was a special moment. I called up the airfield at Plobannalec, just 3km from the ocean, to hear the jubilant voice of proprietor Claude Bouhannic, delighted to welcome a fellow Celt to his airfield. We had been in the air for just under eight hours'

Posted: 7 October 2019
By: J. Schofield


The 2020 BHPA AGM will be held at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, Shropshire, on the afternoon of Saturday March 7th. The meeting will follow the BHPA Trainers Conference that runs from Friday 6th until Saturday morning at the same venue. 

As well as the Election of Officers, the current Exec will report on their activities and members will be able to cross-examine them on their achievements. Any BHPA member thinking about seeking nomination for election should contact Chairman Marc Asquith or another Exec member to find out what's involved. The closing date for nominations will be November 30th. 

Posted: 27 September 2019
By: J Schofield

RAeC bursaries announced

35 bursaries were awarded in July by the Royal Aero Club Trust, enabling young air sports enthusiasts to advance their existing qualifications. In recent years the number of awards has increased following a decision to widen the eligible age range and the introduction of follow-on bursaries.

This year's recipients included two light aircraft pilots, ten glider pilots and ten skydivers ... but only one paraglider pilot - Oliver McCourty of Green Dragons. Any young flier or would-be flier reading this should take note: these bursaries represent free money for young pilots to progress their flying. The awards are of up to £1,000, the age range is from 14 to 21, and the closing date for next year's applications is March 31st.

Full details of the rules and application forms can be found on the Royal Aero Club Trust website. Applications must be submitted through a sponsoring organisation (eg the BHPA).

Posted: 27 August 2019
By: J. Schofield

New rules for Dolomites

The rules for free flying in the Dolomites have been further expanded to include the compulsory carriage of a red smoke bomb, available from the sports shop in Canazei. Recommended, but not compulsory, is installing the free 'Where ARE U' app on your phone (Android and OS available). The smoke bomb is to be activated in case of accident; if you see red smoke when flying, leave the area so as not to impede helicopter access.

Download the details, in English, from the FIVL website

Posted: 27 August 2019
By: J. Schofield

Record week for HPA flight

Aerocycle 301 at the Icarus Cup 2019 Human powered aircraft took to the sky again in July at the 2019 BHPFC Rally at Lasham airfield. Competing for the Icarus Cup this year were 2013 champions Betterfly and three-time winners Airglow and Aerocycle. The competition offers points for short field, grass field and landing accuracy events, as well as longer duration and agility tasks including slalom and turns around a triangle.

The final results saw Team Aerocycle ahead win from Airglow and Betterfly. Kit Buchanan was the individual winner after an Aerocycle 301 flight that began with a 500m slalom and completed all three corners of a triangle (first time ever by a UK pilot), with a final duration of 6m:17s, the longest-ever duration flown in Icarus Cup competition. Jesse van Kuijk also set new Dutch duration and distance records on Aerocycle 301 (pictured).

The 2019 Icarus Cup was the most successful BHPFC competition ever. Year on year the competition heats up and scores continue to rise; teams learn better ways to strategise and complete the tasks, and pilots achieve ever-greater athletic and piloting efforts and accomplish longer and higher-scoring tasks

If you are a keen cyclist, engineer, aviation enthusiast or pilot, a student wishing to add meaningful experience to their CV or someone intrigued by what the club does, e-mail the BHPFC.

Posted: 27 August 2019
By: J. Schofield

Suffolk anniversary

The Suffolk Hang Gliding club is 40 years old this year. An informal gathering is being arranged to mark the occasion in the finest tradition - in the pub.

If you flew with the club or know of someone who did, please add September 21st to your diary and RSVP to Richard Hunt.

The evening meet up will be at the Sorrel Horse at Barham, near Ipswich. The date is almost 40 years to the day that the BHGA officially recognised the Suffolk Coastal Floaters Hang Gliding Club - named in disdain for the newfangled hot ships of the day!

It is with some irony that the club is now one of the most active in the country; last year the recently-renamed Suffolk Club finished second in the UKNXCL and first on distance alone.

Posted: 8 August 2019
By: J. Schofield

John O'Groats to Land's End by paramotor

James du Pavey at lands EndAt 3.30am on Monday July 8th, BHPA member James du Pavey launched his paramotor at John O'Groats, intent on reaching Land's end in record time. In the afternoon of the next day he reached his destination having covered 1,200km and spent 24 hours airborne out of a total of 36 en route.

The flight was made to raise money for the Stoke-on-Trent based Donna Louise Children's Hospice, for which £15,000 has already been subscribed.

James suffered two engine failures en route and a third just 10km from Land's End. After his flight he reported, 'I feel unbelievably tired and ruined, but it has been incredible. However I am never, ever doing anything like this ever again!' James's two ground crew were kept busy - in addition to his 11 planned refueling stops he made three forced landings, one caused by a seized main bearing and another by a broken exhaust.

The first recorded Land's End-John O'Groats paramotor flight was made in seven days by Andy Phillips in 2000. The first known north-south flight, by John Caston, Brian Pushman, Alex Heron and Henry Glasse, took five days in 2009. And in 2016 a southbound team took six and a half days.

You can contribute to James's efforts on his Just Giving Fundraising page.

Posted: 8 August 2019
By: J. Schofield

Powered Paraglider Improvements Survey

Cranfield University is undertaking research into possible upgrades to the conventional powered paraglider design. Both performance and safety aspects are assumed to be susceptible for further improvement, and researchers are calling for input from both paragliding and powered paragliding pilots to assist them to identify and explore possible improvements.

Paragliding (PG) and powered paragliding (PPG) pilots who would like to assist this research are asked to use the following link to complete an online survey:
Powered Paraglider Improvements Survey

The survey, which closes on the 30th September 2019, aims to obtain information about:

  1. Market share of each flying style
  2. General performance parameters
  3. Feeling of safety during different stages of flight
  4. Need for improvement
  5. Likeliness to re-buy improved gear
  6. Likeliness to switch from unpowered to improved powered

Cranfield University is a British postgraduate and research-based public university specialising in science, engineering, technology and management, and was originally founded as the College of Aeronautics in 1946.

Posted: 18 July 2019
By: Paul Dancey

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