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British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings News

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Skywings News - all non archived years

Kitty Hawk time machines!

Kitty Hawk time machines! On December 14th Dr Markus Raffel's 1895 Lilienthal hang glider replica flew alongside an authentic replica of the Wright Brothers' 1902 glider. This remarkable event took place at Kitty Hawk on North Carolina's Outer Banks, close to the scene of the Wrights' early gliding experiments and their first flight of a powered aeroplane in December 1903.

The Wright machine had originally been built for the Centennial of Flight celebrations in 2003. The Lilienthal machine was flown by Andy Beem of California's Windsports school; the Wright glider by Billy Vaughn of local operator Kitty Hawk Kites.

'It was one of the best days of my life! reported Andy. 'I got to fly an authentic replica of a Lilienthal glider side-by-side with the 1902 Wright.' Equally elated, Billy Vaughn said, 'I had the presence of mind to look out through the structure of the Wright wing to see the Lilienthal glider flying next to me. It was humbling.'

Respect to the teams that built both replica aircraft, and to their determination in getting them to this historic spot for their momentous meeting. A video of the flights is available on Google Drive.

Posted: 29 January 2020
By: J. Schofield

Dan Burton’s trike OLC win

Dan Burton and his trike Well-known trike and paramotor pilot Dan Burton won the trike category of the online 2019 XC Contest after a busy flying season. Although several leading pilots had submitted flights of over 350km during the year, on December 28th Dan was in second place, needing 324km to overtake Czech pilot Martin Lexa.

Early on the 29th Dan flew for seven and a half hours in challenging conditions to record a 326km triangle and take the top spot with 6,878 points over six flights - all FAI triangles.

His route from Topsham near Exeter took him west against a strong headwind to Start Point in South Devon, north to Martinhoe on the North Devon coast, and to Frampton near Dorchester before punching the headwind again for home.

Dan landed his Fresh Breeze Bullix 4T/Gin Falcon 34 combo with four litres of fuel remaining; his average groundspeed had been 43.13km/h. Dan also finished third in the Open Class ranking against more than 400 pilots worldwide.

Posted: 29 January 2020
By: J. Schofield

Changes to Farnborough Airspace

In June 2015, Farnborough Airport submitted a formal airspace change proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and as a result the CAA have now issued an Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC)regarding changes to Farnborough Airspace that will be implemented on the 27 February 2020.

The circular is available for download from this website, and can also be downloaded from the CAA website.

Posted: 26 January 2020
By: Paul Dancey

UK 'tour du lac'!

tour du lac of nearby Rutland Water To encourage XC flying within the Rutland Airsports club Hugh Burnaby-Atkins put up an annual challenge trophy. Hugh also put up a bottle of bubbly as a prize for the first 'tour du lac' of nearby Rutland Water.

Having achieved the feat himself back on May 12th, Hugh was relieved to discover that fellow clubman Richard Barber had also circumnavigated the reservoir, in the other direction, to land about an hour later.

'I didn't take off until 2:30pm as I was on launch marshal duty,' he reported. 'It took about two hours to get round and it was still booming when I came back - the potential for much bigger triangles or open distance is huge.'

At the end of the season Hugh was presented with his own trophy for what is believed to be the first-ever circuit of Rutland Water by paraglider. Led by his example, Rutland Airsports' winch operation at North Luffenham, in the heart of the east midlands flatlands, is becoming an emerging force in XC flying. 

Posted: 17 December 2019
By: J. Schofield


The BHPA's 2020 Annual General Meeting runs at a new location - the National Sports Centre at Lilleshall, Shropshire - on the afternoon of Saturday March 7th, straight after the BHPA Trainers Conference.

The current Exec will report on their work and members will be able to cross-examine them on their achievements. Members will be able to vote in person, by proxy and by remotely. This last can be done by posting your voting form or scanning it and sending it to the BHPA Office (see February 2020 issue of Skywings).

The meeting will commence at 2:30pm with the election of officers to the BHPA Exec, followed by Officers' reports and a members' open discussion forum. It will again be streamed live to the internet.

Posted: 17 December 2019
By: J. Schofield

Maurer in the UK!

Swiss legend Chrigel Maurer With support from Advance, XC Magazine are bringing Swiss legend Chrigel Maurer (below) to the UK in January to share his multimedia show with southern pilots.

His two-hour presentation on the Red Bull X-Alps - which he has won six times - will take place on Thursday January 23rd at the Fire Station in Bristol, and on Friday 24th at King's Church in Lewes.

Tickets cost £20 through XC Mag's online shop at www.xcmag.com/shop (look for the Events tab). Capacity at each venue is about 200; book early to be sure of a place.

Posted: 17 December 2019
By: J. Schofield

Lilienthal glider flies again!

Replica of Otto Lilienthal glider flys againMarkus Raffel returned to California in September and made another series of very successful flights on his authentic Lilienthal replica glider. The glider, proven in wind tunnel tests at Germany's DLR Aerospace Centre and successfully flown in 2018, was reassembled at Mountain View near San Jose.

Many flights between 50 and 100m were made at a coastal site in both monoplane and 'Grosser Doppeldecker' biplane form. 'The apparatus is acceptably stable on all three axes and, given enough practice, can be safely steered downhill and landed easily,' reported Markus.

The glider is a precise replica, built from original drawings with the help of the Otto Lilienthal Museum in Anklam. Lilienthal is known to have made more than 2000 flights between his first public flights appearance 1891 and his final flight in 1896 when he died following a crash. Dr. Raffel is Professor at the Institute of Turbomachinery and Fluid Dynamics, Leibniz University in Germany.

Posted: 21 November 2019
By: J. Schofield

Second time out and 100km!

A happy Kacper Kinstler On September 13th Grupa 303 and Derbyshire Club pilot Kacper Kinstler helped himself to 112.3km on a four hour 45-minute flight from Bradwell to Uppingham in Rutland.

100+km on a Nova Mentor 4 on your second half-decent XC is going some. 'I didn't expect 100km but I did have high hopes for 50,' reported Kacper after his flight, '... I am still smiling to myself! It was my first season on my new Mentor 4 and first XC on it too.

Although only CP rated, Kacper was briefed by local pilots and was able to carefully skirt the airspace near Nottingham.

Posted: 21 November 2019
By: J. Schofield

Skywings news last updated: 19 February 2021 at 10:28:15 PM

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