eNews – May 2013

Royal boost for South Pole team

GREAT news this month for Flying For Freedom, which next year will see a team of disabled ex-servicemen fly microlights to the South Pole.

John Laity, co-founder of the project, told eMF: “I am pleased to be able to announce that Flying for Freedom is now a project supported by The Royal Foundation for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry through their endeavour fund.

“This is great news and follows our first pilot qualification by amputee Cpl Alan Robinson. Alan is now hours building and we hope to have him qualified as an AFI by the end of this year. All this helps us get a step closer to Antarctica, although we still need to acquire sponsors to be able to complete the expedition.”

Flying for Freedom is part of the British Antarctic Microlight Expedition, during which Richard Meredith-Hardy aims to fly a microlight over the highest mountain of the continent, Mount Vinson, for the first time. You can read more here.

Norman Burr, Acting Editor

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
WE may have had a cold spring, but that hasn’t stopped microlight pilots getting aloft with their cameras. No fewer than 15 members have entered our June competition, so feast your eyes on these splendid images. As always, the winners will appear in your next MF. VIEW THE JUNE ENTRIES
Castrol oil recall

YOU should know this by now, but it is important so it bears repeating. Castrol is recalling a batch of its 2T two-stroke oil because it may have become contaminated by water. The affected oil was sold after 3 September 2012. You can find out full details here.

Party time at Sywell

AEROEXPO, which looks set to be the biggest and best outdoor general aviation event of the year, is coming up at the end of May. BMAA pilots are invited to join a fly-in party on 1 June, starting at 17:30hrs after the day’s show. There will be a barbecue and entertainment, plus various prizes, including one for the longest flight to the event. You can get tickets here.

Catch ’em young

EACH year the Aviation & Space Education Commission of the FAI (the international body controlling airsport worldwide) organizes a competition for Young Artists. The theme for 2013 was “My favourite airsports”.

Competition was intense, with a total of 110 entries submitted in the various age categories, from 14 countries. There are some charming pictures. The one above is by Igor Pastushkov, which took first place in the junior category (that’s six to nine years of age!). Click or tap on it for a link to the other winners.

A money-saving tip

IT sounds obvious, but when buying a propeller it’s a good idea to make sure you specify the correct direction of rotation. You really don’t want a prop that pushes you back up the strip… Here’s a handy guide from Romanian prop maker Born, to help make sure you get this right.

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Yes, they are microlights

THOSE misguided folk who are not BMAA members may not realize that paramotors also qualify as microlights. And that they are the cheapest form of powered flying to be had. Click on the image to see how they perform when flown by competition pilots.

Electric three-axis SSDR

BATTERY-powered aircraft attract a lot of interest but, in Britain at least, few sales. Nevertheless the designs keep coming. One three-axis prototype shown at Sun ’n Fun in Florida (watch out for a full report from Roy Beisswenger in the next MF) has some 30h under its wings and its designer, Randall Fishman, is confident enough to offer it to the public as a US-legal ultralight, which should allow it to fit into the UK’s very similar SSDR category.

The ElectraFlyer ULS cruises at about 40mph, and it will fly for up to 2h. It can be yours for $59,000. That’s a lot of money for a single-seat microlight, but at least yours will be the only one in the hangar… Watch it in action here.

The Flea endures

BEFORE the Second World War, French aviator Henri Mignet designed a simple biplane called the Flying Flea, with staggered wings. His aim was to create a machine simple enough for people to build at home. The configuration became so popular that, 80 years on, people are still constructing them. It is perfectly possible to build a Flea to fit into the microlight category; fitted with a VW Beetle engine, this one probably doesn’t, but you get the idea.

An instant hangar

SO you don’t have a hangar? Here’s a brilliant piece of technology which could solve your problem overnight. Literally. It wasn’t designed specifically for aircraft – its most obvious and pressing application is for refugee camps and the like – but if the price were right…

Don’t try this on the M1

RUSSIA may not historically be regarded as the land of the free, but it seems Russian pilots can get away with some things which might be distinctly frowned on at Watford Gap…

Solar Impulse on its way

BERTRAND Piccard, who must surely rank in the top two current aviation adventurers (the other being British microlighter Richard Meredith-Hardy), is well on his way across the USA in his single-seat solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse, sharing legs with another Swiss, former fighter pilot André Borschberg. The aircraft is currently in Phoenix, Arizona.

You can keep up with this historic flight – hopefully the precursor of a round-the-world endeavour – on the expedition’s homepage.

Don’t forget the wings

THE concept of a flying car has fascinated aviators for decades, but commercial success has eluded every attempt to build one – mainly because of the need to leave the wings behind when you take to the road.

Two recent designs have got over this problem: the American Terrafugia, which is still under development and is extremely expensive; and the Skycar, with much less investment but demonstrably successful, from British paramotor maker Parajet. Neither has yet reached the marketplace, but you can find out how they’re getting on by clicking the links.

Mustang sallies forth

IF warbirds are your thing, at some time or another you’re bound to have drooled over America’s iconic Second World War fighter, the Mustang. Now you can buy one…

Admittedly it’s made of carbonfibre, not alloy, and is 70% of the original’s size, but it made quite a stir at the recent Aero exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It’s built by the German company FK Lightplanes. You can read more here, courtesy of Avweb online magazine.

Suits you sir

FANCY a wingsuit? Then try this 8min film, “Split of a Second”, featuring wingsuit world champion Espen Fades.

The right stuff

WE’LL ask again: Are you sure you fancy a wingsuit? Click on the image to view a piece of flying so remarkable that the pilot has been accused of faking the film.

Our thanks, as ever, to Ted Snook, for spending too much time on the internet and for providing so many of these links.

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