own plane ...
pilot did not dream to have his own plane? Flying in Club is, certainly
, the most economic solution, but the disponobility
of planes is not always sure, especially for journeys. One rents a plane
for a weekend several months before, and it often happens that the weather
is not good this weekend ... Except some rich people that can afford the
machine of their dreams, or some malicious which practise skillfully co-ownership,
most of the pilots that want to have their own plane have to build it,
where they often spend ten to fifteen years of their life (even more!),
or to buy a Ultra light plane. Since 1992, every year, approaching summer,
a sort of global catalog is edited by European magazines specialized in
Ultra light and hand-gliding. Initially entitled " The wings of Europe
" and then " World of the leisure Aviation ", this special issue tries
to list all which is made in the World, in the domains of the hang-gliding,
Ultra light, autogire, light helicopter and home build. One finds there
also all the addresses of motorists, piloting schools, replacement parts
suppliers, etc.... This catalog is a real dream machine! The profusion
of flying machines exceeds there understanding. If the predominance of
American machines is not a surprise it's amazing to discover the creative
dynamism of certain "small" countries as Czechia or Slovenia. The variety
of machine types makes that there is it for all tastes and for all prices.
Here are those that make me think harder ...
Flyer is doubtless the choice of the reason. Accustomed, in Club, to fly
on Piper PA 11 or Fournier
I can not refrain from feeling close to these little
machines so brilliantly designed by Dean Wilson. Investment in Avid Flyer
can only be a good bargain. It is a Kit: the best way of well knowing his
plane is to build it. But the Avid Flyer construction takes only 500 hours
and is within the reach of the beginners. Piloting looks like more that
of a real plane than that of an Ultra light plane. STOL performances any
are incredible: 100 feet to take off, 150 to land at 30 kts. Wings curl
up backwards in some minutes, allowing so to stock it in a car garage or
to drag it behind a car (8 feet, folded up wings) what is considerable
because places in a hangar are expensive. It's construction type have already
given evidence of longevity. In France, it can recently enter the Ultra
light category as well as the kit planes category (F-W).
amphibian version: Avid Catalina, allows
the practice of the seaplane in France (on the condition of being in Ultra
light category), because except Biscarosse's hydrobase, this type of aviation
virtually disappeared of our regions.
of the most remarkable things of these last years is the blatant lack of
innovation in the world of the general aviation, in the point that Cessna
manages there in re - commercializing
it's 30 years old models! On the other hand, the Ultra light and light
plane technology did not stop progressing. To make only a summarizing comparison
proving this fact: a Cessna 152 (90 HP) cruise at 90 kts by consuming 25
liters an hour and lands at 50 kts. A MCR
01, (80 HP), cruise at 140 kts by consuming
16 liters an hour and lands at 45 kts. But the outdatedness of the machines
of general aviation is nothing compared to that of the federal institutions
supposed to take care of their development. Far from supporting technological
development, news reglementations (DGAC, FAA, JAR / FCL) slow down the
developement, practicing the " superimposed umbrellas opening ". From limitations
to suspensions, the technocrats, in order " to harmonize " laws, prepare
in an underhand way, the sky cleaning by using vacuum method, and try to
reserve the sky for only commercial and military activities. Why our children
would not they have the right to taste the happiness of playful flight
as well as to learn the values which are attached to? Why do governments
take so many precautions to avoid that a pilot, victim of a cardiac illness,
could cause damages to inhabitants (no accident of this type listed in
ten years) while they get ready to authorize the traffic of heavy trucks
on Sundays, hence condemning for death 500 French more a year? (Calculation
simple: in France, there are 8000 deaths a year on roads and a lorry is
in cause in 50% of fatal accidents, so 4000 deaths. If heavy trucks begin
driving on Sundays, it will be 52 days furthermore a year on 365, what
represents about 500 deaths more!).
all the economists and the legislators of any kind will never be able to
prevent Michel Colomban from designing with passion machines as the "cricri"
or the "Banbi" (original version of the MCR
01), and others to offer us material to dream with the English
or the Slovenian Sinus. These machines
represent the very best in terms of performances, modern technology and
low cost exploitation.
classification of Hand-gliding foresees a category of aircrafts which does
not go into the French jurisdiction: The Class 4 of ultra light gliders,
purely and simply
forbidden in France. Historically, the first machines " heavier than air
" having led to the birth of the Aviation would have been able to enter
this category. Let us remember Otto Lilienthal's gliders, the Albatross
of Jean Marie Le Brix or the glider built by Orvile and Wilbur Wright before
their historic flight and of which plans were given in the Octave Chanute's
excellent book: " Progress of flying machines ". Nowadays there is an explosion
of the number of machines of this type (Carbon
Dragon, Silent, Tst3, Swift,ULF-1,
favourized notably by the progress made in the domain of building materials.
In this begining century, no legislator, no insurer wants to take the "risk"
to see evolving above their head, silent, cheap and reliable machines and
so paying tribute to the pioneers, who, nearly 100 years ago, broke fresh
ground the ways of the sky at the risk of their life, so that nowadays,
these same legislators and insurers could enjoy the comfort and the safety
of commercial airlines.
At the opposite side of Class 4 gliders, we can see seeming for
the first time planes designed for other matter than transporting freight
or people. Due to Hubert de Chevigny and Dean Wilson, the concept of "
Flying Home " became reality with the Explorer
and begins now to make emulates as Magallon.
A flying "Camper"! What could I wish furthermore? How others build their
boat and then go away arround the World, it would be now possible to build
a plane in which I could live?...
exist " World of leisure aviation ", it often happened to me
to try to design the plane of my dreams, the one that does not exist and
that would bring me the type of flight for which I strive. The concept
of " flying home ", the plane in which I could live and which allows to
have the complete planet within reach wings, naturally imposed itself to
me, because it satisfied more than a way of flying, but an art of living.
By taking model on Dornier " Wal ", Consolidated PBY " Catalina " and other
Grumann " Widgeon " or " Goose ", I designed the Pelican.
the same time, I ventured on hand-gliding.
This type of flight, although marvelous,
left me sceptical as for the performances of hang-gliding machines (6 to 12
aerodynamic cleanness at most). Of more their flight commands do not offer
enough defence against shaken aerologic conditions. I imagined so a small
light enough glider to exploit
the same lifts as in hand-gliding, but with more than 25 of aerodynamic
cleanness and "true" flight commands: ruders, elevalors, ailerons and,
naturally, spoilers. I named this bird Freeglider.
Since the next year, the Swift made its deafening entrance into the world
of hand-gliding, soon followed by other small gliders as Australian Moyes,
Czechian Tst3, Italian Silent or Jim Maupin's American Carbon
Dragon. In fact, this concept existed for more than twenty years in
Germany with the glider ULF-1 that can
be taken off on foot. Regrettably, these machines enter the " class 4 "
category of hand-gliding and are not so (!) authorized in the country of
liberties: France. Depressing ...