My own plane ... Which pilot did not dream to have his own plane? Flying in Club is, certainly , the most economic solution, but the disponobility  World of leisure aviation 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 ...

Avid Flyer is doubtless the choice of the reason. Accustomed, in Club, to fly on Piper PA 11 or Fournier RF4 ,  Avid Flyer to Montardoise in 1995 I can not refrain from feeling close to these little  Avid Catalina 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).

The 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.

One 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  MRC 01 (Ultra light version) 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  Europa 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 is Sinus 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!).

But 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 Europa or the Slovenian Sinus. These machines represent the very best in terms of performances, modern technology and low cost exploitation.

The 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  Crabon Dragon 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.
Explorer Magallon 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?...
Before exist " World of leisure aviation ", it often happened to me  The Pelican 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.

At the same time, I ventured on hand-gliding. This type of flight, although marvelous,  Freeglider 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 glider ULF-1 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 ...