saw a new name enter the weight-shift world: Pegasus Systems. This new company
absorbed Solar Wings and bought the rights to Ultrasports products, which
included the Tripacer trike, one of the most popular single-seat weight-shift
designs of its time.
PHOTO 1: Ultrasport's Tripacer Trike seen here
with a Solar Wings Typhoon wing.
long-distance flights included a non-stop flight from Annaba, Algeria, to
Monaco. This took place in August and was the first crossing of such endurance
and distance to have been undertaken in a microlight. Andre Fournel and Pierre
Barret made the flight in an Eipper MXLII, with refueling arranged 5 hours into
the flight - by helicopter over the sea.
PHOTO 2: The helicopter flew side by side with the
microlight, delivering 22 gallons of fuel in 8 minutes.
In all, the
flight covered 516 miles non-stop.
pressures of regulation, British pilots had a good year in 1985. Pete Davies
achieved the first British Gold Calibri - at the time the only Gold to be
awarded in the world. Britain also won the first microlight World Championships,
which took place in southern France. This event was marred by difficult terrain
and some challenging flying conditions, which led to the death, on the last
day, of the leading German competitor: Joachim Krenz, as well as numerous other
Rodney Birrell made history as the first ultralight pilot to officially carry
the mail. To celebrate, 950 first day covers were carried on the flight, each
signed by the pilot. The flight was made using a two-seat 3-axis King Cobra
of Section S led to changes in the training machines used for 3-axis students.
While some schools had used the Quicksilver MXII, by the end of 1985 it had not
achieved type-acceptance.The Dragon had come to nothing, and the two-seat
Scorpion was grounded for ever. The Shadow was seen by some as too fast for
novice pilots. An Australian machine, the Thruster, was put forward for
approval by Ian Stokes. Since Australian companies were used to the
requirements of approval systems, it was envisaged that the machines would be
fully legal in time for the '86 season.
PHOTO 3: The Australian Thruster
Brian Cosgrove was now
Chief Executive Officer of the BMAA, with Peter Blyth as Chairman. Writing at
the end of the year, the Chairman noted that the BMAA had got its house in
order. It had moved from the brink of bankrupcy to point of stability.
Microlight pilots were still getting used to the new regulations, especially
with regard to airworthiness, but the culture was gradually shifting towards a
more positive stance.