Pegasus won a
British Design Award for its Quasar. Features which impressed the judges
included the low-noise powerplants, the inflight trim device, the low drag of
the trike unit and the use of composites in the undercarriage.
opening up of the Eastern Block, microlight pilots could once again fly
untested territory. Luc Lefevre, a Belgian pilot, decided to use his three
weeks leave to fly a flexwing two-up from the Atlantic to the Black Sea and
then onto Russia itself.
PHOTO 1: No-one could accuse Luc Lefevre of being
had been taking place in Eastern Europe. In Crimea, enthusiasts had been
building and flying illegally their own designs. Hang-gliding had begun to
develop from the early 1970s. In 1983, 19 microlights attended an annual
meeting in Crimea, by 1987 the event drew 107 entrants. Most machines were
fitted with a Soviet RMZ engine of 640 cc. By 1993 the CIS had its own annual
microlight and hang-gliding championship. Interest in microlights was high due
to the vast spaces and lack of fuel and spares for larger machines.
A group of
seven Russians in four flexwings crossed the Bering Strait, a symbolic divide
between the old east and west which had never been flown before in a
Greenshields, of Somerset Microlights, gained himself a place in the history
books by being the first microlight pilot ever to land on the top of a moving
truck. He described the event as 'a little tricky'.
PHOTO 2: Jim Greenshields brings his Flash 2 Alpha
safely down on a 38 t Scania.
stood down as Chief Executive Officer on 1st June, but remains with the
Association as a Consultant specialising in planning matters. Brian was awarded
an MBE for services to the British Microlight Aviation Association in the
Queen's Birthday Honours List. Jim Bell became the new CEO. At the end of the
year, Marcus Edwards becomes the Association's new Technical Editor.
The new Pegasus
Quantum was exhibited at the annual Popham trade fair. This was the first
modular trike to go into production since the introduction of Section S. It
shared many common parts with the Quasar, including the Q2 wing. It was
intended that this machine would replace the XL and Q, though the XL was to
remain in production for glider towing use.
In July, Eddie
Clapham and Steve Slade undertook the first Lands End to John O'Groats flight
to be completed in one day. They flew the journey in Eddie's MW6.
team were yet again successful in competition. They won the team prize and
collected two individual gold medals at the European Championships, held in the
Czech Republic. In the single-seater flexwing class, the reign of the Chaser,
the undisputed champion for some six years, was threatened by a Czech machine.
PHOTO 3: The Chaser Beating Stratos with Kohler
engine and Moyes wing.
In Flight Line,
a member had written to propose that strobes should be made compulsory on all
machines. This received an interesting response from a powered parachute pilot,
who supposed that he could mount such a device on his head.
In Autumn of
this year, two Canadian pilots: William Lishman and Joe Duff, used their
ultralights to guide 18 geese on a seven day flight from the Toronto area to
Virginia. The flight would be immortalised in print and documentary film, as
well as providing the basis for the feature film 'Fly Away Home'.
PHOTO 4: Crossing the Great Lake, Ontario.
At the AGM
there was again discussion about a PFA/BMAA merger. Membership of the BMAA
stood at 2464 on 1st October. The Training Committee proposed that the weight
limit for microlights be increased to 450 kg and Brian Cosgrove received formal
thanks for his work as CEO.
exhibition were microlights, hang-gliders and paragliders for the first time.
It was said to be the best show ever. At the two ends of the weight-shift
spectrum, Medway showed a prototype Honda car engined trike, as well as the
budget Raven. Mainair turned out their first kit weightshift for many years -
saving the builder £1000 over the factory ready version. The Air Creation Fun
GT was almost through type approval for UK sales.