becomes the new BMAA Chief Technical Officer, replacing Paul Owen.
The AX3 gets a
flight test. Paul Dewhurst finds it a surprising aircraft with good performance
and manners. In its current form, the A3's Weedhopper ancestry is well
concealed, but the basic structure was found to be little changed.
PHOTO 1: The side-by-side two-seat high wing
monoplane with conventional 3-axis control.
In the summer,
Richard Meredith-Hardy attended the annual Italian show at Bassano. He found
that microlights were getting bigger... and smaller. Most design activity was
concentrated at the far ends of the spectrum. New backpacks were appearing, and
there was a lot of interest in the very-nearly-light-aircraft such as the
Popham event also reflected the backpack revival, with Chris Scable showing his
Scobojet with a WAM 342 engine.
It was 75 years
since the first commercial international passenger flight and Brian Milton led
23 pilots on a flight from Heathrow to Le Bourget to celebrate the anniversary.
The group were waved off in marginal weather conditions, but 16 of them
completed the journey.
Tom Grieve and
Hugh Knox became the first to cross the North Sea, flying from central Scotland
to Norway, Denmark, Germany, Holland, England and home in a Flash 2 Alpha and
an AX3. The flight was planned in order to raise money for Amnesty
International and to highlight those countries which didn't enjoy political
freedom by touring those which did.
PHOTO 2: Tom Grieve and Hugh Knox won the Steve
Hunt Trophy for the most outstanding flight of the year, the BMAA's highest
award, for their record breaking flight.
Flight for Life,
a venture undertaken by Judy Leden and Ben Ashman, involved flying from England
to Jordan in memory of a young friend who had recently died of lung cancer -
Jasmin Saudi. Prior to her death Jasmin had invited the pair to fly in her
homeland of Jordan. Proceeds from the sale of a video to mark the flight, which
went to the Cancer Research Campaign, had passed the £100,000 mark in less than
PHOTO 3: Ben Ashman avoiding the camels in Wadi
Airsports and Solar Wings merge to become Pegasus Aviation. The sister company,
Cyclone Hovercraft remains independent.
tests the Huntwing for Microlight Flying. He finds it flies better than he
expected, with good handling and the performance 'quite respectable'.
PHOTO 4: The Huntwing Experience 462 LC. A tandem
two-seat flexwing aircraft with weight-shift control. This machine was said to
provide an extremely cost effective alternative to the used Q or Alpha.
At the AGM, the
BMAA's membership stood at 3 796. A lively debate took place when it was proposed
that the Association's magazine should revert to its former name of Flight
Line, since so many members still used that title. However, it was felt that
such an action would send out negative messages about the Association moving
backwards rather than forwards, so the new name remained.
The show this
year was the first to be held over two days at Telford. Tempest Aviation
brought their prototype nosewheel Thruster, while the Sluka, a fixed-wing
single-seater also bade its debut. For flexwing enthusiasts, the show marked
the launch of the Mainair Blade.