Photo by Chris
A threesome of ultralights head west into the sunset.
July 30, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- The Ultralight area is expecting 160 ultralights to arrive this year at
AirVenture, and one thing is for sure: the innovative ideas came with
them. “Flightstar’s e-Spyder with an electric motor is on display for
the first time at AirVenture,” Timm Bogenhagen, EAA ultralight programs
manager, said. “We have an electric-powered paraglider that is here for
the first time also. Ultralight helicopters are on display, and then there’s
the Back Yard Flyer Swing-Wing Ultralight.
“The wing is one piece; you twist it 90
degrees and put it the back of your trailer in about a minute. There’s a
lot of innovation out here to see.”
There’s also some history, as “antique”
ultralights are highlighted. What’s considered an antique ultralight you
ask? Any ultralight that has been flying for more than 25 years falls
under this category. “I’d call them classics rather than antiques,”
Korean veteran Henry Bader of Le Mars, Iowa, chuckled.
Whatever you call them, these ultralights are
from a time when people learned how to fly an ultralight on their own. “Their
first flight was their first solo,” Bogenhagen explained. “They would
talk to someone about flying ultralights, read some books, and work up to
EAA now offers ultralight enthusiasts a source
to talk to and get advice from. AirVenture attendees can visit the “Chicken
Coop,” or the covered porch on the side of the Ultralight Barn, and find
ultralight and light-sport counsel on hand to talk to during the show. The
Tech Counselor Tent, directly in front of the Ultralight Barn, will be
teaching fabric covering daily throughout the week.
Interested in food, flying, fun, and
friendship in no particular order? You can visit the ultralight chapter
tents and speak with chapters 1, 30, and 75. While you’re there, wish
Chapter 1 a happy 30th birthday.
The Ultralight area is known for allowing
attendees to get up close and personal to the grass strip to watch the
ultralights in action. If weather conditions are right, each day you can
see powered parachutes fly from 7 to 9 a.m.; fixed-wing ultralights, 9
a.m. - 12 p.m.; homebuilt helicopters, 12 - 3 p.m.; fixed-wing again, 6:30
- 7:30 p.m., and powered parachutes, 7:30 - 8 p.m.
“One misconception is that everything in the
Ultralight area is an ultralight,” Bogenhagen pointed out. “If it has
the performance and operating characteristics of an ultralight, it could
be down here.”
Catch up on some hangar flying at the
ultralight pig roast Saturday, August 1, at the EAA Nature Center. Tickets
are $14, and you can buy them at the Ultralight Barn.