Subscriber Bonus: The Digital LSUF

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 February '13 Issue, Now in PDF:

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Right-click the cover image on the left and download the linked file to your computer. For best results, install the latest version of Adobe Reader 

iOS, Android etc: Click Here to Open in Mobile Browsers

 

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Found at Pharisee

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 Photo Illustration for "Found at Pharisee" a short story by Richard Bach, reprinted in the September '12 issue of Light Sport and Ultralight Flying. Photo art by Tracy Knauss, from the original illustration by K. O. Eckland. 

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Here I Am

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Jack French flying with Moon Shadow. Probably the Sun-n-Fun Fly-In, spring '80. 

Hi Tracy,


Remember me?

On page 24 of your September issue is a guy flying a white 
Fledge 2-A. It's me, Jack French! I'm still alive!

I appeared a number of times in your publication in the early days, and just had the Fledge rebuilt. She and I had our first flight this year on Fathers Day. Altitude density has kept us on the ground since then (the engine is only 8 horsepower) but the weather is cooling off here in Maryland, and I'll be back in the air soon.


My one of a kind Manta Fledgling II-A (
Moon Shadow) is:

  • weight shift - pitch
  • wingtip rudders for roll
  • 8 hp. Soarmaster pusher prop
  • 10:1 glide ratio
  • steerable taildragger
  • hand-deployed emergency parachute
  • designed and test flown by me, for thermal soaring
  • 24-mph stall, 40-mph max speed 

I have set many (first  to do) records with the Fledge and
flown in the Sun-n-Fun and Oshkosh air shows.

I am now 65 years old, and a survivor from the original Miami Hanglider Ultralight Club.
 

 

Smooth landings,

Jack French 

 

475 Miles from Zapata!

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World Open Distance Hang Gliding Record

 

On July 3, 2012, the hang gliding world all but stopped its earthly pursuits to tune in to perhaps the most exciting live action event in its modern history. We tried to look busy, pretending to ignore the vibrating phones in our pockets as the incoming Tweets, posts and e-mails threatened to reveal where our minds were focusing. 

 

Jonny Durand Jr (Australia) and Dustin Martin (U.S.) are two of the world's great hang glider pilots. Friends as well as peers, Jonny and Dustin turn up very often on the winners' stand. Both pilots came to Zapata, Texas, in July '12 to seek record flights.

 

 

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  Stalking the 1,000 mile barrier for (sailplane) free distance in the U.S.   Photo by Gary Osoba  

 

The World Record Encampment (WRE) began in '00 as the brainchild of organizer Gary Osoba. Gary's Pliable Moose hang glider company was among the many early pioneering efforts in hang gliding design and manufacture, and his accomplishments in soaring technology and technique are well known. 

 

Searching for locations where terrain, airspace and weather conditions are favorable for soaring distance record flights, Gary noticed the "Bermuda high" pressure often sets up over the Gulf of Mexico in summer, and sometimes stays there for months. 

 

Often the western side of this high produces consistent northerly flow up the west side of Texas and on up into the hot dry alluvial plains north of the Rio Grande. Moisture from the Gulf brings cumulus clouds, which may form "streets" and set up early in the day, enabling early takeoffs by pointing the way to the weak early lift.

 

 

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Rotax Discontinues 503 and 447 2-Stroke Engines

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Rotax Discontinues 503 and 447 2Stroke Engines

If you’re in the market for a 2-stroke Rotax engine, you may have only one choice: the 65-hp 582 model. Bombardier Rotax has sold out of the 50-hp 503 and 40-hp 447 2-stroke models, and has no plans to manufacture more.

      According to Jessie, one of California Power Systems parts managers, Rotax will continue to manufacture parts for the 503 and 447 engines. “They have to make parts for at least 10 years,” says Jessie.

      Why did Rotax discontinue the 503 and 447?

      “Rotax stopped producing the 447 and 503 because the molds for the engines needed to be redone,” explains Canadian Rotax distributor Dave Loveman. “Before spending the resources necessary to do that, they asked dealers/distributors to give a projection of sales they expected moving forward, so that [Rotax] could justify the cost.

      “The feedback was that sales for those engines did not justify the cost,” Loveman continues. “Rotax at the time had ample supply of engines in stock and on hand at the dealer level to last 2 or 3 years. In the past, the 447 and 503 were also being used in the snowmobile industry. They have been now replaced with newer models, leaving the aviation industry as the only industry still using the 447 and 503.”

      If you need service or aftermarket parts for your 2-stroke Rotax engine, or if you’re looking for a Rotax 503 or 447 2-stroke engine, contact one of the following U.S. distributors:

      • California Power Systems, phone: 510.357.2403 (California)

      • Leading Edge Air Foils, phone: 800.532.3462 (Colorado)

       • Lockwood Aviation Supply, phone: 863.655.5100 (Florida)
 


 

 

The Smoke That Thunders: Flying Victoria Falls

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Know what it's like to be bitten by the flying bug? You're continually looking upward, searching the wind direction, deciphering clouds, sizing mountains, and wondering what it would be like to fly and soar freely above and beyond.

The bug has bitten Mark Becker a little harder, for he has flown the wide-open spaces of Africa and there he always yearns to return, wanting to go just a little farther and discover what lies around the next bend.

With two of his buddies who have also succumbed to the flying bug, Tjeerd Beens, Mark Wegener and Becker planned to fly and film an adventure they called Flying the Falls. Tjeerd in his Rotax 503-powered Solo Wings Windlass and Becker in his Aviate Raptor powered by a Rotax 582 would fly from the Etosha Pan in Namibia, Southwest Africa, through Namibia's Caprivi Strip to Victoria Falls, located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, while Wegener followed as ground support...

Details of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure can be found in the May '08 issue of Light Sport and Ultralight Flying magazine.

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