Although I do not fly powered aircraft, I have always built plastic models of them and taken an interest in them. Additionally, the early days of modern hang gliding (mid 1970s to late ’70s) gave rise to powered ultralights (known as microlights in Britain because of an existing ultralight category). They were therefore included in the content of the hang gliding magazines of that time, to which I subscribed. That part of this story is linked to by Early powered ultralights under External links later on this page.
When I was undergoing hang glider aerotow training at Villamartin in Spain in 2004, this Cessna O-2 (or possibly it is the civilian version) was undergoing restoration in one of the hangars. The O-2 provided twin engine reliability as a replacement for the smaller O-1 Bird Dog used in the forward air control (FAC) role in Vietnam until the introduction of the purpose-built North American OV-10 Bronco.
For an unusual variation of the Cessna O-2 see Science fiction/fantasy in Other plastic model aircraft.
The Antonov 2 is a transport biplane. It was used by — among others — North Vietnam during their war against the south (and against the USA) in the 1960s and early ’70s. You might wonder what I was doing flying one instead of attending school! This example was at Popham, Hampshire, England, in 2005.
The An-2 is like a seaside blockhouse with five portholes, some random cables and a little conservatory on the roof.
The two-horned, floor-mounted yokes stand on over-strength binnacles, and the instruments are laid out at random like salvage in a museum display.
There’s never been a noise like it.
— from Flight Test: Antonov An-2 by Pat Malone in Pilot magazine, 15 October 2015
Coincidentally, the manufacturer of the hang glider I flew at the time, Aeros of the Ukraine, was originally part of Antonov.
This Ryan (North American) Navion sometimes appears at Newton Peveril, a powered ultralight strip in Dorset, England, in 2018.
Notice that, compared to my 2007 photo, the power lines have been re-routed underground instead of crossing the approach.
For lighter aircraft using this airfield, see Defying Newton, powered ultralight operations at Newton Peveril in Dorset, England.
A ridge too far, my review of the movie The Bridges at Toko-Ri, 1955
Chargus of Buckinghamshire, England, related topics menu containing links to photos of the 1977 powered Midas
Easy riser, my review of the movie Fly Away Home, 1995
Righteous stuff, my review of the movie Toward the Unknown, 1956
Saving Major Tom, my review of the 1967 James Bond movie You Only Live Twice
T minus 15 seconds, guidance is internal—my review of First Man, 2018, starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11
Early powered ultralights in Hang gliding history
Flight Test: Antonov An-2 by Pat Malone in Pilot magazine, 15 October 2015
The following are videos on Dan Johnson’s YouTube channel Light Sport and Ultralight Flyer. Dan provided much hang gliding industry information in the early years, some of which I have drawn on in my hang gliding history pages. These are just a few vintage powered ulralight videos I spotted in the list:
- Easy Riser foot launched part 103 ultralight aircraft, Eric Wallner owner, builder pilot
- Eipper Formance Quicksilver Weight Shift antique ultralight vintage ultralight aircraft
- Kasperwing flying wing, Kasperwing weight shift ultralight aircraft, Witold Kasper
- Pterodactyl Fledgling, Pterodactyl Limited, designed by Jack McCornack
- Ultralight aircraft, John Moody talks to Dan Johnson about the early days of ultralight aviation