Defying Newton

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Defying Newton

This page documents powered ultralight (and similar) operations at Newton Peveril in Dorset, England.

Power lines

Climb out under power

Climbing out with Gary D as nose gunner in 2002

Gary D and I flew from Newton Peveril to Kimmeridge, where we had a cafe breakfast before heading back. By the time we returned to the airfield, thermal turbulence was too strong to get down on the narrow grass strip, so we landed in a plowed field a mile away.

Powered ultralight pilots at Newton Peveril, Dorset, England, in 2000

Gathering of eagles at Newton Peveril in 2002

Photo of a flexwing powered ultralight taking off


Gary D lifts off with ‘ZZ’ navigating in a Pegasus Quasar. The power lines across the threshold have been rerouted underground since I took this photo in 2007.

Endless summer

The high atmospheric pressure over southern England in the summer of 2018 caused a heat wave with turbulence (according to pilot reports) but, in the calmer evenings, it was good for powered ultralights and similarly lightweight aircraft.

Former ladies' hang gliding champion Pam S about to take off

Former ladies’ hang gliding champion Pam S about to take off

Powered ultralight at Newton Peveril in August 2018

Simon G, a hang glider pilot from the early days, at Newton Peveril in August 2018

Former ladies' hang gliding champion Pam S taking off

Pam lifts off

Rigging a flex-wing powered ultralight

Rigging a flex-wing powered ultralight

Simon G taxying

Simon G taxiing a Kitfox

Simon’s take-off run was so short and his angle of climb so steep, I was unable to follow it with the camera quickly enough to obtain a photo.

Flex-wing powered ultralight about to touch down

Chris S about to touch down in a power trike he built

As Chris’ expression indicates, he did not like the handling of this craft!

People next to a flexwing powered ultralight at sunset

Flexwing powered ultralight at sunset

The tall fellow in the helmet, Sam S, flew this aircraft next. The guy shading his eyes is hang glider pilot Gary D, who flew it after Sam. Gary had a surprise waiting for him.

Flexwing powered ultralight in flight

Sam over the field

CFM Shadow on final approach at Newton Peveril

CFM Shadow on final approach

The CFM Shadow, created by former jet bomber pilot David Cook, is based on the VJ-23, a 3-axis controlled hang glider designed in the 1970s by Volmer Jensen of California.

Gary D’s take-off and initial climb out were uneventful, then the engine stopped. The fields ahead were high in crop, so he brought it around for a ‘dead stick’ landing down-wind on the strip from where he had taken off less than a minute earlier.

Pilot applying weight shift correction for turbulence on engine-out approach down-wind

Weight shift correction

Flex-wing powered ultralight touches down for engine-out landing


No step

Painting NO STEP markings on the glass fiber floor of a powered ultralight trike

Painting NO STEP markings on the glass fiber floor of Gary’s trike

Every time I climb in to Gary’s (or anyone else’s) power trike, I hear “Don’t step on the fibreglass floor,” or similar. It is merely a streamlined cocoon and not strong enough to stand on. I obtained inexpensive cardboard stencils via eBay and, with the addition of sellotape and acrylic paint, I painted NO STEP markings on the floor in August 2018.

NO STEP paint masks in use

Partly painted NO STEP floor markings

NO STEP floor markings on a powered ultralight trike

NO STEP floor markings before going around the edges with black paint

NO STEP markings inside fiberglass fairing of powered ultralight trike

Finished NO STEP floor markings

Internal links

Defying Newton 2, more powered ultralight operations at Newton Peveril in Dorset, England

Three-sixty degree appraisal (my flying 1976) including a photo of Chris S flying an early hang glider

Power section of my page about the British hang glider manufacturer Skyhook Sailwings

External link

Sticks and rudders in Hang gliding before 1973 on Hang Gliding History for images of the VJ-23