January. The #72 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
January. The BMAA published 'Flight Line' #7.
The formation of the Joint Service Hang Gliding Centre was established shortly after the Army Hang Gliding Center was formed in 1981. It was situated in Sennybridge near Breacon in Wales and was opened thanks to the hard work of Jim Taggart who was an active hang glider pilot and felt passionate about his sport. He lobbied hard for the official recognition within the services and this did not go unrecognised. Jim was awarded the MBE in 1983. This new service facility has been the backbone of the Royal Navy Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association allowing thousands of people to experience hang gliding and paragliding as part of their adventurous training.
February. The #73 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
The February edition of the 'Wings' magazine also included a glider price list from Mainair Sports Ltd, run by John Hudson.
Southdown Sailwings brought out the 'Sigma Floater' which was an open cross boom design glider, this was different from its first 'Sigma' which used a bowsprit design. This type of glider was more appealing to novice or intermediate pilots for use in coastal flying. The rigging was straightforward but it flew slower than the 'Sigma' and sold for £937.00.
March. The #74 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
March. The BMAA published 'Flight Line' #8.
7th - 8th March. The BHGA held its 1981 AGM at Warwick University near Coventry, hosted by the 'Mercian Hang Gliding Club'.
April. The #75 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
Flexi-Form Skysails brought out the 'Sea-Lander'. Rather than follow the 'Comet' clone route, Flexi-Form had chosen to produce a cross-boomless machine with a distinctive bird-tail shape. It was claimed to be 14 lbs lighter than a 'Typhoon', more stable at speed than a 'Demon' and quicker to rig than a 'Lightning'. Flexi-Form also believed that the sink rate and handling outclassed all other competitors.
May. The #76 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
May. The BMAA published 'Flight Line' #9.
2nd - 9th May. The Shanklin Festival and a National Hang Gliding Rally was held on the Isle of White, during the Bank Holiday weekend. It included both Hang Gliders and Microlights, as well as other aircraft demonstrations. The official program.
May. Mainair Sports released its latest glider price list.
May. The 'Scottish Hang Gliding Association' was no more, but from the ashes the 'Scottish Hang Gliding Federation' was born.
May. The BHGA published its Instructors Handbook #4. Written for the BHGA by Anne Welch and Bob Harrison the BHGA Training Officer. The drawings were by Bill Lehan and the text was read by Derek Bond.
Gold Marque Sports from Yorkshire, another new company appeared on the market by bringing out a double surfaced glider and calling it the 'Marauder'. The tips floated up under load making for easy landings, and by clever sail making were cupped to exhaust the high pressure air behind and downwards to delay the tip vortices which normally occur inboard of the tips, so cutting down the effective span. The machine had no vertical keel pocket, but rather a horizontal one which allowed the keel sideways movement at the rear. A vertical surface behind the centre of pressure was provided by a fin which is attached between the king post and the back-stay wire. It had a sail area of 175 sq-ft, and a 98% double surface with a nose angle 128º.
June. The #77 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
July. The Southern Hang Gliding Club published its Windsock newsletter.
July. The BMAA published 'Flight Line' #10.
July. Hiway Hang Gliders published their latest price list.
July. The #78 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
August. The #79 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
Ultra Sports Ltd released their latest price List.
Don Liddards licence and badge memorabilia collection.
31st August. John Dunker became Britain's first ten grand flyer. With a soaring flight that took him to nearly two miles high (10,400ft asi) while flying a Hiway 'Demon' at Wether Fell. During the flight he made a height gain of 8,500 feet, not bad for a 19 stone guy.
September. The #80 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
September The BMAA published 'Flight Line' #11.
October. The #81 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
31st October. Anne Welch had an article published in the 'Flight International' magazine reporting on the 3rd World Hang Gliding Championship, that was held in Beppu Japan. Graham Slater came 3rd in the new open class, while Britain came 1st in the
new Class I team prize.
November. The #82 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
4th November. The Royal Air Force recognise hang gliding as a sport.
David Giles died from injuries received from an accident.
December. The #83 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
November. The BMAA published 'Flight Line' #12.
December. Johnny Carr won the 1981 Alvin Russell Trophy
There are many flyers and pioneers who have been left out of this article, mainly because I do not have details of them or their achievements, people like Reggie Spooner who made it possible to get insurance cover, especially when Trikes were being developed. Rick Wilson who went on to run the Records Verification Department of the BHGA and the FAI. In fact it was Rick who helped me establish my Microlight record that I’m told still stands today because the definition of the category and its weight changed. Miles Handley, Bob Calvet, Bob Bailey, Graham Slater John Hudson, Ashley Doubtfire, Mike Atkinson, Frank Taryjanyi, Chris Johnson, Mark Southall, Tony Fuell, Tony Beresford, Graham Hobson, etc etc etc the list goes on and only stops when my memory starts to seized up. It would be nice if some of you who were there could help jog my memory by sending in any information you have stashed away of those first ten years that many of us enjoyed. And to those of you who are new flyers to the sport I hope you enjoyed what was turned into a safe sport, and sadly at the expense of several good flyers who pushed the envelope in the name of progress, we must always remember them and of what they achieved.
January. The #84 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
February. The #85 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
March. The #86 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
April. The #87 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
May. The #88 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
June. The #89 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
July. The #90 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
August. The #91 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
September. The #92 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
October. The #93 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
November. The #94 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
December. The #95 Edition of 'Wings' was published.
In June 1983 The BHGA came out with a 2nd revised Pilot 2 examination booklet.
© Copyright Terry Aspinall 2008 All Rights Reserved