May 12th

Woopy Can Fly!

By Spencer Forman

One of the top ten most interesting new aircraft seen at the Aero 2010 International Exhibition for General Aviation in Friedrichshafen, Germany, was the Woopy-Fly as reported in a recent edition of e-Hotline. The Swiss inventor Laurent de Kalbermatten has conceived a new inflatable wing design that bridges the functional gap between paragliders and hang gliders. The Woopy first appeared in a version called the Woopy-Jump and is used as a jump extender on ski slopes.

The Woopy-Fly weight-shift wing has a single aluminum and carbon fiber spar which gives strength to the inflated fabric structure. It folds for storage like a paraglider and is initially inflated with a battery-powered fan. Once in flight, the low pressurization is maintained with two small air scoops on the underside of the wing. It is said the wing will maintain its shape even if a hole is punched in the wing.

The Woopy first appeared in a version called the Woopy-Jump and is used as a jump extender on ski slopes. Photos on the Woopy website and this YouTube video show ski jumpers floating across crevices and valleys and skimming down slopes in a manner quickly recognized as flying by any hang glider pilot. The Woopy-Fly wing functions as hang glider or can be flown as a weight-shift ultralight with internal combustion engine or electric power. The 21-square-meter Woopy-Fly has a span of 31 feet and an aspect ratio of 4.5 and weighs 35 pounds. Setup time is said to be 12 minutes, and the wing can be transported in the trunk of a conventional car. The design is revolutionary for ultralights because it has the portability and light weight of a paraglider or powered parachute without the requirement to lay out the canopy on the ground and execute a kiting launch. See more photos of the Woopy in the EAA photo gallery for Aero Friedrichshafen 2010 – Day 2. Light Plane World readers first saw a video of the Woopy ultralight in our March 2010 issue, but we didn’t know what to call it. Later we discovered the inventor said he named it the Woopy because that’s what people say when they fly it.

Mar 30th

WHINER OF THE WEEK AWARD - Daryl Cunningham

By Spencer Forman
It is rare that I ever get any kind of "bad karma" message from site members at Trikepilot Social. Those of you who know me personally have heard me describe that the reason I started this site back in 2001 was because I felt that the Yahoo Groups Ultralight Trikes Forum was being handled very badly by a guy (named Ray) who was not even a Trike Pilot. He was acting as a little Napoleonic dictator,  picking fights with members, and generally acting like a bouncer at a nightclub with a bad-attitude. I promised that I would NEVER be that way, would never put a restriction on joining TP Social, and NEVER charge for people to gain basic access (I do, however, reserve the right to someday retire off the BILLIONS of dollars I receive each year from all of your fabulous donations, of course...)

Well, today we've had a message that just puts a thorn in my foot. I don't know Daryl Cunningham, and maybe he's a good guy. But his email today is the kind of whining and bitching from a newbie that requires me to actually respond in kind.

While I'm sort of embarrassed by losing my usually cucumber cool demeanor, I figured that the best way to re-balance my spirt (and karma) was to come clean and show all of you exactly his email and my response.

I sit here awaiting your judgement or your praise. Either way, I at least know that I've stuck by my own code of conduct.

Anyone who knows Daryl, please convey my sentiments to him, as he has already deleted himself (and presumably his thousands of "business" contacts) from TP Social before I even had a chance to respond.

Namaste'
Spence

HIS MESSAGE TO ME:

DARYL Cunningham has reported content on Trikepilot Social

From:  http://www.trikepilot.com/members/profile/1589

I will be cancelling my membership.
Ever since we signed up for your site ( all of 5 days) we keep getting sex / whore intive messages.
im thinking this site is just a front for a sex sale business.

NO THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ow yeah you suck.... We will tell all our business contacts to avoid this "site".
T& D Smith


MY RESPONSE:

Subject: Sorry about your trouble with spammers on Trikepilot

I received your message, and wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know the reason "why" you have received such messages.

Ten years ago, when I started Trikepilot.com, I vowed to NOT be a big douchebag and try to micro-manage or moderate the life out of Trikepilot.com like others had done on certain yahoo groups.

As such, we allow ANYONE to join TPSocial without having to be PRE APPROVED. As a result, of course there are a few bad-apples who come in and try to blitz the members with crap before we catch them.

SO WHAT....

In 2010, if you are so annoyed by the fact that you received an obvious scam email from a woman, on a site that has 99.99% guys on it... then you need to consider whether the internet in general is for you. Because there is not a single place around that has an active community which doesn't have the same sort of issues.

Rather than making it necessary for me to be the bouncer at the door of Trikepilot.com and keep it from being the kind of clubhouse it has become for nearly 1500 guys around the world, I'd rather let everyone know (When they ask) to simply email me at info@trikepilot.com anytime they get hit by someone who has not been zapped. And then I zap them. Done and Done. No whining, tears, or bitching required.

If you still think that you have a better place to hang out where NIgerian scammers and girls posing as your "best lay" don't exist, then have fun. But otherwise, I personally hope you stick around and enjoy the site like everyone else. I'm sure as heck not going to close the front door to the country club just because you tell me " I suck"....

Also, if your "business contacts" feel the same way as you do, then you can pass along my message. But since I've not received any "business" from them, and the site has always been FREE (yeah, you forgot to mention that...), then I'm not too worried if they don't stick around either.

Now that we've both had a chance to have our tantrums... please chill out and stick around. We'd love for you to stay. Even if you think I SUCK ;-)

Spence

 

Mar 20th

Famous MySQL Developer gets a taste for trike flying with Pete Marsh

By Spencer Forman



I noticed today in Google that this blog post was ranked higher for "Trike Flying" than Trikepilot.com ... kinda strange. So, when I checked in with Mick, my business partner and CTO for WidgetLaboratory, I was reminded that Jeremy is somewhat of a "Top Gun" in the MySQL Database world, and more. Ah.... that explains it! We have another great crossover between the internet world and the flying world. Thanks to Pete Marsh, Jeremy had a great flight.... and spread the word on our sport to a ton of new folks.

Check out the details HERE 
Feb 9th

Who's going to be the first to strap this baby on?

By Spencer Forman

Skydiving Wide Format Helmet Cam

Aaron Gustafson, a Seattle-based artist, has become the first person to ever shoot large format photographs while skydiving. Using a custom large format helmet camera he designed himself, Gustafson made one large format photograph on each jump while traveling at speeds upwards of 130 miles per hour.

The helmet camera is a cube-shaped acrylic and aluminum box that uses a wide angle lens and contains a single large format sheet film sheet.

To see more of his work, you can visit Gustafson’s website.

(via PetaPixel and  PhotographyBLOG)

Jan 14th

Netflix Aviation Origami

By Spencer Forman
Netflix has some great ways to use all those old delivery flaps, including a few that are pilot-oriented!
Glider Airplane
To launch this plane, hold it up high and level and just let it go. It will drift slowly to the ground. If you give it a harder push, it may flip over and come flying back toward you.

   
Step 1:
Fold in half the long way. 
Step 2:
Unfold and lay flat. Fold the corners of one end in toward the center to meet at the middle crease.
   
Step 3:
Fold this triangular part over and back, toward the middle of the paper.
Step 4:
Fold the tip of the triangle back toward the front so it touches the folded edge.
   
Step 5:
Fold one side in toward the middle so the folded edge aligns with the center crease, covering the folded-up tip.

Repeat on the other side.


   
Step 6:
Unfold these creases and fold the sides inward again, so the sides just meet the edges of the folded-back triangle tip.




   
Step 7:
Unfold the sides again, then refold, tucking the edges behind the triangle.


Fold over again and crease firmly. Turn over and repeat this on the other side.


   
Step 8:
Turn over and fold the sides of the wings upward about an inch in from the edge. This is not really a fold so much as it is making a bend or dip in the wing.




   
 
Step 9:
Fold the back corners of the wings up and inward a little bit. The corners should stand up straight.




   
Step 10:
Hold the plane on the underside as shown and keep it level as you release it.



Jan 13th

America’s Cup Trikes

By Spencer Forman

Preparing Alinghi's Americas Cup trikes

AirEscape Intrepid, globe-trotting Chief Pilot, Peter Wilson, sends cryptic news from Valencia, Spain. It seems he is connected with the Alinghi syndicate’s preparations for defending the America’s Cup there.

Here’s his latest dispatch:

All’s going well here albeit a bit cold. 1st flight of the trikes yesterday and no significant hitches. (Well none actually.)

Timing for the test flights and calibration of the Iridium up/download equipment was perfect. Had a gloriously calm day in the midst of snow, wind and rain and sleet and wind………….

Pretty long days up to now, what with assembling the trikes, getting neccessary bits and pieces together … [detail of the CP's after hours escapades deleted for sensitive visitors]

The reality is that it only gets light enough to not have the headlights on at 8:00 in the morning and they’re back on at 4:30 in the afternoon.

I’ll have some pics of Alinghi 5 soon!!!! Now that is a boat and a half. Some 90 feet long and 120 feet or more wide, with a 60+ meter mast!
No expense is being spared here, and word has it that the opposition BMW Oracle is getting scared that they’re not going to have enough time to get ready for the upcoming races … Believe it or not, they are putting a SOLID wing on their trimaran which is bigger than a Boeing 747’s.

Like I said, no expense is being spared.

Jan 4th

Martin Bromage To Australia by Microlight 2010

By Spencer Forman
martin bromage.jpg

Martin Bromage to Fly from The UK to Australia by Microlight 2010

Adventurer Martin Bromage is flying his flexwing microlight 12000 miles from Uk to Australia in aid of Help for Heroes.

He still needs some sponsors
.

Anyone who might know Martin or any sponsors... this would be a great time to introduce A to B ;-)