The History of the Huntwing
The original Huntwing was developed in the early 1980's and gained a permit to Fly on Type acceptance in the mid 1980's. During the late 1980's a number of developments took place which enabled it to remain competitive with the commercial Trikes of the time. Originally sporting a 440 Robin engine this aircraft G-MMGT flew the length and breadth of the UK and participated in the 1988 Great Microlight Rally. In 4 days the aircraft flew over 1200 miles but was eventually stopped only 80 mile short of the finish by a cracked engine mounting bolt. Changes to the design were made which allowed this combination to continue flying for many more hours and this included its first trip across the English Channel, non radio, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Bleriot's first crossing. In late 1989 the engine was replaced with a Rotax 462 which allowed at least a 10 miles per hour cruise increase with better fuel consumption.
Development continued with slight changes to the sail and airframe and in 1992 a decision was made to build a new Huntwing which would then be the first Microlight to be Type approved via the newly obtained authority of the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA).
Being the first, and still the only trike, to have used this route meant that there was a steep learning curve for all. In Britain, if an aircraft is homebuilt and therefore the builder hopes to fly the machine, it is considered acceptable to proof load, rather than ultimate ( to possible destruction. This is the same for both PFA built aircraft and BMAA. The airframe was therefore proof loaded to 4g positive and 2g negative as well as all the required other tests, such as of fuel systems, engine torque, side loads seat belts etc. Following all these exhaustive tests and numerous calculations, a permit to test fly was issued. Finally after many weeks of test flying the full permit was issued against a Microlight Aircraft Airworthiness Notice (MAAN), thus reaching Type Approval to Section S (The British standard and a standard accepted by many other countries).
This original Type approved aircraft was sold to a Pilot in Northern Ireland and has clocked up several hundred hours. Numerous improvements and refinements had been made to the Huntwing during this period and the original G-MMGT, was then rebuilt to the new standards. The sail was professionally resculptured removing the few creases in the original and additional battens were added to hold the shape more accurately. The original double surface tips were also removed which allowed the wing to be more easily tuned straight and level without affecting the speed. A further advantage of this was improved roll control. A larger fin was also added to ensure that there was good directional stability at even the highest speeds. G-MMGT competed in a further 5 Round Britain rallies and in 1993 came second having lead the field right upto the last day. It flew in extremely poor flying conditions, extreme turbulence and lashing rain on all of these rallies and has proved to be extremely competitive. In 1991 we once again celebrated Bleriot's crossing of the channel by flying from Bristol down to Dover and then across to Calais returning the following day. This time we had a radio.
In 1994 G_MMGT became the second microlight to take off from Heathrow Airport in a mass celebration of the first fee paying passenger flight some 75 years before. Despite appalling conditions, which saw the better of many other machines, all commercially produced, 2 days later we landed at Le Bourget Paris and returned in 2 days to London.
In 1995 G_MMGT flew from Hereford to Madrid (Spain) and back complete with Pilot and co-pilot, Camping equipment for 2, 2 stroke for the Journey, 2 still cameras, Video camera, about 5 Kilo's of Maps/books/etc. and about 5 Kilo's of tools. Fuel consumption for this 2400 mile trip averaged 11.8 litres per hr at an average speed of 58 MPH. We crossed the Pyranees easily at a height of 8500ft in good conditions on the way out but had to return above cloud and in drizzle. On the last leg in the UK we took off in a force 7 - 8 gale from Headcorn Kent and circumnavigated London at speed averaging 90 mph and occasionally reaching 122mph.
In 1996 G-MMGT flew, with the same load, to the RSA rally at Epinal, France, which is just before the Swiss border. G-MMGT has clocked up approx. 700 hrs and continues to give good service.
1997 saw a trip to firstly the Scilly isles and back followed by a trip to the Blois ultralight rally in the Loire valley.
Already this year G-MMGT has been flown to France, escorting Brian Milton and Keith Reynolds on the first stage of their epic"Around the World in 80 days" flight.
Due to constant refurbishment and upgrading she still retains an almost new look and has managed to retain a modern look by having a variety of different pods and trims over the years.
Since 1993 a package has been available which allows the Homebuilder to construct a Homebuilt Flexwing microlight. This package consists of a series of computer drawn plans, 100 pages+, a computerised parts list (100 pages), a series of construction details,suggested suppliers, Batten profile and an Owners manual to Section S standards.