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For centuries one of Humankind's greatest dreams has been to fly like the birds. To soar freely in space without the restrictions of gravity and to go wherever one's heart desires without having to navigate a pre-chosen path… Freedom in all three dimensions.

Many attempts were made to achieve this worthy goal, often with fatal consequences, but still the great Pioneer's of (Human) Flight continued to observe the birds and try to duplicate their God-given gifts. At the end of the 19th Century one of the great 'Fathers of Flight', Otto Lilienthal, achieved success with his wood and fabric gliders. He was the first to successfully carry out hundreds of controlled flights off a small hill and record his findings. However, he could not flap his wings like a bird and climb to greater heights. He had to be satisfied with a continual downward glide slope until Gravity had him once again firmly in its clutches.

It was only in the 20th Century that the Wright brothers finally achieved the dream of sustained and controlled flight, 'freedom from gravity', with the use of the internal combustion engine. However, there was still much refinement necessary for true ease-of-movement through the air.

Powered flight continued to progress and came to incorporate many of the technological developments of the new century. Interestingly, at the same time that powered flight was being developed, non-powered flight development continued from where Lilienthal had left off. This led to the birth of the modern 'Hang Glider' in the 1960's, which now placed flying well within the reach of every person with the desire. Here the pilot hung from a pivotal point under a delta-shaped wing and used his/her own body weight to maneuver the glider in flight - simple and practical. These gliders became lighter and stronger as new materials technology became available and it was only to be a matter of time before someone thought of adding a power/thrust supply to this beautifully simple soaring aircraft. And so the 'trike' microlight was born.

Tricycle undercarriages were experimentally hung from hang glider wings with small engines supplying power. These craft were found to be extremely maneuverable and incredibly enjoyable to fly, and this together with the very simple yet amazingly robust construction, made these 'trikes' very attractive to those passionate about flight - as well as being affordable.

And so, while those who followed the path of the Wright brothers now sat 30,000 feet above the Earth in monstrous 'flying control rooms' with countless systems to operate and monitor, the Lilienthal stream of flyers were having a different experience altogether. They now flew like birds in their trikes, above green fields and between high mountains, with the sunset in the background and the smell of fresh air all around them. They waved down at the casual spectators on the ground that they could see clearly below them as they flew by. They saw the people on the ground look up and wave back and they felt the longing of the gravity-bound folk to join them in the skies above. They recognized the yearning looks in the eyes of the people below. Most of them would feel the strong urge to fly, but would let it pass. Some of them, however, would never be able to forget the feeling they had when they saw these little craft fly by, and would go to great lengths to join these 'riders of the skies' and to chase the horizon over the hills.

As we enter the 21th Century the Aerotrike is now at a high point in its technological development. The wing is no longer a converted hang glider wing, but rather a super-engineered, super-efficient product of years of aerodynamic advancement in the field. The 'trike' undercarriage unit is as strong as ever, being able to carry a passenger, supplies and extra fuel for long-endurance expeditions into untamed territories. The power unit is specially designed and developed for the purpose and incorporates 100 years of aircraft power experience. Since all of the necessary advancements have been accomplished to allow safe flight to be undertaken, it is now the creature comforts and conveniences of the pilot and passenger as they wing the skies that rest in the minds of the Aerotrike designers. Every possible feature that can make the flyers more at ease in the air is provided. The idea behind the Aerotrike is that nothing impedes the pilot's experience of the ultimate sensation on Earth… FREEDOM!

 

Otto Lilienthal 

Progess... 

Progress?? 

...progress... 

Wright brothers early 'flying kites' 

The Wright Flyer - Powered Flight! 

The Birth of the Hang Glider 

The Aerotrike - 100 years of development since Lilienthal! 

 

 

 

Aerotrike History

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