An ultralight trike is a type of powered hang glider where flight control is by weight-shift. These aircraft have a fabric flex-wing from which is suspended a tricycle fuselage pod driven by a pusher propeller. The pod accommodates either a solo pilot, or a pilot and a single passenger.
Flying trikes is the closest thing to bird-like flight man has yet achieved. At least, for the thrill-seeking and brave.
For some ground huggers, however, there’s that nagging gravity issue the tendency of things to fall to Earth with a splat. Not to worry. These aren’t slapdash contraptions taped or glued together with spare materials in someone’s garage. Rather, they’re expertly designed and assembled, and incorporate the latest high-strength fabric, aviation-grade aluminum tubing and high-performance engines.
Sport trike aircraft are known for the ability to fly low and slow, to see the earth from a different point of view while others are designed to fly high and fast. The trike’s typical cruise speed can range from slow at 30 mph to 80 mph and typically operate at heights between 300 and 3,000 feet. But you can ground skim just a few feet off the ground (a popular maneuver of Papa Whiskey), in cooperation with our legendary beach bikini-runs and real-estate reconnoiters.
P. Whiskey compares being suspended from the wing of a trike to sitting in the swing ride at the fair. In turbulent air you move like a pendulum, as opposed to being rocked and jarred around like in a fixed-wing airplane. And the seat is not enclosed, connecting the pilot with the experience of flying in a direct way that most conventional aircraft can’t match.
Here at Hang Glide USA we are swollen with pride to publish our 100% safety record! In the sky, Papa Whiskey’s piloting expertise is undoubtedly evident. He finesses his ersatz bird through skittish air currents by moving the control bar in front of him and by shifting his weight. There’s no rudder, elevator or ailerons as in other aircraft.
Simply put, Papa Whiskey’s movements are poetry in motion.
Like so, there’s one thing about flying a trike: All senses come alive in the open cockpit. The fields below don’t just look green; they reek of alfalfa. And exposed skin serves as a gauge of air temperature, which can change radically from one moment to the next depending on altitude and other factors. Your body embraces every element of heavens’ dreamland-blues.
So throw down the gauntlet and come motorcycle the skies with us!