Sunday, 3 October 2010

Flying Flea

I previously posted an inspiring historical video of the diminutive little aeroplane, "Pou de Ciel".

Henri Mignet for a while achieved an almost romantic dream of providing access to the sky to any person with some practical skills and only a little money.
To achieve this he felt that the aircraft should be flown instinctively, natural movements that a child might make if they were soaring, climbing and turning in their imagination. Movement and prompts more akin to horse riding than the whole science of flight.
He felt that the pilot should move the stick up or down and left and right in a totally natural and reflex movement and he pretty much achieved this.
Sadly, there was a fatal flaw as you would expect with many pioneer ventures, although the flaw was addressed the damage to the aircraft's reputation was done.
Further than this I think that Mignet also dismissed the "system". The bureaucratic testing and licence issues were not part of the dream of freedom.
But, I am sure many of us admire his attitude and his dogged skill at achieving the escapism that many might occasionally wish for.
Mignet would borrow a friends Harley Davidson sidecar outfit and tow the folded Flea to a quiet plain far from any distractions, here he would set up his tent and fly as many times as possible, carry out careful modification and make extensive notes and observations,
Observations that were noted in his detailed building notes in the books that he published. Books full of idyllic and florid views of the adventures ahead.

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