Thursday, April 5, 2012

John K Moody: Father of Ultralights

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One of the most enjoyable experiences at Sun N Fun 2012 was sharing some time with John K Moody, "the Father of Ultralights".

We talked for a while about all kinds of things:  what day he made his first powered flight; how an article in Popular Science propelled him to fame; how he started to sell them; how he made money in ultralights; how the old 20/20 news piece destroyed (unfairly) the ultralight industry... Now he is pleased to attend Sun N Fun and exhibit a trio of old ultralights, including an "Easy Riser".  It weighs only 120 pounds and flies beautifully on a Hirth engine of around 13 horsepower.

The Easy Riser used weight shift for pitch (climb/descend) control, and had a 'rudder' on each wingtip, controlled by a twist handle for each wrist.  The throttle for this bird had a mouth (YES, mouth!) mounted kill switch.  So if you wanted to kill the engine, just bite down.  John says he got shocked by this arrangement.

I took a bunch of photos of this amazing early ultralight.  Later in the day, John came by our booth and looked at a Belite ultralight aircraft.  Here's photos of the ultralight aircraft 'Easy Riser', built by John K Moody:

Easy Riser Ultralight Aircraft

Easy Riser Ultralight Aircraft

Easy Riser Ultralight Aircraft

Easy Riser Ultralight Aircraft

Easy Riser Ultralight Airplane

Easy Riser Ultralight Airplane

John K Moody, Father of Ultralights, with James Wiebe

Easy Riser Ultralight Airplane

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