The Wills Wing Easy Flyer

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Under development at Wills Wing (USA) since January of this year, the EASY FLYER is a light-weight tricycle gear frame mated to a hang glider, with the pilot suspended from the glider in a seated / supine harness. Unlike a conventional “trike” configuration, the Easy Flyer carriage is fixed to the glider, and the pilot swings fore and aft and side to side above the carriage for pitch and roll control. As a result of this configuration, launching is greatly simplified, as the wings level attitude of the glider, and the proper pitch attitude and angle of attack for launch and landing are fixed by the attachment of the glider to the carriage.

Rolling launches from a slope, or from level ground with an aero tow assist, are almost trivially easy, with no need to lift and balance the glider, and no need to run. Landings are equally easy – just round out after approach, let the glider go to trim, and allow it to touch down and roll out on the wheels. In the air, soaring performance is excellent, and control requires less effort, and is more intuitive than when flying prone; control forces are lighter and, unlike when flying prone, there is no need to control any tendency of the pilot’s body to yaw. The flying position is very comfortable, with no strain on the neck or back.

The first pre-production units will be going out to a few select flight schools over the next few months. Production units should be available for sale by early in 2018.

 

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More Pictures

Ken Howells demonstrates no-hands while test flying the Easy Flyer
Ken Howells looking for thermals wile test flying the Easy Flyer
Mike Meier lands the Easy Flyer at Andy Jackson Airpark
Mike Meier launches the Easy Flyer from the training hill at Andy Jackson Airpark
The Easy Flyer
Malcolm Jones preparing to land Easy Flyer
Steve Pearson aero-towing the Easy Flyer version 0.1 for the first flight
Malcolm Jones aero-towing the Easy Flyer

FAQ

Not at this time. The Easy Flyer will only work with Falcon 4 195s and Alpha 210s that have been configured for the Easy Flyer carriage. The configuration changes include different downtubes, front-rear and side wires, and a modified keel. In the future it may be possible to adapt the concept to work with other models but that is not a project we have in the road map at this time.

Not at this time. In its current form, the Easy Flyer will only ship with a new, specially configured Alpha 210 or Falcon 4 195.

The first pre-production models will ship to select school starting in September. After those ship we will develop a version for recreational pilots that we hope to release in early 2018.

Yes, the harness is part of the package.

Not without some level of modification. Any harness with back or butt padding will interfere with the Easy Flyer carriage structure.

We have not yet assigned pricing.

The current pre-production version adds 30 lbs to the stock glider.

The additional weight has a minimal effect on the flight characteristics. In general, a glider with 30 lbs. additional payload will be slightly more damped and stable feeling inflight with a roughly 1 mph higher stall speed.

Not at this time. We are concerned about potential interference between the front of the carriage and the tow line. We intend to evaluate scooter towing and hopefully to address this issue.