2017 ALTIGENERATOR, The powered hang glider system,will reborn with 2 new foot launch harness ant 2 revolutionary trikes. Altigenerator is steel the smallest microlight airplane in the world.
This website is dedicated to all those who have seen my Altigenerator flying over their heads, those who have met me and helped me with formalities in introducing and develop the motorised foot-launch flying unit. But also to those who have passion fo hang gliding who would like to take over and keep this great adventure going.
As a child I was very keen on Jules Verne but it's Henri Mignet, founder of the “insect of the sky” to whom my admiration goes. Anyone could build their aeroplane in the garage with pieces of wood. My parents started hiding all pieces of wood. My dream “which everyone said was real crazy” was to fly over my house with a plane of my imagination.
The first prototype was a sort of bi-turbine very similar to a self-controlled schaphander, except that the air wasn't being started from the top but from the bottom. So in a lying down position, with “this object” in the back, I would be pushed to the front as Batman.
PARIS NOVEMBER 84
To get information about what has been done in aeronautical matters with internet was not yet available. I discovered a real gold mine of information by consulting testimonials, ideas and tests in inventors' reports at the institute INPI. A formula caught my attention and comforted me in my project.
F=m/f. In clear, the required power for an aeronef to maintain its altitude is equal to the mass divided by its fineness – weighting 70 kgs, if I add my wing and an engine of 30 kgs, this makes it 100kgs. A delta wing about 10 in fineness (allowing a 100 metres stretch going from 10 metres). With 10 kgs of push, I'll fly and with 11 I'll take off.
The two-turbine unit often made the police come to my house as my tests were done in the backyard. I had attached the unit on a table and the table to an apple tree. A weighting machine between the table and the apple tree was to give me information on the push obtained. I put the engine on and hid behind the wall. From this safe place, I had control over the accelerator. At the third explosion of the unit, and looking at the parts falling on neighbour's roofs, I knew that their patience was over.
Many other tests gave the same conclusion and I had to admit that the weight was a real concern.
Back to start. Why not fly in an upright position with a simple propeller in the back. At first with the right path the flight went well. Once standing up, why not move my head forward while I could place my feet on the control frame. More so, I had tried all the best free style harnesses. Spending few hours flight in a lying down position in my physical condition was very hard. The cervical were also suffering as well as the head as the helmet had to be kept horizontally.
The first prototype was like a large tennis racquet. The engine in the middle, a canvas-seat in front, a propeller in the back, all that linked to the wing frame.
I went to see my delta friends at Erquy, with my flying racquet and gave them a demonstration of garden cleaning by blowing away the dead leaves of their gardens into the neighbours'.
Unanimously, they all looked at me and said “ Serge, stop your nonsense”.
Nothing doing, as I had already images in my head for the date, time and place for my first take-off. They finally asked, do we call the TV then?
That morning there was a low tide and 3 kms of clear beach ahead of me and hardly any wind. TV had been replaced by 1 camera, but all my friends were present including Bertrand, a doctor.
When slowing down, the vibration of the second hand JPX212, made me see unclear as if my eyeballs were turning as fast as the propeller. With the power full on, comfort slowly took its place and the 12 kg push seemed ridiculous. I was facing the sea, the wing horizontally. The wing being well centred, I have a perfect control. I let go and lower the control. I feel the wing fitting well with its air condition, and feel its weight diminishing progressively. My weight is also lightened, my steps on the ground become lighter, but suddenly I'm 50 cm, then 1 metre above the soil. For security I maintain this height by pulling slightly on the frame and gain in speed. I'm 10 metres high, my feet are resting on the B bar, and the sea is not far. Slowly upwards then take the turnoff on top of the first waves. The water is still, not one turbulence in the air. I would love to continue with this experience, the feeling of freedom with the impression of walking over the water is new to me compared to free style flying.
My friends are all looking at me and I go towards them, I let my wing do the work, I feel that I've won the battle. I'm getting close to them at 20 metres high and I head towards the hill to get back the necessary power.
I must be at two hundred metres when my engine stopped, the 2 litres of fuel running out. Any changes in a trial flight give some apprehension, wondering what's happening next, the nose of the wing lowers slightly but the calmness of free style takes over, without the noise of the engine, I really felt at ease.
The rigid structure of the harness prevents the pilot from being in a diagonal position inside the control frame, which insures a better efficiency of its movements.
Landing is perfectly controlled, stopping 3 metres in front of the camera, feet perfectly in line. The fear that I had of having to run real fast to stop my wing was unfounded, especially with a competition wing. The excellent rigid connection of the harness to the joining axe of the wing gives perfect control for stopping the wing.
Two prototypes were made after that, to lead to what I'm using today, with the solo 210 cc engine from which I've obtained 2m/second when going up . The experience was made easy by living in a holiday town near the sea, and a great opportunity presented itself. My neighbours, at first intrigue by my experimentations, but now reassured, asked me to take aerial photos of their houses and this became a great activity through which I was able to improve my altigenerator.
A series of 20 Structures were built. 17 were sold. L'Altigenerator was presented in most of the aeronautic events from 1987 to 1991. To prove the performance of the system a record of France in this category was registered. The French federation even judged the Altigenerator to figure on the front page its promotional pamphlet.
From 1990 to 2004 my professional occupations made me travel quite extensively. I always had in my luggage an Altigenerator to be able to fly over the new landscape I was discovering.
Then I put my altigenerator on a sail boat and headed for Los Angeles . By sharing the useful to leisure, I was able to realise my second dream : associate the sea and the sky to my everyday life. Anchor the boat at high tide, have all the beaches in the world to take off by the altigenerator and land back next to the boat. Fly high or close over this inaccessible mirror for some men, this is the reality that puts a meaning to my life.
FUTURE AND POTENTIALITY OFALTIGENERATOR
Since 1990 I have had to travel for business purposes and was not able to keep on working on the Altigenerator plan. I did contact some companies to keep going the manufacturing of the Altigenerators but they were too busy in other plans and at that time didn’t really believe in the potentiality of Altigenerator.
Altigenerator cannot be a one man show and needs a team of professionals with skills of businessmen, wing manufacturer, pilots, instructors…
From 2004 I used internet to help people to build their own Altigenerator and sent them plans and advice. By this means many Altigenerators plans have gone all over the world. Several people to whom the plans were sent wanted to make modifications to the original design and they end up with weird kinds of airplanes. Most of them wanted to add wheels while all my energy was to remove the wheels. It is too easy to add things than to look for the necessary minimum to fly free.
My goal has always been to explore the limits of the Altigenerator system to get the right balance.
Some ones were sold with a reductor and a larger propeller. This solution increases the efficiency of the motor and makes it more silent. With a reduction gear we must do more modifications on the wing to use a larger propeller.
In replying to some clients we also did a carenage that make you feel like being in a real airplane with instruments right in front of the pilot’s eyes and feet inside the hull.
-No rear cables
We did also one without a rear cable so the propeller can have a larger diameter. To compensate we added a tube at the front on which we were able to put an ali-variometre.
Two years ago we started building an electric drive unit. The prototype of the electric is almost finish and we will start test flying soon.
To match this, we can imagine a reduced careened electric without a rear cable but we cannot forget that the unit needs to stay light so it must be kept as simple as possible.
To day the paragliding market is slowing down and people are in expectation of a new way for gliders. I think it is really time to restart delta plane market that will correspond to clients’ needs and it’s for us to suggest something really new.
The real solution to clients’ expectations is to temporary power a wing so you avoid the need of collective structures as 4 wheels drive car to get up to take off spot, reserved gliders spot with landing strip and launching boards …
To lightly power a wing gives the option to everyone to fly whenever and wherever they want. It stops the problem that occur when people gather to do the same hobby. Other people are interested the first time they see a man flying over their heads and they become upset where there are ten funny birds in the sky. The foot launch motorised way offers to hang gliders access to thousands of new wonderful flights.
Wing designers I am ready to work with you so would welcome being contacted.
2016 Altigenerator kit is now avalable .