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The Millenium Hang Glider.

This amazing hang glider was designed in the early 90's and was decades ahead of the rest. Even to today's standards this wing is a remarkable design achievement. It is essentially a fling wing that controlled by control surfaces yet light enough to still be foot launchable. The glider is controlled by a joystick (see the pic). If you are interested to know more you can contact me at the following email address. wefly@iafrica.com

Recently I have finished the latest video on flying the Millennium. The flight took place some two years ago already but it remains a highlight in my life. Hope you enjoy it with me. :)

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At present I am exploring closing up the cage for drag reduction. At the same time I have been trying to figure a way of manufacturing new wing tip covers. The current ones do not fit that well and I am sure with a bit of art work close to a point in glide can be improved by just cleaning up this area. however, working with composites and manufacturing moulds are proving to be a real challenge to me! :))




Here follows a brief history on how I came about to acquiring one of these amazing flying machines. (The only one in South Africa and one of around 50 that was built - most which are not flying any more).

The journey began with a 3000km drive up into the North West of the country to Rustenburg. Here I handed over a Zee to William and he passed on his beloved Mil. He had become the proud owner of a Electric Swift so the Mil was lying in his garage unused, waiting for a good new home. Somehow she chose me.


At Meirings poort I stumbled into this little honey bird. She was trapped inside a building and of course exhausted from struggling. Would you believe this wild bird allowed me to pick her up and carry her outside. Here I managed to get a pic before she flew off into the wild. I took this as a good omen.


 


 

At home I had to dry and air her - we got some rain during the last part of our trip. Then I had to part for Seychelles for my annual trip of surveys out there (www.wingsandwhalesharks.blogspot.com) so only now on my return have I been able to start the work.


 

My first discovery was a badly broken cable. To remove these cables took some thinking - thanks to Brian Robbins - original designer of the Mil for his advice.

I also found out there are no places in my home town that can replace these wires. I'm waiting for an email from Brian to see if he can supply me with a new set. He is making up a new set of cables for me. (200$! and that is before getting them here! Ai!)


 

Removing the verticals was tricky! Before and after the removal. At the bottom pic you can see the key hole for the wire I had already removed.


 


 


 

Here is the horizontal bar removed with the two right front verticals....


I have managed to get the cage bits back from the powder coaters looking all shiny and new! I have refitted the old wires to re-assemble the plane for some other work that needs doing. The tip rudders need some TLC so I am busy sourcing the appropriate Carbon Fiber materials - another adventure by itself!

The tip rudders as they are.

And here are the tip rudder rotating mechanisms. I was not happy with these so have made alternative ones.


 


 

These are the new ones. Almost finished! :)


 


 

I have also started sourcing places that can help with the balistic reserve. This has been another adventure. An expensive one I might add too! The cheapest is a replacement for the rocket and repack from the US of 805US$ excluding shipping and VAT etc! At the moment I am looking at a local alternative. Lest see what happens.

Here is a pic of the system.


 

Keep tabs on the project! Visit again or email me :).


 


 


 


 


It is January 2014. I've made some progress with the Mill - she is almost ready for a test flight (or so I wish :) I have managed to get a BRS chute - I went with Second Chantz - an air BRS. The advantage of course being that I do not have to meddle with explosives, something you all know is very frowned upon now days. It was expensive - I got a conversion pack from them for 1400US. For us South Africans it is blood money (hard work!) I have to repack my existing chute into the new second chantz system - up till now it looked untill I noticed it was a bit small for the Millenium frame. So it means I am stuck. I just might use the original BRS system fitted with the air deployment canister. Here is a pick of the new system.


 

I have shown the pic with the actual size of the Mil mounting frame. Its a pity it does not fit seeing as I paid lots of money for it. Maybe Second Chantz will fix it for me... :)  (No they did not - claiming that that was the only templet they have for the Millennium. They seem to not realise the templet they have is for the Swift - not the Millennium) I ended up having to modify the system completely to make it fit. Basically destroyed the whole Second Chantz system - all I am using is the compressed air canister.


As you might  have noted, I managed to sort out most of the problems and have started flying my Millennium. It really is an amazing flying machine that was well ahead of its time. Many have looked at it with the mind to make a copy but every one have given up with the same words. "The Millennium was way ahead of its time. Even today you would be hard beat to get a better version unless you are willing to spend hundreds of thousands on the project. The design is labour intensive and complicated - all in order to make it foldupable..." One and all just marvel at its design and dream...

Me too! :))) (The pic below is of me at Dasklip pass with Mad Mike on the nose...