Brian’s writings are the best! His photography is fantastic and I look forward to all his Surfin’ Safaris! Brian, keep them coming! He said I could post a couple of pictures but I think I got a bit carried away.
Back In The Day
In ’85 my friend Risto and I were sitting in a local watering hole after a night shift when he told me he was going to buy a hang glider. Well, I have witnessed some bad attempts at hangliding and I am a bit of a motorhead so I said I would get an ultralight.
After a quick search of the junk ads I found a Weedhopper Ultralight that even came with a trailer, prefect!
An interesting toy, the motor was a single cylinder with no magneto, just a car coil and a battery by the seat you connect an alligator clip to for spark. But it always started up and never quit on me.
Later that week we headed to the desert to try out our new found toys.
We failed miserably at hangliding but the Weedhopper actually flew!
I found this old closeup photo of the Chotia Motor. I didn’t remember it having dual ignition. Just in front of the carb you can see a bolt with rubber under it. The motor flopped back and forth on two of these bolts until running with a bit of torque to hold to one side. Check out the angle of the motor compared to the level main shaft and wings. From the color, this is the mahogany prop I carved while waiting for a new one to come by mail. I had enough of the old broken one to get measurements and angles to make one. It turned out to work better than the replacement one I bought for it.
I spent a lot of time out in the desert riding dirt bikes and there are plenty of dry lakes to play on so taking the Weedhopper out to El Mirage or Soggy Dry lake worked out well. One thing about the desert and dry lakes, they are usually windy. So learning to fly the Weedhopper with less than 20 horsepower and no ailerons was a fun time! Since then I have had an Eipper weight shift that quit running whenever it felt like it and lately I have had a Quicksilver MXL and now am flying a Kolb Firefly.
A Quicksilver, too!
A couple years ago I picked up this Quicksilver from a guy in El Dorado, KS.
The one warm day we had here in March, I flew once around New Richmond.
Then getting really brave I ventured to Amery WI. Here I was flying over “Black Brook Flowage” I like the Dam down there!
After landing at Amery, WI, a man in a black Mercedes came out to greet me. After chatting for a while he watched me leave the area.
I flew back to New Richmond Regional. A great first airport to airport trip.
Marlon West – Hastings, MN