Brian Milton is another of our well known hang gliding characters. There would not be many of the early flyers who did not know his name or of the part he played in organising and pushing for the formation of a British Hang Glider League. He went on to also win a couple of America’s cups, (or was it three) and along with Ken Messenger attempted to cross the English Channel after a balloon drop, later he successfully flew one of David Cooks Shadows the ‘Dalgety Flyer’ to Australia. Upon its arrival it went on display at the Brisbane Expo exhibition.
I was lucky to be living in Brisbane at the time and visited the ‘Dalgety Flyer’ on many occasion and felt quite proud to have a connection with the microlight. Before leaving England for a new life in New Zealand, I had helped David Cook produce the first 5 Shadows. Every time I revisited the ‘Dalgety Flyer’ it was always surround by large crowds. I felt like telling every one of them that I had helped built the first 5 Shadows, but kept my mouth shut because nobody would have believed me.
Not content to sit on his laurels, a couple of years later Brian was on the move once again, only this time he flew around the world, and in his spare time managed to write a couple of books.
What follows is a selection of chapters from a book Brian was writing, called "The Children Of The Wind", but for some unknown reason he left it sitting on the shelf. In order that I’m not accused of copying other peoples work, because we do cover some of the same facts. I think it’s only right that instead of taking a section here and a section there it should be left complete. Therefore I’ve decided to print the whole article in its original form. Some of the information is the same as I have already added elsewhere in what I call diary form, just dated events. However, Brian has approached it from a complete different angle, as it’s his personal trip down memory lane.
The first is the Introduction to the book, followed by chapter 1 and covers Brian's close friendship with Alvin Russell. Chapter 4 covers the arrival of the hang glider in the UK, while the Chapter 7 covers what Brian describes as the early competition years. The filth article is taken from the last chapter on the future of what Brian calls the New Aviation, its more along the lines of a discussion as to whether its possible to have sex in a hang glider.
He has given me full permission to use this material, but he still owns the copyright. Thanks Brian and to the visitor I hope you enjoy the read. I think Brian has captured those early years perfectly. If you like the poetry there is a whole section on this web site devoted to it, and especially Bob McKay.
For more information on Brian CLICK HERE to visit his web site.