Ian Meaden

I am sure that I purchased my Wasp 229 (pre. king post) from the Haynes brothers in late 1972. It came with free flying lessons (very basic. i.e. run at the horizon and it'll fly, if it stops flapping it's stalled so get the nose down and flare about 10 feet from the ground). I met them on Ditchling Beacon to take delivery and a first flight and I think two other new flyers were there too. Another guy tried first off, I'm sure he was a BAC 111 pilot, and after 3 aborted takeoffs he decided it was my turn. I did just as I was told and ran at the horizon and before I knew it I was airborne and it felt very stable and solid. However it soon went all very quiet and I thought oops! no flapping so pulled the nose down, decided I was going too fast so nose up and the flapping soon stopped again so repeat procedure. I don't know what that flight looked like from above but from side on it probably had the profile of a rough sea. I landed in a ploughed field with the furrows running across my flight path, cleared two ridges and went head first on the third. Not the most elegant flight or landing but I walked away.

Being on shift work at the time I flew as often as I could but rarely met other flyers as most flew at weekends and I flew weekdays, my weekends invariably seemed to be bad weather days. I had some fun with that Wasp and had some good flights but never made an impression on the sport.

In 2003 I took my glider to Jason at the British Hang Glider Museum and with it all of my collection of bits. The first 'Flypapers' and I think the first two years of the 'Wings' magazine, the original Wasp brochure, my BHGA membership card and I'm sure the sales receipt from Wasp for the 229.

I'm sure Jason would show you if you would like to see them as he knows where to find them. If you see him give him my regards, I haven't been in the UK for a long time.  

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