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About Mike Burns,

Click thumbnail=> Photo:April 1963

Flex-Wing Hang Glider Gold Air Awardee

As best we know, so far:

Skiplane. Aerostructures.
Pioneer in Australia for kite glider hang glider

Hang Glider Society__ MBHGS 
(our fun way of encouraging others to send data about the Skiplane history)

We hope to one day publish a robust story on Skiplane, Aerostructures, Mike Burns, and all things related to the Skiplane.

  • "The picture I saw of the Ryan Flex-wing and used to produce my first Rogallo
    type glider (New Horizon Book of Flying ) published in 1963." Tony Prentice.
    • The existence of the image in a "published in 1963" book meant that the image was probably around before.  Indeed it was around for a good while before
  • What images and reports did Mike Burns. In Sky Sports (ref)  it is evident that he used NASA materials. What images, reports, and conversations did he have concerning the NASA materials.?
  • Mike Burns' education?
  • What are all the media coverage of the SkiPlane in Australia?
  • Maiden flight of the SkiPlane?
  • Plans for the SkiPlane?
  • Advertisements for the SkiPlane?
  • What days did the the SkiPlane fly? Dates and places?
  • Did Bill Moyes ever see the SkiPlane in image or flying?
  • Did Bill Bennett ever see the SkiPlane in image or flying?
  • How often did the SkiPlane enter a gliding mode?
The SkiPlane was a true kite-glider with hung pilot-payload: hang glider purposed for over-water towing, gliding when needed, and water pontooned landing.  A triangle control frame was used. Weight-shifting pilot-payload mass occurred to direct control of the flights.

Strangely, I have a sense of relief about the WHGA decision and action. Finally all of the participants can sit back and enjoy the role they each have. played. What a fantastic outcome when you look at the sport in 2013. But, remember, John Dickenson directed his solicitor to act against Aerostructures and Bill McLaughlan (the first owner) claiming theft of patent rights. That was 1964. So for me it has gone on for a long time.       ~Mike Burns

Mike Burns and Dick Swinbourne were partners in Aerostrutures until shortly after the prototype Skiplane was delivered to Bill.  Dick left to become a career pilot with QANTAS and I carried on the Skiplane and Skiwing work on my own.  That was a very small part of our overall aircraft engineering work.