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Moody, ‘Father of Ultralights’ to Fly at Oshkosh Fun Fly Zone

  • Moody, ‘Father of Ultralights’
    John Moody pictured with his American Aerolights Eagle earlier this year at Sun ’n Fun.
  • Moody, ‘Father of Ultralights’
    John Moody flies his weight-shift Easy Riser at the Paradise City runway in Lakeland.

July 8, 2015 - John K. Moody, widely considered the father of the ultralight movement, will be at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 to help commemorate 40 years since his first flights in the Icarus II powered hang glider in 1975. It’s just one of the great attractions this year for the ultralights area at EAA AirVenture – the Fun Fly Zone – located at the far south end of the flightline at Wittman Regional Airport.

Moody, a charter member of the EAA Ultralight Hall of Fame, will be featured in the Wednesday night air show flying his weight-shift Easy Riser straight and level over Runway 18/36. He will also fly an Easy Riser and American Aerolights Eagle during the morning and evening flying periods on the ultralight area’s grass strip. On Saturday, July 25, Moody will reflect on 40 years of ultralights at his presentation in the Ultralight Forum Tent beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The Fun Fly Zone is truly descriptive of what this type of aviation is all about. The area is EAA AirVenture home to not only ultralights, but also light planes, rotorcraft, light-sport aircraft, powered parachutes, electric-powered aircraft, weight-shift trikes, and hot air balloons. Daily flying from the grass runway allows spectators great opportunities to observe these fun flying vehicles up close.

Another unique vehicle expected to appear in the Fun Fly Zone this year is Lee Fischer’s scratch-built 23 bis Demoiselle – an ultralight he designed and fashioned after aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont’s Demoiselle. Fischer’s 23 bis incorporates many innovations and unique features that enable it to look period-correct while using modern construction materials. It flew for the first time in June.

The Fun Fly Zone ultralight runway is where you can get up close to the many daily aircraft operations, including morning and evening ultralight flying, homebuilt rotorcraft flights, as well as scheduled special flight activities. The Valdez STOL demonstration flights return this year, scheduled for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22, and Friday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m.

Early Saturday morning will be a flurry of activity at the Fun Fly Zone as a balloon launch takes place at 6 a.m. Then EAA AirVenture's Runway 5K run starts and ends its 3.1 mile trek through the convention grounds in ultralights, transforming it into the Fun Run Zone.

The Fun Fly Zone commercial exhibits are ramping up for a busy year, with an increase of more than 20 percent over last year. Visitors can also learn more about fun flying at numerous hands-on forums and workshops in the tents next to the Ultralight Barn.

The Barn will continue to serve as Fun Fly Zone headquarters where members can register to camp, shop for EAA AirVenture ultralight merchandise, obtain technical information, and other services.


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