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Chronicles of AEROS Company

Once upon a time, at the Age which is already being forgotten, at the Antonov Construction Bureau there lived a Ultralight Aircraft Department well-known for its never-fading creations: hang gliders Slavutich-UT, Sport-5 and trike T-2. This unique machinery has been created according to "adult" aircraft requirements, therefore people working in the Department were not only enthusiastic but well-educated as well. They were able both to compute endurance of anything and to test a hang glider in CAGI wind-tunnel. It happened so, that in late 80s there started a co-operative trend and ITACO-CENTER co-operative was organised at the Ultralight Aircraft Department. This co-operative started to produce sports hang gliders C-14 and C-15, and the wings were not bad at all, about 150 of them were manufactured, not to speak about sail. Almost all members of USSR hang gliding national team used these hang gliders and after there appeared cracks in the "iron curtain", we attempted to sell these machines to the Western states and even almost completed their certification in Germany.

In 1991 specialists of the Ultralight Aircraft Department organised Limited Liability Association Aeros and starting from November began to manufacture new wings: sports hang glider Stalker-14 and wings for trike Stranger which became Aeros' "business cards" for the few next years.

But one cannot survive producing hang gliders only, so in the very first year of the company's existence its specialists launched hang glider's safety parachute Down, a prototype of which was German canopy PSR. It was also decided to explore other spheres of ultralight aircraft. Fathers of paragliding theme were originally redesigned copy of a hang glider Airwave Black Magic (here called "the Parasol"), which was popular in the West, and the first independent creative work paraglider Zig-Zag. At that time Aeros' staff consisted of not more than a dozen enthusiasts.

In 1992 Stalker-14 proved to be quite successful, i.e. well-marketed, so it was prepared for certification with BHPA (UK). The staff was increased up to 15 employees. Aeros was mostly dealing with management then, not with hang gliders manufacture.

1993. The previous year was not slumbered away and manufacture became more stable over 50 Stalkers were made, and to satisfy demands of not very big pilots a small model Stalker-12 was developed. Dacron and lavsan versions of Stranger were finished. New training hang glider Student-16 was designed and built. First representatives of the company Aeros appeared abroad in the UK and in Spain.

1994. Anniversary Stalker-14 No.100 was made (dispatched to England). Model Stalker-12 was granted BHPA. But what about paragliders?

As the company had little own experience in paragliders' manufacture, a decision was taken to start production of designs of a famous company : Starlite, Astra, Supra. These models were not the newest ones, but they fit in excellently for the CIS market. All-in-all over 80 paragliders were made, experience was acquired and production was organised. At this stage a framework decision was taken to manufacture all aircraft only of high quality materials and parts. For some mysterious reason in most cases these were imported goods: fabric of a German company POLYANT, ropes and wire products LINDEMANN, plastic and special parts FINSTERWALDER, paraglider fabric CARRINGTON and GELVENOR. Full-scale production of harnesses for hang gliders and paragliders.

1995. A new machine on the Stalker basis was designed, with internal membrane ribs. It was named Stealth. After sport season and flights at the World Championship in Spain overall sail and partially frame configuration has been changed. By the end of the year Stealth' appearance was finally set. At the same time BHPA certificates for training hang gliders Target-16 and Target-13 (this was the name given to our Students abroad) have been received. A higher level of understanding how paragliders fly was acquired and Aeros' own paraglider Enei were designed. But design only is not enough, we also managed to properly condition it. Many pilots liked the wing and now we faced the paranormal future with more confidence. In the meantime trike Graffiti with the wing Stranger was certified. The wing has successfully undergone strength and stand aerodynamic testing.

And we did not wait long for commercial success to come, within a year 80 wings Stranger has been sold.

1996. A new, kinpostless, era in the history of hang gliding began. Hardly the snow melted, but Aeros has already completed flight trials of a new design Stealth 14 KPL. By the end of the year the wing was ready for certification in England and there appeared a small (a tiny!) model Stealth 12 KPL. While designers and pilots were busy resolving a complex of "kinpostless" problems, motor wings gave stable income to the enlarged staff. In the course of a year 220 wings of Stranger type has been manufactured and the Aeros' staff expanded to 30 employees. Aeros was noticed not only in the Western Europe within a year two distributors appeared in the USA, U.S.AEROS, dealing with hang gliders and Sabre Trikes, dealing with trikes.

1997. In for a penny in for a pound. Our rivals presented a number of kingpostless hang gliders designs and we took the challenge Within 1997 year more masterly designs of sports hang gliders Stealth 14 KPL and Stealth 13 KPL were prepared for manufacture. Oleg Bondarchuk, as well as the name Aeros / Stealth, started to take regularly upper lines of prestigious international competitions. Over 70 Stealths and over 100 Strangers were manufactured. New trike wing Stream was put into production, this wing could lift maximum takeoff weight 450 kg. More and more often one can hear over his head rustling of fabric of which paragliders were made; AFNOR system certification trial of a paraglider Rival (Performance). Competitions showed that it was a worthy rival not only to home designs but to many foreign ones as well. Serial production of Rivals started. The company Aeros started to work as an official distributor of GARMIN (USA), a company manufacturing GPS navigation systems (Global Positioning Systems) in Ukraine. Aeros also began its activity as a representative of a famous German aircraft devices manufacturer BRAUNIGER.

1998. So it started and went on, and on, and on Oleg Bondarchuk on Stealth becomes a world vice-champion in Australia. Bill Moyes himself (!!!) buys a hang glider from Oleg for thorough  examination. Kingpostless Stealths of all sizes receive airworthiness certificates in BHPA and DHV (Germany). Production of a trike Aeros started. Race for aerodynamic perfection was going on and Aeros presented to the world market an innovation hang glider harness Racer with a built-in container for rescue parachute and with reduced aerodynamic drag. Stealth became a popular design, within a year 150 wings of this type has been manufactured. On the annual 1998 performance the company Aeros headed the list of kingpostless hang gliders sales in the USA. But it was not enough And another interesting theme started. Manufacture of construction kits of a ultralight aircraft Skyranger-2 under the French license started.

1999. Three world records were set in Australia on the Stealths (although only one of them was registered. Not that the achievements were doubtful, but you know, we hate bureaucratic procedures of any kind). As there was nothing else to remove from a hang glider's wing, the next evolutionary step did not keep us waiting long. RIGID WING. By no means a sailplane, but not a hang glider already. There is public interest, there is demand, so, the market is busy and clamorous. Well, let's try We have designed and built our own rigid wing (ultralight sailplane with beam aerodynamic control). The wing received its working name Stalker. Maybe the solitary rrranger will luck out?! Target became so popular in the USA and England, that overseas pilots wished to double their pleasure from this wing, i.e. to fly double. A client's wish is the law for us! A tandem hang glider Target-192 has been developed. Not bad, I must say! I've tried it myself! At last world paragliding community woke up and created Formula 1. We were prepared for it long ago, so, we started to produce paragliders of Standard class Mister X and Accent. At present a paraglider Accent is undergoing certification trials in compliance with AFNOR standards in France. Manufacture of a trike wing Still 17 has started. This wing can be controlled merely by your fingers. Manufacture of a trike Aeros 2 has started. It is a unique case in our practice, we have absolutely no time to make trikes for ourselves, everything produced is being dispatched to the USA! But we have assembled a plane and now an aircraft Skyranger 2 flies in the Ukrainian sky. On the similar plane a French pilot Philip Zen in August won the World Championship in this aircraft class.

2000. Aeros is working on a high-performance competition glider. First prototype of a Combat hang glider is designed, that flies noticeably better than any other Aeros glider. Aeros team also creates a new trike wing Profi. It is called so not without reason, since it is really the wing for professionals.

2001. Aeros is ten years old! Now, Aeros team consists of over 70 specialists. Hard work on new developments continues. Combat glider is updated, and Aeros presents the new Combat 2. In the very first year Combat 2 has shown brilliant results at the Ukrainian Open championship and at international competitions. Rigid wing Stalker is certified by DHV. Aeros begins to produce kites. Fully depower Gyro kite for water and snow is designed.

2002. Discus glider, which is our first intermediate wing, is designed and flown. It combines a rather high performance with simple piloting and maintaining, that makes it a perfect wing for those who do not take part in competitions, but wish to experience the joy of soaring.

2003. Combat L, that is lighter and better than its predecessor Combat 2, is designed. A great future is foreseen for this glider. Skyranger becomes the World Champion for the third time.

2004. Aeros hang gliders are becoming popular all over the world because of their high quality and performance. At the 2004 European Championship 45 pilots out of 121 (which is 37 % of all competitors) fly Aeros wings. Aeros-2 trike with a Rotax-912 engine and a Profi wing gets DULV preliminary airworthiness certificate for the maximum take-off weight of 472.5 kg.

2005. Oleg Bondarchuk on a Combat L becomes the World Champion, and his victory is a holiday for the whole Aeros. One more anniversary takes place in June 2005: AEROS produces the 3000th wing. Aeros team takes part in designing an entirely new product: an AL-12 ultralight sailplane and its powered version AL-12 M with a retractable power-unit. AEROS-Europe service center is opened in Eisenach, Germany.

2006. After lots of work and extensive test flights Aeros releases the Combat L 2006. For lightweight pilots, Combat L 12 with reduced wing area is designed. Since this year, Discus glider is available in all sizes, including Discus 12 and Discus 13. The Discus C becomes available for those pilots who are keen on high performance, light weight and easy handling all in one. For flight school instructors and just everyone who wants to fly a tandem, Aeros creates a tandem hang glider Target 21. Aeros launches the serial production of our first kingpostless trike wing Profi TL. In addition to all the best features of the Profi, the Profi TL has higher trim speeds and better, even more responsive pitch and roll handling. Aeros produces an aerotowing Launch Trolley with simple and reliable design. Skyranger becomes the World Champion again, and it's the first time in the FAI history that the same plane is the World Champion for four times.

2007. Incredible, Skyranger becomes the World Champion for the fifth time! Aeros Fuego is a new Cross Country paraglider built on the compromise of reasonable safety and high flying characteristics, class EN C, available in 27 and 29 sizes. Aeros continues improvement of the Combat hang glider. Combat L 07 has a newly designed oval crossbeam, stiffer sprogs and an advanced design of the sail, which has many refinements and is made with new durable semi-transparent sailcloth. The tandem Target 21 obtains the BHPA certificate. The new Target 16, being the best hang glider for the beginners, is now significantly lighter and weighs only 23.5 kg without bags. The Profi TL design adds winglets, which improve handling at the high speeds.

2008. The current successful top performance hang glider Combat L 07 is now certified by DHV in three sizes: 12, 13 and 14. The Aeros Launch Trolley is certified at DHV for max load 279 kg. Aeros best competition harness Viper S is certified at DHV. Skyranger is the European Microlight Champion!

At present the company Aeros exports its products to 43 countries of the world without the CIS. Of course, we have lots of plans, and that explains why it took us so long to appear on the web. Just absolutely no time for keying!

Aeros Company 2005. All rights Reserved
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