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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 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
As the company had little own experience in paragliders' manufacture,
a decision was taken to start production
of designs of a famous company ÀÐÑÎ: 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
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
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
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
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
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
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!