Securing the future of Avian Hang Gliders

To secure the future of Avian, the UK's only hang glider manufacturer, under new ownership.

£4,210 raised of £15,000 target 28 %
36 supporters 18 days left
This project is using Flexible funding and will receive all pledges made by 1:10pm 18th May 2017

Hang gliding

Hang gliding is the closest a human being can get to the freedom that a bird feels, soaring the rising air currents across the sky. It's something I'm passionate about, this photo gives some idea of the feeling you get. This was the first time I climbed over 10,000ft, just using the rising air generated by the sun warming the ground. I want to share this passion with as many people as possible.

Avian

Avian is the only manufacturer of hang gliders based in the UK. This project is to allow myself, Tim Swait, to take on this business and provide it with a strong and stable future. Avian is a vital part of the hang gliding community, not only manufacturing exquisitely engineered gliders but also repairing, maintaining and servicing every make and model of glider to keep pilots safe in the air. I want Avian to be an integral part of the UK and world wide hang gliding community, so I'm giving all pilots (and all those "not-yet" pilots!) an opportunity to invest in the future of Avian.

Avian has a range of fantastic gliders, from the single surface Fly through the much loved Rio 2 sport glider to the full on competition spec Cheetah Evo3. The newest addition to the stable is the Puma, a high performance kingposted glider which gives great handling and goes like a rocket. By continuing to build great gliders, the future of Avian is bright, Pumas have just been delivered to customers in Sweden and the US. The Avian Facebook page has Likes from pilots from every continent (except Antartica - damn those penguins, what's wrong with them?!)

Want to get involved?

If you're not yet a pilot, but seeing this has made you want to pick up a wing and try for yourself, then good on you, you won't regret it - it's the best sport in the world! I've teamed up with flying schools up and down the country to offer hang gliding experiences, select the one best matches your wishes and location. You can fly tandem with an instructor on the South Downs, an easy drive from London and experience the full thrill of flying and soaring in the quickest possible time. Alternatively, take a taster day to get a feel of solo flying a glider a few feet off the ground in the beautiful surroundings of the Derbyshire Peak District.

If you are already a pilot and recognise the importance of Avian to the hang gliding community then I'm offering rewards for your support. Please take a look at the generous discounts (to the right of this page) on new Avian gliders and stripdown and servicing for any glider (including rigid wings). The vouchers are valid for 5 years, so even if you're not thinking of upgrading your glider right now, why not buy one as an investment for when you do? Also with the sun shining and the skies looking better every day, you might not want to bring your glider in for a service right now, but again why not get the voucher as an investment for next winter? Future you will thank present you!

Who am I and what am I doing?

Sometimes I ask myself that same question! I'm Tim Swait, an engineer by training and a pilot by passion. I've got a First Class Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering, a PhD in composite materials (i.e. carbon fibre) and a chartership from the Royal Aeronautical Society. I've spent the last 6 years working in an aerospace accredited (AS9100) research establishment working on projects for people like Boeing and Rolls Royce to help them manufacture things from carbon fibre more efficiently. I've therefore got the skills and experience in engineering that are required to build, service and repair gliders to the standards required.

I've always had a passion for flight but I started hang gliding in 2013. Since then I've clocked up a few hundred hours at sites across the UK and Europe. I've recently started flying in competitions and won the "Sport Class" in the UK Nationals last year. I've had too many memorable experiences to list, but some of the highlights have been circling wing tip to wing tip with griffon vultures in Spain, thermalling to above 10,000ft in France and a magical flight in 'Wave' lift right here in the Peak District in January.

Avian's a vital part of the hang gliding community, especially for UK pilots. Avian is the only UK based manufacturer and provides factory support, servicing and repair for any make and model of glider, often manufacturing parts (to original specifications) far quicker than they can be obtained from abroad (if at all). I see the future of Avian being as part of this community, that's why I'm giving fellow pilots the chance to invest in it's future rather than going straight to the banks. I'd prefer pilots get the benefits rather than bankers!

The money raised through this campaign will allow me to take over the business with working captial to invest in constantly improving the already great products and presenting them to as many people as possible. The support I get from you guys in the community will mean that I don't need to rely so much on the vagaries of banks or other lenders. In return you guys get great deals on Avian gliders and services!

Thank you!