Living: Seat-of-the-Pants Flying

Low, slow ultralights recapture the spirit of the Kitty Hawk

"It's part airplane, part motorcycle, part sailboat, and looks like a lawn chair being chased through the sky by a beach umbrella."

There have been more elegant descriptions of the gaudy, gawky new flying machines called ultralight aircraft, but none more accurate than this waggish observation. The plane that sounds like a low-calorie beer does resemble a plastic -and video-age version of the Kitty Hawk. Or, as a Tolkienian might put it, a petroleum-feeding pterodactyl. In any case, the planes are designed not to lodge beauty in the eye of the earth-bound beholder...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!