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Newsletter June 2002

Secretary: Christine denHaan E-mail: cjdenhaan@actrix.co.nz
President: Don Vise 09 433 6834 E-mail: chrisdon@ihug.co.nz
Newsletter: Brent Robertson E-mail: albrent@igrin.co.nz
Address: All mail to: Nothland Microlight Club P.O. 331 Dargaville

Roger with Wayne Wilsosn´s Piet In the third week of march, Gary and Margaret Skilton, along with Arthur Batten arrived at the Dargaville airfield with a big enclosed trailer, behind their wagon. This looked all very interesting and low and behold, when they opened the large backdoor, there inside was a brand new custom made blue and yellow microlight! It was packed away as snug as a bug in a rug and with a bit of gentle handling it was removed and brought out into the light of day. What a lovely looking airplane! It is called a Roger Mann Rag-A-Bond, and is all wood, SBS seating, 65 hp Rotax, with a real neat color scheme. [Those of you on email, a photo is included] The airframe was tied down to anything that wouldn’t move and Gary and Arthur went throe the engine running in process. One hour later Gary pronounced all went fineand the temps and pressures were with in range, so now it was on with the wings and for Bert to see if all this wood and fabric would fly. A check of the W&B, fuel flow etc and fly it did, and how. A homesick angel would have had trouble keeping up and a bit of panic set in as Gary, Margaret and Arthur thought they have seen the last of their lovely little airplane as Bert has having such a ball, they wondered if he was ever going to come back! But he did, made a perfect landing and the grin on the “old buggers face” said it all. He was delighted and there were congratulations and hand shakes all round. Nothing had to be altered or changed and this says a lot of the great job that had been put into the building. There was 25 hours of testing to be doneso fast as Gary poured fuel in the tank,Bert emtied it out again. , and in no time, the testing was over.
I should mention at his point, that Gary brought 10 days of fine calm weather with him, how he managed that he won’t let on, but it sure helped. Now it was time for Gary Margaret and Arthur to have a ride and you can guess the look in there faces. So how does this little gem fly? Well it wasn’t long before I was allowed to have a turn and it has very roomy and comfortable cabin. Margaret did all the upholstery and made a superb job, the instrument are well laid out and all the controls fall nicely into place. The engine fired up at the touch of the button, and taxing was no problem with very good ground handling. With all checks done, it was gently to full power, and it was all on! There was very little swing, excellent rudder control, up came the tail, and with a wee bit of back pressure, we were on your way. 1500 ft was on the altimeter in no time and with the revs pulled back to 5800, we were breezing along at 60-65 kts and what a dreame machine this is. It became apparent to me straight away that this was a very stable and forgiving airplane; it just want to fly itself. Trimming it was easy, a bit of power on for nose up,and a bit of for nose down. Over the coast there were a few bumps and shakes so I left it alone to see what happens and it just waddled about , sorted it self out with a very little input from me. Visibility was great all around and there was a very little vibration. All the controls are well balanced and feel good. All to soon to was time to head home, so reluctantly as I joined the circuit, Bert gave me the power and approach settings and this little gem just settles down and glides on in. Once over the trees, reduced power gently and it settled on to the mains, plenty of rudder to keep it straight and once the tail was down, it ran down the grass with very little help from me and stopped in about 150 meters. The brakes are very effective but I didn’t need them. My impression is this is a very confidence building airplane and very good for a low time pilot,[or any pilot for that matter] and it is a joy to fly. I think the figures are good considering there are no strut or undercarriage fairings or wheel spats and if these were done would more than likely show an improvement.
Engine Rotax 582, wth a 3 to 1 reduction, swinging a 74” and was burning 18 litres/hr. This was a family affair, with Gary building, Margaret doing the upholstery etc and Arthur made the undercarriage. Well done to you all, many happy hours of flying.

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