Volmer Jensen's 23 and 24 Hang Gliders (VJ23 & VJ24)

During 1973 David received a set of drawing of the VJ23 rigid wing hang glider from Volmer Jensen (USA). David wasted no time in starting to build in an attempt to win the Selsey Birdman Rally. That he went on to win in 1974 and 1975. However, the organisers did not pay the 3000 pound prize money even though he covered the distance required.

During 1975-77 David went on to win every hang gliding competition he entered, both national and international, with the VJ23.

In 1977 he designed and built a power unit for the VJ23e and hand carving a propeller.

In 1978 he flew the English Channel from dover to France and became the first hang glider to complete the trip. The lowest powered flight across the channel in the history of aviation. Bleriot had 25hp, while David had 9hp in the VJ23e.

In 1978 David received the Royal Aero Clubs 'Medal of Achievement' from H.R.H. Prince Charles.

During all that time David had the help of two close friends Neil Moran and Chis Tansley.

When I arrived on the scene in 1974 David was already flying the VJ23.

However, I was lucky enough to help with later projects.

Like the Musfly and early work carried out on the Shadow.

I apologise in advance for the poor quality of some of my photos as they were taken with a very small plastic kodak camera and stored badly over the years.

Terry Aspinall

Click on photo to enlarge repeat to shrink

Chris and Neil
.. .. .. ..
        Davids back yard        
        Flying at Iken in Suffolk   Flying at Thorpeness    

Photos from Neil Moran


. . . .
Sizewell in Suffolk
A 20 foot sand dune
Gale force winds
Rough sea's
Beautiful some days
Thorpeness   Thorpeness   Sizwell to Thorpeness   Minsmere   Minsmere to Dunwich

Then in 1977 David designed and built a power unit for the VJ23 calling it the VJ23e

He even hand carving a propeller

Thorpeness   Channel attempt 1978

Photos from Terry


The Volmer Jensen 24 (VJ24w) Microlight

During 1980 David and his mentor Volmer Jensen modified the VJ24 foot launched design in 3 weeks to a wheeled/powered version and renamed it the VJ24w. Probably the worlds first Microlight/Ultralight, and built in Davids basement. This aircraft was displayed at major air shows in the UK for several years. Currently its being displayed in the Newark Air Museum.