Australian Aviation Museum

Starkie Drive, Bankstown Airport (02) 9791 3088

Wheeler Tweetie Hang Glider

Wheeler Tweetie Hang Glider

In 1974 Ron Wheeler developed the "Tweetie" hang glider. The Tweetie was almost exactly the same as the Scout only it did not have the engine, the tail plane was fixed and the pilot hung from the A-frame below the wing. Apart from being quite a successful hang glider the Tweetie allowed Ron to experiment and get experience with the Scout design.

In 1975 the hang gliding associations in Australia were seeking Air Navigation Orders (ANOs) from the Department of Transport for the regulation of hang gliding in Australia. Hang gliding, since its introduction to the world by Bill Moyes and others in the late sixties, was a fast growing sport and the hang gliding associations thought that if they did not actively seek some regulation it would be done without their consent.

This prompted Ron Wheeler to approach the department for similar ANOs for the regulation of ultralight and minimum aircraft such as the Scout. Observing the interest both here and overseas in such aircraft and fearing that unfavourable legislation would force the flying of these aircraft underground the department drafted ANO95.10 which came into force in 1976.

Ron Wheeler

Ron Wheeler was born in Melbourne in 1921. The son of a tradesman, he was educated at a local public school and later attended Collingwood Technical College and then Melbourne Technical College where he attained certificates in engineering pattern making and engineering drawing. His education was broken by WWII and he served in the army from 1940-46.

Though the first documented report of the Scout appeared in 1976 Ron claims to have developed and flown the aircraft in 1974. At this time he was building catamarans in Sydney¹s southern suburbs. Ron had no experience in aircraft design and claims to have started the project on a whim in his spare time. Using sources referenced from the library at Sydney Technical College and Hurstville local Library he built up a working knowledge of aerodynamics. Utilising his technical knowledge of boat building and materials he built from the first Scout. (The stitching of catamaran sails is still evident in the wing of the very early models.)

Donated by Mr. Geoff Owen

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