It was built in it's final configuration with the nose plates to allow easy folding and with the A-Frame. A slight error was made with the sail. On the Mark I the Tubes of plastic were left whole and used at double thickness, where as in the Mark II they were split open and used as a single thickness. Banana Plastic was also used on some Mark III airframes.
Creating this replica produced many interesting problems. So many things
have changed in the 43 years since the original was built. By far the
most perplexing problem was the matter of Banana Bags. Apart from colour
changes and newer plastics, modern banana bags no longer come as a
continuous roll of plastic tube, the closest was a roll with
perforations to make it easy to separate individual bags. People checked
the back rooms of warehouses from Nambucca Heads to Cairns, the spirit
of co-operation was encouraging but every lead failed to locate the
This problem was only solved with the gracious help of Mr Doug
Trenchard, of OMNIpac, in Brisbane.
Doug Trenchard's response was truly helpful, although he did not have
the material at hand he undertook not only to make a roll for the
project, but to also research the matter so as to get a product as close
to the original as possible. This sort of help is priceless in an
enterprise like this, and the fact that the plastic was donated by
OMNIpac after all this trouble makes it hard to know how to thank them
OMNIpac has a website: http://omnipac.com.au/index.php
Amongst the many products they make are banana bags, information about
their agriculture products is found at:
Prior to plastic bags being used for bananas, Hessian bags had been
used. The plastic started to be used with an importer of stuffed toys,
who had a lot of large plastic bags from the imported toys. He was
driving through an area with banana plantations and, noticing the
Hessian bags, wondered if it would be a good way to recycle his plastic
bags of a similar size. The plastic bags worked well and the rest is
history. I certainly had not expected to find stuffed toys playing a
role in the invention of modern hang gliders.
On behalf of Pat Crowe, John Dickenson, Rod Fuller and myself I wish to
thank Doug Trenchard and OMNIpac for their generosity and efforts with
this project, and to wish them the very best for the future.