Roly Lewis-Evans, sail maker
In 1974, teenager Roland Lewis-Evans of Dorset, England, was a boat sail maker who happened across Roger Platt with a furled hang glider on the roof of his vehicle. Platt went into hang glider manufacture with Pete Jordan as Kestrel Kites, based in Poole on the Dorset coast. Platt and Jordan needed a sailmaker and Roly needed a hang glider…
Roly worked for several hang glider manufacturers, flying in many places around the world in the process.
The author of this web site has known Roly since those early days and Roly has provided much information about hang glider and powered ultralight development as experienced by an insider.
The links in this related topics menu are approximately in chronological order.
Hang gliding 1974 part 4 for color photos by Roly of Roger Platt in his first attempts at flying a standard Rogallo
See under Puff the magic dragon (the nearest sub-heading) in Hang gliding 1975 part 1 for a photo taken during one of Roly’s first flights and some info about his early flying
See under Snow bound (the nearest sub-heading) also in Hang gliding 1975 part 1 for an insight into how the leading edges of standard Rogallo sails were made
Firebird in Birdman and Solar Wings of Wiltshire, England for Roly’s establishment of an in-house sail loft at Birdman, and consequent improvements in the Firebird
SST in Hang gliding 1976 part 2 for a photo by Roly of a production Wills Wing Super Swallowtail 90 (to compare with a photo of Bob Wills’ prototype)
Firebird S in Birdman and Solar Wings of Wiltshire, England for Roly’s new batten layout in Birdman’s intermediate level wing
Hang gliding 1977 for a snippet about one of Roly’s days flying a Manta Mirage in the USA
Birdman and Solar Wings in Hang gliding 1978 and 1979 part 3 for Roly’s crash in a Birdman Cherokee
Cherokee in Birdman and Solar Wings of Wiltshire, England for a photo of Roly with a Cherokee sail in the Birdman sail loft and a summary of his subsequent travels in the U.S.A.
Marty Alameda and Flight Designs for a stage on Roly’s journey in the USA in 1979
Bob England, hang glider designer for a photo and recollection of Bob by Roly
Solar Wings in Birdman and Solar Wings of Wiltshire, England for more photos of Roly
Early powered ultralights part 2 for photos taken by Roly when flying at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Hang gliding 2020 onward for Roly’s first flight in a hang glider for 22 years
Gryphon 3 in Hang gliding 1978 and 1979 part 3 for a sail-boat project undertaken in the late 1980s by hang glider designer Miles Handley for which Roly made the sail
John LaTorre related topics menu. John is an American long time hang glider sail-maker who also provided much info to the author of this web site.
Kimmeridge Khmer Rouge for several photos by Roly in the 1970s at this once popular site on the coast of Dorset, England
Huey in Vietnam war plastic models on Brave Guys and Beautiful Dolls for a photo of Roly at the controls of a UH-1