I am Serge Bessault the designer of Logistic Design and Creator of Altigenerator system.
This website is dedicated to all those who have seen my Altigenerator flying over their heads, those who have met me and helped me with formalities in introducing and develop the motorised foot-launch flying unit. But also to those who have passion for hang gliding and paragliding who would like to take over and keep this great adventure going.
As a child I was very keen on Jules Verne but it’s Henri Mignet, founder of the “insect of the sky” to whom my admiration goes. Anyone could build their aeroplane in the garage with pieces of wood. My parents started hiding all pieces of wood. My dream “which everyone said was real crazy” was to fly over my house with a plane of my imagination.
The first prototype was a sort of bi-turbine very similar to a self-controlled schaphander, except that the air wasn’t being started from the top but from the bottom. So in a lying down position, with “this object” in the back, I would be pushed to the front as Batman.
PARIS NOVEMBER 84
To get information about what has been done in aeronautical matters with internet was not yet available. I discovered a real gold mine of information by consulting testimonials, ideas and tests in inventors’ reports at the institute INPI. A formula caught my attention and comforted me in my project.
F=m/f. In clear, the required power for an aeronef to maintain its altitude is equal to the mass divided by its fineness – weighting 70 kgs, if I add my wing and an engine of 30 kgs, this makes it 100kgs. A delta wing about 10 in fineness (allowing a 100 metres stretch going from 10 metres). With 10 kgs of push, I’ll fly and with 11 I’ll take off.
The two-turbine unit often made the police come to my house as my tests were done in the backyard. I had attached the unit on a table and the table to an apple tree. A weighting machine between the table and the apple tree was to give me information on the push obtained. I put the engine on and hid behind the wall. From this safe place, I had control over the accelerator. At the third explosion of the unit, and looking at the parts falling on neighbour’s roofs, I knew that their patience was over.
Many other tests gave the same conclusion and I had to admit that the weight was a real concern.
Back to start. Why not fly in an upright position with a simple propeller in the back. At first with the right path the flight went well. Once standing up, why not move my head forward while I could place my feet on the control frame. More so, I had tried all the best free style harnesses. Spending few hours flight in a lying down position in my physical condition was very hard. The cervical were also suffering as well as the head as the helmet had to be kept horizontally.
The first prototype was like a large tennis racket. The engine in the middle, a canvas-seat in front, a propeller in the back, all that linked to the wing frame.
I went to see my delta friends at Erquy, with my flying racket and gave them a demonstration of garden cleaning by blowing away the dead leaves of their gardens into the neighbours.
Unanimously, they all looked at me and said “ Serge, stop your nonsense”.
Nothing doing, as I had already images in my head for the date, time and place for my first take-off. They finally asked, do we call the TV then?
That morning there was a low tide and 3 kms of clear beach ahead of me and hardly any wind. TV had been replaced by 1 camera, but all my friends were present including Bertrand, a doctor.
When slowing down, the vibration of the second hand JPX212, made me see unclear as if my eyeballs were turning as fast as the propeller. With the power full on, comfort slowly took its place and the 12 kg push seemed ridiculous. I was facing the sea, the wing horizontally. The wing being well centred, I have a perfect control. I let go and lower the control. I feel the wing fitting well with its air condition, and feel its weight diminishing progressively. My weight is also lightened, my steps on the ground become lighter, but suddenly I’m 50 cm, then 1 metre above the soil. For security I maintain this height by pulling slightly on the frame and gain in speed. I’m 10 metres high, my feet are resting on the B bar, and the sea is not far. Slowly upwards then take the turnoff on top of the first waves. The water is still, not one turbulence in the air. I would love to continue with this experience, the feeling of freedom with the impression of walking over the water is new to me compared to free style flying.
My friends are all looking at me and I go towards them, I let my wing do the work, I feel that I’ve won the battle. I’m getting close to them at 20 metres high and I head towards the hill to get back the necessary power.
I must be at two hundred metres when my engine stopped, the 2 litres of fuel running out. Any changes in a trial flight give some apprehension, wondering what’s happening next, the nose of the wing lowers slightly but the calmness of free style takes over, without the noise of the engine, I really felt at ease.
The rigid structure of the harness prevents the pilot from being in a diagonal position inside the control frame, which insures a better efficiency of its movements.
Landing is perfectly controlled, stopping 3 metres in front of the camera, feet perfectly in line. The fear that I had of having to run real fast to stop my wing was unfounded, especially with a competition wing. The excellent rigid connection of the harness to the joining axe of the wing gives perfect control for stopping the wing.
Two prototypes were made after that, to lead to what I’m using today, with the solo 210 cc engine from which I’ve obtained 2m/second when going up . The experience was made easy by living in a holiday town near the sea, and a great opportunity presented itself. My neighbours, at first intrigue by my experimentations, but now reassured, asked me to take aerial photos of their houses and this became a great activity through which I was able to improve my altigenerator.
The original hang glider project of the 80’s never stopped.
In 1990 I opted for the American adventure and set sail for Los Angeles with my delta engine in my luggage.
After having done many demonstrations on the microlight bases of California I was recruited by the oceanographic research center of Ansenada in Mexico to carry out aerial photographic surveys of the Mexican coast from San Diego to Ansenada.
In 1992, my delta motor was very lucrative in Canada, thanks to the rampant real estate speculation that was going on in British Columbia. Landowners, speculators and real estate agencies have requested my services.
Then I visited many countries and islands of the South Pacific by sailboat with always on board my Altigenerator to see things from above at each stopover.
Since my arrival in New Caledonia 23 years ago I have worked on electric propulsion and made two prototypes (Trolley and motorized harness) that I keep in reserve until better batteries are commercialized.
So for two years all my energy is invested in the development of the Altigenerator system defined by the maximum possible approach of the 3 strategic points of an aircraft: its center of gravity, its point of lift, and the point of thrust. To enter the conditions of verification of the following law: P= M/F ( Minimum thrust to maintain altitude = Total mass of the aircraft/ Thinness ) This law I verified it very simply on the bases of 10Kg = 100kg/10 with my Altigenerator.
My initial project in 1982 was to realize the same structure adaptable either on a hang glider or on a para glider with the aim of allowing to take off on flat ground to go then to seek the ascents with the same free flight wing. The prototypes that I am currently developing always aim at the same objective which is to extend the possibilities of use of our free flight wings by being able to take off from one’s garden.
They are therefore auxiliary motorizations and for that they must remain within the weight limits of a classic harness. You will surely tic when you see the level of sophistication of my fairing carts with all their instrumentation, their windshield, their 16 liter tank, their 20 liter trunk, their comfortable cushion and their complete folding in a few clicks. Everything is in molded carbon and remains within 35 kg including the engine.
Altigenerator is back in force.
Since the sale of my electrically powered charter catamaran I have resumed my aircraft design activities full time.
At the moment, to the great despair of my beloved wife, I spend all my time between computer-workshop and field. I would love to find partners in order to get these little machines on the market faster, but in the meantime I put on the market the versatile accessories that I design and have manufactured by the best factories.