Unit 22/30 Kalaroo Road
Redhead NSW 2290
Po Box 7042
Redhead NSW 2290
Phone and Fax
Phone 02 4944 9199
Fax 02 4944 9395
International +61 2 4944 9199
Established in 1983 and operating out of Redhead near
Newcastle Australia, Airborne directly employs 30 people
and exports to more than 30 countries.
Airborne is a world leader in microlight aircraft design
and currently certifies these designs to Australian Civil
Aviation and UK Civil Aviation standards, currently the
highest level of certification in the industry. This has
allowed Airborne to sell it's aircraft into strictly regulated
markets such as the UK, Germany, and Israel. Other markets
the company sells to include China and the USA.
Airborne microlights are also used by some international
organisations for Conservation and Archeology projects.
Microlights operating in Indonesia and Africa have monitored
and protected animals such as Elephants and Orangutans.
A crop spraying system has been developed to use on Airborne
microlights and this will allow countries like China and
some African nations a low cost option for aerial spraying
of their crops.
The company also manufacture's a completre range of hang
gliders for the World market to suit novice, intermediate
and advanced pilots.
Airborne holds production approvals from the Australian
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). The companies production
system is audited by that authority on a regular basis.
Airborne started trading as a company in 1983. Founders
Shane, Ricky and Russell Duncan were the sons of keen water
skier and hang glider pilots Anne and Kevin Duncan. Anne
and Kev taught the boys to ski and then to fly in the earlydays
of tow kites. At the time the boys were as young as 12 years.
Kevin was into flying competition. He flew a 1000 foot per
minute sink rate tow kite. The aim was to complete as many
360 degree turns before touching down on the water.
Glider design was improving rapidly and before long true
foot launchable hang gliders were developed and the boys
were soon launching off coastal dunes and then cliffs. Soaring
flights with hours duration were happening around the World
and from this a competition format evolved.
The Duncan brothers regularly competed in overseas hang
gliding comps.To supplement their income they started to
teach hang gliding under the name of Airborne Windsports
Pty Ltd. Another partner and friend Chris Brandon was also
part of the company.
Airborne imported a microlight (trike) from the UK in the
early 80's. It was to be used as a means to launch hang
gliders. The Duncans with their mechanical backgrounds soon
designed a purpose built two seater microlight which could
be used for taking passengers and training.
In 1987 the government Horscotts inquiry into ultralight
accidents changed the way manufacturers developed and sold
ultralights. Airborne were already load testing wings and
had never had problems with structural failure. This came
out in the inquiry along with other evidence and subsequently
the rules changed. Manufactuerers were then required to
certify to a standard.
Cross country flying using thermals became the format for
competition and in 1988 Rick Duncan became World Champion.
This prestigious hang gliding event was held in Mount Buffalo
Australia re-knowned for it's excellent flying conditions.
The last day saw pilots flying through a spectacular storm
and gliding into goal. Rick won the championships by an
Certification of the Edge model microlight proceeded. Paul
Mollison engineer and keen hang glider pilot joined the
company. Paul became the technical director and was responsible
for writing the standard which is now a CASA document called
Around the same time Rob Hibberd who was also flying hang
gliders joined Airborne as a Director. The now six partners
continued to re-design the Edge microlight so that it would
comply to the new standard. Meanwhile all were still flying
hang gliding comps and supplementing their income through
sponsorships and teaching hang gliding and microlight flying.
Airborne was still yet to produce a hang glider.
The 3 car garage were Airborne's serious manufacturing
started, became too small and the company moved to a "real"
factory. Airborne then ventured into glider design and produced
an intermediate gider called the Breeze.
To be continued....
The philosophy has always been simple - to create an exceptionally
safe and reliable aircraft finished to the highest possible