Hall of Fame
Ronnie Freeman

Our very own "Birdman"

The Birdman is all about building a wing with a wing span of no more than 30ft ! and trying to fly 100m from a 35ft platform above the sea... (Tide in)
The Take off area is no bigger than your average living room....No problem if there's wind ! there is Jackpot prize of £25,000 pounds for the first pilot to break 100m distance.

I have been trying to do this since 1997 My best distance to date is 81.2 m using a Rumour 1 14.5m
For the 2006 event I will be using a new wing, a polystyrene foam wing. I still have to test fly it ! but the saying goes ' if it looks good it will be good ' I can't wait to fly it and then try to make it fly futher.

Ronnie Freeman.

Ron Freeman with Derek Evans (1985 british team manager World champ) Tony Hughes 1985 team member)

Blue Peter presenter Zoe get ready for her jump also my son Conor.

editors note* Pheww! Plue Peter has change since the days of Lesley, John and Peter.

Here's what the BBC said about the 2005 Bognor Birdman Compitition

Bognor birdman makes it a record

The seven times champion launches himself off Bognor pier
Birdman veteran Ron "Bald Eagle" Freeman has flapped his way into the record books after flying nearly 80m off the end of Bognor Pier.
Bizarrely dressed competitors from across the world took part in the annual Bognor Birdman contest.

Mr Freeman of Northumberland, a former hand-gliding world champion, took the title for a record seventh time.

But he failed to win the top prize of £25,000, on offer to anyone who went 100m or more in a human-powered flight.

Northerly winds on Saturday saw some competitors delay jumps until Sunday, hopeful of better weather.

The six-year reign of Mr Freeman was broken last year by newcomer Tony Hughes, from Marlborough, who flew 82.5m.

To date the 100m target has not been broken but modern technology makes almost anything possible

But Mr Hughes, a microlight flying instructor and former RAF pilot, failed to jump during his allotted time slot on Saturday.

Organisers said he had spent "hours and hours" each week building his craft - The X Plane II, an advanced glider with modifications from his 2004 design, including special wing tips.

Meanwhile Mr Freeman, spent eight months putting together his Geordie Flyer "behind closed doors", according to the organisers.

Izaak Connaughton came from Australia to take part in the contest

The event's record still stands at a mighty 89.2m, set by local student David Bradshaw as long ago as 1992.

Before the competition a spokesman said: "This year the International Bognor Birdman competition promises to be one of the most exciting as these two contestants fight for supremacy with contestants from eight other countries.

"To date the 100m target has not been broken but modern technology makes almost anything possible."

The £25,000 top prize for a 100m flight was not the only award on offer.

Other prizes included the Leonardo da Vinci class for the most unique craft design - with £250 up for grabs.

The event is expected to have raised thousands of pounds for charities.

Keep up the good work Ronnie. Talking to him after this years compitition he told me a new rig was in development for the 2006 event. Good Luck!

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