Plans will continue to be offered but will be instance download only on this site. They are still official RagWIng Copyrighted plans and you can still build an aircraft from them but they are being sold for their historic value only. Because of this all plans prices will be $25.00. Tech support will be through the Experimental aircraft Assoc only. Call and ask for your nearest Tech advisor. If you happen to live near upstate SC then Roger Mann will be yours. This is for any aircraft not just RagWIngs.
About Roger Mann
For those of you who don’t know, here is a little background. I served in the United States Air Force as a crew chief on F-4D Phantom fighters. During my service I obtained my FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate. In 1987 I received my honorable discharge and started RagWing Aircraft Designs. I offered maintenance work, Ultralight Flight Instruction, Homebuilt Inspection, and technical counseling, Ultralight First Flight tests, Prototype design and construction, DAR signoffs and the selling of plans and kits to the homebuilder. I have been selling plans since 1991 and many homebuilts have been built from plans that I provided.
Although RagWing Aircraft Designs is no longer a business for me and I no longer offer many of the services that I once did, I do still sell the plans for these proven and popluar aircraft.
What I want folks to know.
by Roger Thomas Mann
For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by aircraft. I have always had a desire to fly. As a young boy my older brother and I would dream up ways to get a little air time. Everything from jumping out of trees with bed sheet parachutes, zip lines out of our tree house, and even putting wings on homemade soapbox cars. We drove our grandparents crazy. We grew up on a 38 acre farm so we got an early start at being handy with tools and making do with what we had. I had a great childhood and dreamed of many adventures, many of which we actively sought. Encouragement was always there. We had to work but we got to be kids as well. We would go on all day trips on our bikes to the county airport to watch planes take off and land. We finally got our first flight at age 11 and 13 when our grandfather paid for our first plane ride. There was a sign we saw on the side of the road as we passed the airport entry after church one Sunday morning. It said “plane rides” $15! (1974), I’m not sure if he was encouraging our behavior or just trying to keep us from getting more banged up as we got stitched up many times as kids. Anyway, when we approached the waiting aircraft our grandfather was able to talk the old pilot into taking us both for one price since we were small enough to fit in the back seat of the taildragger plane that the pilot said was called a “Champ”. That was all that it took for me to want to get into the air again and one day become a pilot and work on aircraft.
I do not like being called a designer. Everything I have done as far as designing aircraft has been done in the past and is tried and true technology from the ‘30s. The aviation pioneers are the ones who deserve any credit because they have paved the way for me as well as others to follow in their footsteps. For instance, when I started building a plane in 1979 at the age of 15, the first set of plans I purchased were for Bernard Pietenpol’s Air Camper and then Peter Bower’s Fly Baby. These are the designs that appealed to me most and both aircraft were well proven and reasonable to build. However, the plane that I actually started building was the Ken Robinson KR-2 which was well beyond my skill level and abilities to build aircraft at that time in my life. I suppose the lure of speed danced in my head when I made the decision to build this plane rather than either the Air Camper or Fly Baby. Well, the fuselage is still hanging in my grandparent’s barn to this day. The short story is that I worked on the KR-2 while attending and then graduated from high school and until I joined the US Air Force as a crew chief on fighters. While in the AF, I obtained my airframe and powerplant license at Wayne Community College located in Goldsboro, NC near Seymour Johnson AFB. After leaving the AF in 1988 and starting a career as an A&P for Textron Lycoming, I was able to actually finish my first plane. This first plane was a Hi-MAX designed by Wayne Ison, and a Mini-MAX project followed soon thereafter. The decision to build these planes was mostly due to the fact that I did not have a pilot’s license and needed an Ultralight to legally fly. I taught myself how to fly by crow hopping and preformed the first flights of both planes. An interesting yet scary point is that my first flight as a pilot was in an aircraft that had never been flown before by anyone. I do not recommend someone doing this today! Now, back to the designer issue, when I bought Wayne’s plans and reviewed them, I could clearly see the resemblance to the older plans that I have in my collection. The technology used to design these planes is the same as those planes which came before them. The Mini-MAX plans followed the Fly Baby plans and the Fly Baby plans which were designed in the early 1960’s, borrowed technology from Tom Story’s, Story Special. Many features of Tom’s plane were borrowed from the Les Long designed Wimpy aircraft of the 1930’s. You can clearly see there is no reason for me to reinvent the wheel when it comes to aircraft design. I only needed to follow what others have successfully done already. So, I am not a true designer, only an airframe and powerplant mechanic who enjoys building and flying aircraft.
The first set of aircraft plans that I purchased were for the nostalgic Air Camper of the 1930’s. This was the design that I truly wanted all along so I started building one in 1990. The Ultralight movement was in full swing at this time and the decision was made to make this “Air Camper” an Ultralight, this idea worked out very well. The Ultralight Air Camper design was the third aircraft that I built and the first “one of a kind aircraft” of my own design. But remember, I’m not a designer, correct! It was exactly what I wanted and I had nearly 400 hours of flying time on it when I took it to Oshkosh in 1993. I went to Oshkosh not to sell aircraft plans but because I wanted to experience the air show that everyone talked about. It was a real hoot to fly there and the experience lived up to the reputation that you hear about it. While there, other folks were able to see my Ultralight Air Camper and they started asking for plans so that they could have their own Ultralight Air Camper. Everyone who saw it called it “UltraPiet” (pronounced UltraPete) and you could hear people saying “have you seen the UltraPiet?” and that name stuck. The nickname that I had given my baby and I had written on the side of the aircraft was “RagWing”. I named my plane RagWing after a Walt Disney show that I saw when I was around 14 years of age. It was a story about a young boy who found his grandfathers plane, named RagWing, in his barn during a summer vacation. With the input of so many people calling the plane “UltraPiet” rather than “RagWing”, the “RagWing UltraPiet” was born. That my friend is the history of how RagWing Aircraft replicas all got started.
Currently I work as an A & P mech. and have been since the close of the RagWing kit business in Jan of 2000.