Kollman Composites
Raptor 1
About Matt Kollman
discovered my love of aircraft while building balsa wood models with my father. The beauty of the design and how the shape defines the function. It was a marriage between art and science that fascinated me. Once I got my first airplane ride I was hooked. The RC model world was the perfect outlet for that passion. Planes are expensive models not so much. I became a master at crafting model airplanes and an average RC pilot. I've probably crashed more models that most people have owned.
  Hang gliding became  my other outlet. It was ideal, the equipment was cheap and easy to maintain. Most of the growing pains were over and the gliders were now safe and reliable. If you can afford the gas to get to the mountain you can fly all day for nothing. I flew the mountains in Arkansas for many years and loved it. Great people great flying beautiful country.
   Moving to Ohio  really hurt my airtime in the hang glider.  There was one hill sometimes soarable but not that big. There was a lot of hungry  Ohio pilots. When it was good it got real busy. My first soaring flight was crowded. Think ten cars driving aroung a space the size of a basketball court. Everybody keep moving at 25 mph.and try not to hit each other. 
  I was fortunate to meet Willie Hill one day while flyng a model at a sod farm near Plain city. Willie was a trike pilot who had never towed a hang glider (very few had at this point in time) I was a hang glider pilot who had never towed. So what could go wrong? 
  Our first tows were with a underpowered trike and heavy pilot. The climb rate not so good. At least we made it over the 5' fence 1/4 mile from launch.
  The towing got a little better when we started using the Cosmos trike. The wing was made for cruise and wouldn't fly slower than 40 mph. 
  We eventually brought a Mountanier trike. A variety of wings were tried. Everything from a Attack Duck, Gemini, Comet HP 1 and 2. The HP2 seemed the best fit.The frame was significantly strengthened since after a day of towing  Willie has a tendacy to  get vertical.
   At the time hang glider performance had hit a plateau. My old friend mark Stump was bugging me to design a rigid wing hang glider. He actually had been bugging me since we flew together in Arkansas I kept explianing to hiim I didn't have the time or the space or a way to test it. Problem now was I did have the time space and a way to test it. 
  We decided to design a modern version of the Fledge hang glider. The plan was to use a rigid composite frame and drum the sail as tight as possible. I completed the first D-tube. Construction was of fiberglass foam and carbon fiber. I was searching for a way to load test my D-tube when I was told about Jim Marske. Jim was working for Group Genesis. They were starting the prototype aircraft. I met with Jim and was offered a job working on the prototype. An offer I couldn't refuse. 
   Needless to say daily exposure to Jim drastically changed my wing design. The new design was based on Jim's Monarch. The Monarch operated at the speeds needed. The airfoil performed well with a mild stall.
   Jim loaned me his monarch d-tube molds to make my first glider named the Raptor. It was the Monarch wing swept back 16 degrees at the spar with 6 degrees twist. It flew very well. Allmost too pitch stable. It was hard to fly 50 mph because of strong bar pressure. 
   Mark stump and James linscombe flew the Raptor and wanted one. They wanted a collapsible or baggable glider. We tried several combinations of hinged ribs, dual hinged ribs, insertable battens, folding ribs. Mark and james drove the prototypes to CA for truck testing. The truck test confirmed the Raptor had an excellent pitch curve. Mark did the test flying on the Collapsible Raptors had many good flights.
    The first Raptors used slider controls to activate tip rudders.Weight shift for pitch. I redesigned the Raptor with a higher aspect ratio cantilever wing.Then made permanent molds for quality d-tubes. The Cantilever wing allowed a shifting control bar to be tied to the rudders. The result was a fully weight shift control system. I called this version the Raptor 2. 
   Jim redesigned the Monarch with a higher aspect wing. The Raptor had evolved to a similar aspect ratio. I produced Monarch G D-tubes in my Raptor molds.
  To date 8 Raptors have been completed and flown. I was able to explore different twist sweep and airfoil combinations. The latest Raptor is using 13 degrees sweep and 3 degrees twist. The result is a fast wing with excellent high speed glide. This wing was designed with a 350 lb hook in for use with a trike wing. It has been flying as a hang glider for the past 4 years but hasn't been tested on trike yet. It thermals very well and is fast.
   I am fortunate enought to live next door to Wes Mar air strip. We have a dragonfly and scooter towing most weekends weather permitting.
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