OBECTIVE: To fly an Am-FIB for a TV series exploring Cape Verde Islands, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Madagascar, and São Tomé and Príncipe, from mid 2010 to early 2011.
The Am-FIBThe Polaris Am-FIB is a unique combination of a microlight trike and a semi-rigid inflatable boat (RIB) to make a Flying Inflatable Boat (FIB). We are using the amphibian variant, hence Am-FIB.
With a top speed of about 65 Km/h, performance is un-spectacular and in all truthfulness it is a bit of a contraption, but for all that it is very well proven and and has the unique characteristic of being able to operate from land or water, which is just what we need for these expeditions.
Considering that it has a huge 19 Sq. m wing on a rather small boat, handling it a low speeds on water can be tricky, but it will take off and land(?) on surprisingly rough water.
The trike is stainless steel, but great care has to be taken to keep the wing structure in good condition in a marine environment. It is fitted with a Rotax 582 two stroke engine which keeps things nice and simple, and an Arplast three blade prop.
This film from youTube gives you an idea of what an Am-FIB is all about.
The PurposeFilmquadrat.dok, the film company making this 5 part series in coproduction with SWR and ARTE explains:
MARITIME AFRICA takes us on a five-part journey to the islands around Africa, the so-called Gates of Heaven. The team comprizes the pilot of the FIB and a World renowned photographer, their objective: to capture unique images of Africa’s islands from the air and from the ground for a coffee table photo book.
The adventure starts on each island with the search for the perfect flight destination. Their FIB is the number one topic all over the island – at market places, in harbour cafés, amongst fishermen and vendors. They take the photographer to places he has to see from above: the cleared steppes of Madagascar dotted with thousands of zebu cattle, the precipices of the Le Morne Brabant on Mauritius, the equator which runs right through the fishing islet of Rolas south of São Tomé. Some of those pictures seem to be the work of an artist.
On his search for the best aerial shots, the photographer meets the islands’ people – they introduce him to their culture and offer an inside perspective of the country. Natural wonders, traditional ceremonies, manners and practices – in search of authentic images we dive deep into the soul of the islands and their population.
Each journey always begin with a search and often ends differently than expected. The Gates of Heaven, the gates to Africa – a world that is unique on this planet.
How have we been getting on in the gates of heaven? Keep an eye on this website for the latest news!
Richard Meredith-Hardy - Am-FIB PilotWas the first person to fly a microlight from London to Capetown in 1985/6. In 2004 he flew over Mt Everest as part of an expedition to tow the Italian pilot Angelo d'Arrigo in a hang glider to the summit. He towed Angelo over Mt Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest mountain outside the Himalayas in 2005. In March-April 2007 he flew with blind co-pilot Miles Hilton-Barber from Rhodes to Sydney, Australia and in 2008 flew over Kilimanjaro. He has been World and European microlight champion and has been awarded the Royal Aero Club gold medal and the FAI Gold Air Medal. He lives in England 50 Km north of London.
Stéphane Ducandas - Photographer, Cabo VerdeHe lives in New Caledonia.
Matthias Ziegler - Photographer, ZanzibarMatthias attended the Bavarian school for photography in Munich from 1988 to 1990. After his training, he has developed with reports from around the world. His work have been exhibited widely. He has worked for renowned magazines such as Stern, Spiegal, SZ magazine, Mens Health, Geo, Greenpeace Magazine, Vogue, L'Uomo Vogue, GO USA, Time Magazine and others.
World customers: BMW, Strellson, Marc O'Folo, Deutsche Bank, DWS, UNICEF, Thyssen Krupp, VCI, etc.
8 Jul 2011, Video clips
28 Jun 2011, Message from the producer
17 June 2011, Postscript
27 Sep 2010, Dar again
23 Sep 2010, Chumbe
20 Sep 2010, Zanzibar again
18 Sep 2010, Bullfight
17 Sep 2010, Kervan Saray
16 Sep 2010, Pemba
14 Sep 2010, Nungwe
12 Sep 2010, Popobawa
11 Sep 2010, Zanzibar
9 Sep 2010, Teddy Junior
26 Aug 2010, Ursula
26 July 2010, Home
17 Jul 2010, Just in time
15 Jul 2010, No wind
13 Jul 2010, Mindelo again
11 Jul 2010, Grogue
9 Jul 2010, Ponta do Sol
7 Jul 2010, Goal
5 Jul 2010, Independence day
4 Jul 2010, Wind
2 Jul 2010, Mindelo
31 Jun 2010, SS Tarrafal
30 Jun 2010, Tarrafal
27 Jun 2010, Praia
23 Jun 2010, Sal
20 Jun 2010, Bonding in Munich
29 Apr 2010, Lake Trasimene
20Kt wind probability
Talks & Presentations
RMH pilot CV