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The Easy Riser was the glider that led the way for the ultralight movement. Chuck Slusarczyk built his Easy Riser in 1975, which he dubbed “Spad” since he painted it up like a World War I Spad.

Chuck has tested and tweaked his Easy Riser many times. The ultralight has seen engines such as West Bend, McCullough, Zenoah, and Lloyd-Zuber in at least 17 different configurations. The Spad has also seen props ranging from 36 inches to 54 inches and thrust from 75 lbs. to 160 lbs. static.

On August 29, 1979, Chuck took his Easy Riser on the longest over-water flight in an ultralight at that time. The trip began in Cleveland, Ohio and ended in Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, crossing Lake Erie for a total of 62 miles. Chuck’s Easy Riser was also the first ultralight to carry mail over water. This feat was completed in 1979 on the same route as his previous record setting trip. The flight lasted a total of two hours and ten minutes, putting Chuck in a position that is the ultralight equivalent to those such as Lindbergh and Bleroit.

After 320 airborne hours on the Spad, Chuck completely disassembled the wings and did a dye penetrant inspection to look for fatigue or stress cracking. He also added a set of compression ribs outboard of the original ones, installed a one and one eighth inch od. sleeve three feet long over the lower wing trailing edge where the trailing edge exits the gussets, and used heavy-duty brackets to reassemble the Easy Rider.

After the rebuild, Chuck decided to put his Spad in semi-retirement. He no longer purposely ground looped or landed it hard to test landing gear, he just flew the Easy Riser for enjoyment.

In 1983 Chuck donated his Easy Riser Spad to EAA. The aircraft is now hanging in the AirVenture Museum in full retirement.


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