printable version


Lesser White-Fronts

Conservation activities

Microlight Aircraft








The aircraft which we plan to use for the Operation Lesser Whitefront is the Dragonfly", which is an aircraft especially constructed for very slow flights (minimum flying speed is app. 60 km/h). The Dragonfly was originally developed for hang-glider towing. The minimum speed is at about 60 km/h. When operated near geese, the propeller is encaged. For starting and landing on water, floats are used.

Technical data from German importer's website:



5,98 m


2,20 m


10,58 m

Wing area 

13,56 m2

Maximum speed (VNE)

113 km/h

Cruising speed (VC)

80 km/h

Minimum speed (MTOW, Power off)

50 km/h

Take off safety speed

60 km/h

Normal landing approach speed

65 km/h

Take off distance

60 m

Landing distance

110 m

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW)

450 kg

Empty weight (without fuel)

246 kg


The Dragonfly used for the project is equipped with an four stroke two cylinder BMW R 1100 S (95 PS) engine, which is environmentally friendly due to its low fuel consumption of only about 7 liters per hour, which allows us to fly for up to about 6 hours. When flying with geese the daily distances are planned to be up to 200-250 km. Climbing rate and flying speed will always be adjusted to the geese. Climbing rate must be very low and flying speed about 60-65 km/h (in relation to the wind). The pilots can very well recognize if a single bird needs to "work" too hard, visible by it's intensive breathing through opened bill.


To top

[Translate to Englisch:]

Polaris FIB (flying inflatable boat)

(copy 7)

[Translate to Englisch:] Das in Italien hergestellte doppelsitzige Fluggerät POLARIS wird seit 1987 in mehr als 1000 Exemplaren produziert und hat in dieser Zeit zahlreiche technische Verbesserungen durchlaufen. Der Transport erfolgt auf einem einfachen Bootsanhänger, die Tragfläche wird zusammengefaltet auf dem Autodach transportiert. Zwei geübte Personen können den Trike in 20 Minuten aufbauen. Der Flügel kann innerhalb von 5 Minuten abgenommen werden. Die Bauteile sind auf häufiges Auf- u. Abbauen ausgelegt. Das Handling an Boden ist unkompliziert.

Das Boot bietet im Rahmen der Zuladungsbegrenzung genug Platz für Gepäck.

Die Reisegeschwindigkeit beträgt 65 km/h. Er ist dabei voll manövrierfähig. Bei unterschreiten der Abrissgeschwindigkeit setzt kein gefährliches Abreissen der Strömung ein.

Der Standard-Tank bietet 39 Liter ausfliegbaren Treibstoff, was 2,5 Stunden Flugzeit entspricht. Durch einen Zusatztank soll die Reichweite auf 280 km erweitert werden.

Der serienmässige ROTAX 582 Motor ist ein zweizylinder Zweitaktmotor mit Zweifachvergaser- und Zweifachzündsystem, wassergekühlt.

Das Polaris FIB ist in Schweden mit 80 verkauften Exemplaren gut verbreitet. Der dortige Importeur Peter Wicander sorgt für einen 24 h Ersatzteilservice.


To top


Research on behaviour showed that imprinting is a mandatory learning process. This process can only take place once in a lifetime during a very sensitive time, within a set period and is related to distinctive behavioural patterns. Geese or ducks which have just hatched,follow the first moving object they see, preferably if it makes any sound. When they have a choice, they of course prefer their real parents or grown-ups from the same species. But if these are not around, they accept anything that follows the above characteristics as foster parents. In a case of need they even join non-moving objects and/or objects or animals that do not make a sound. This bond achieved by imprinting will in- or decrease according to the intensity the parents or foster parents interact with the freshly hatched chicks.


To top


The trike had been developed from the hang-glider. These motorized gliders are known for their low weight and for being a relatively simple construction. Christian Moullec used a trike for his 1999 flight with the geese from Sweden to Germany.

One possibility for the project is the Italian manufactured Polaris-trike. Polaris is simply a trike with a FIB boat with a fiberglas bottom. Polaris is made for flying from lakes and it only needs short distance for take-off and landing. It can even be flown with wheels. The trike can is made to endure operations from sandy and rocky beaches. (Maximum speed of the Polaris is app. 80 k/h. ) It's solid construction and speed range up to app.80 km/h makes it very well usable for the project. The engine is a two-stroke two-cylinder Rotax 582.


To top

Microlight aircraft

Microlight aircrafts are made of modern and light-weight materials. The maximum starting weight (including pilot and passenger) is 472.5 kg according to German air traffic regulations. Due to construction regulations and usage of modern technologies, especially regarding the engines, usage of microlight aircraft usually is very energy and cost-efficient andenvironmental friendly.

Due to their low weight, microlight aircrafts are known for their good performance in slow flying and for their short starting and landing distances. Microlight aircraft registrated in Germany are constructed according to governmental regulations and by that are the most silent powered aircrafts allowed to carry humans. Some of the modern engines have their origins in the automobile industry; nearly all are operated with unleaded fuel. Even catalytic converters can be built in. Pilots need a special sports pilot license.

There are two different types of steering constructions within microlight aircrafts, one type is steered along three steering axes, whereas trikes are steered by weight-shift.


To top

Wetlands International

Wetlands International is a leading global non-profit organisation dedicated solely to the crucial work of wetland conservation and sustainable management. Well-established networks of experts and close partnerships with key organisations provide Wetlands International with the essential tools for catalysing conservation activities worldwide. Wetlands International provides necessary data and knowledge to coordinate, guide and consult organizations all over the world in order to preserve and support wetlands. The activities of Wetlands International are based on sound science and have been carried out in over 120 countries.


To top

  Intern  Glossary  Links  Download  Contact  Imprint