History of The Hawk
CGS Aviation grew out of "Chuck's Glider Supplies." In the early 1970's, Chuck Slusarczyk designed, built, and sold hang gliders and various associated supplies. Shortly thereafter, he began experimenting with the powered hang glider, propelled at the time by small direct-drive go-kart engines. The propeller was bolted directly to the crankshaft of the engine and turned at high (5,000-6,000 rpm) speeds. Chuck realized that this design was not efficient.
With this shortcoming as impetus, Chuck successfully designed and produced a power system implementing a reduction drive to turn a larger-diameter, more efficient propeller. By 1977, Chuck's Glider Supplies had become a leading manufacturer of hang gliders with a successful division producing power plants for a variety of ultralights. For his pioneering efforts, Chuck was awarded Patent No. 4.262.263, "Powered Hang Glider with Reduction Drive." By 1979, Chuck's Glider Supplies was manufacturing 80% of all drive systems used in the ultralight industry.
In October, 1979, Chuck's Glider Supplies became CGS Aviation, Inc. In early 1980, CGS conducted a market study at Sun N Fun and also Oshkosh to determine the features of an ultralight most desired by pilots. The "Hawk" was the end result of that study. The first prototype took to the air in January 1982. The CGS Hawk's debut was in March, 1982, at Sun N Fun air show held in Lakeland, Florida There, the findings of the market study were proven out as the Hawk took top honors, winning Best New Design for 1982. The Hawk again took top honors for Outstanding New Design and Reserve Grand Champion that same year at the EAA International Convention held in August 1982 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. One year later, again at Oshkosh, the Hawk won the prestigious Dupont Kevlar ARV (Air Recreational Vehicle) Design Competition hands down over a field of over 126 ARV designs.
When the CGS Hawk debuted in 1982, it was the first fully enclosed ultralight. It was also the first ultralight to use full strut bracing, and incorporated full 3 axis controls (including conventional steerable nose or tail wheel). The CGS Hawk was also the first ultralight to utilize fully functional wing flaps. Following the Hawk's leadership, competitive designs have since followed and entered the market, but even after 32 years none of them possesses the form, function, and and owner loyalty the CGS Hawk enjoys. The CGS Hawk, still remains the standard of comparison for the ultralight/light aircraft industry around the world.
The CGS Hawk design definitely paved the way for others to follow, and in 1999 Chuck Slusarczyk was one of the first three ultralight pioneers inducted into the EAA Ultralight Hall of Fame during its inaugural year.