Paul Hamilton Bio

Paul Hamilton


Paul is one of the first people to receive Sport Pilot Certified Instructor (CFI) and Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) for Sport Pilots. As a DPE, he is designated by the FAA to conduct Practical Test (checkrides) and issue Sport Pilot and Certified Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) FAA certificates/licenses. Paul also is a Light Sport Repairman with a Maintenance Rating allowing him to maintain and inspect FAA approved Special LSA. Flying for over 40 years, Paul holds ratings with the FAA:

  • Airplane:
    • Private Pilot
    • FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Sport
    • FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) for Sport Pilot Examiner (SPE) and Sport Pilot Flight Instructor (SPIE)
  • Weight-Shift Control Trike:
    • Private Pilot
    • FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Sport and Private
    • FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) for Sport Pilot Examiner (SPE) and Sport Pilot Flight Instructor (SPIE).
      These are the highest (FAA) pilot ratings possible for Weight-Shift Control aircraft. As a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), Paul tests pilots for FAA sport pilot and flight instructor licenses. Paul has accumulated more than 4,000 flying hours to date and is also a FAA certified flight instructor for light-sport airplanes.
  • Remote Pilot:
    • Unmanned Aircraft systems (commonly known as drones) to train or fly commercial operations.
  • Light Sport Repairman, Maintenance, and Inspection:
    • Paul also has an FAA Light Sport Repairman with a Maintenance rating allowing him to do maintenance and inspections on Experimental and FAA certified/approved Special LSA. Additionally, Paul holds the ROTAX maintenance and inspection ratings.

Filmmaker and Author

Paul founded Adventure Productions in 1988, a full-service multi-media production company specializing in adventure sport aviation productions.
Adventure Productions features DVD/video series, books and CDs.

With a specialty for capturing Point Of View (POV) adventure sport aviation footage, Paul is Producer of over forty films on ultralights and light sport aircraft including fixed-wing airplanes, trikes, powered paragliders, powered parachutes, paragliders, and hang gliders featured at Adventure Productions’ online store.

When the Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft new FAA rule became effective in 2004, Paul combined forces with the largest aviation publisher in the world, ASA, to publish his works.

Paul is author of the FAA “Weight-Shift Control Flying Handbook” 8083-5 which is used as a basis for all trike training throughout the world.


Paul went on to work as an Engineer in Design, Analysis, and Flight Testing for the Lear Fan 2100 Business Turbo prop/jet.

Lear Fan sponsored Paul to modify (beef up) a hang glider, optimize it on a test rig, modify a trike undercarriage for the trike wing and fly it as an advertisement as both a trike and a hang glider.

This was back in 1982, before trikes were available.

Paul had to design his own trike, test it and fly it. This is how Paul got started with trikes.

Lear Fan in the air
Lear Fan 2100 test flight
Lear Fan Glider on test rig
Lear Fan Glider on test rig
Lear Fan Trike, Reno Ballon Races
Lear Fan Trike - Reno Balloon Event
Lear Fan Glider in air
Lear Fan Glider
Lear Fan Trike taking off
Lear Fan Trike 1
Paul Hamilton launching his ultralight trike wing as a hang glider
Paul launching hang glider wing used on first trike
Click On Images to Enlarge.

Aircraft Flex Wing Designer

Paul designed, built and taught himself how to fly a hang glider in 1974 when hang gliders were first being used and people were first starting to launch off of mountains by foot. This was a turning point in Paul’s life because he realized that he wanted a better wing with better performance. This is when Paul decided to become an Engineer.

Paul went to the University of Nevada in Reno, and during his second year designed and built a second, more advanced delta wing hang glider.

He started working on slow speed aerodynamics for foot-launched flight. He decided to make a big leap in performance and spent two years developing a revolutionary design that would change camber automatically to provide optimum flight characteristics for slow and high speeds.

Paul built this wing and tested it with modifications and improvements. He did wind tunnel tests and actual flight testing on this wing. He put on an undersurface to enclose the cross bar and make it more aerodynamic at higher speeds. This design is what Paul decided he should get a patent on, which he applied for in 1977.

In 1978 Paul was issued a US Patent #4116406 for this variable camber, inflatable hang-gliding wing that he developed, built and flew in college. He graduated from the University of Nevada Reno with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Aerodynamics. He then went on to work with aircraft companies and put his efforts into developing bigger, faster and more complex aircraft.

Paul Hamilton first rogallo wing design 1975
Paul Hamilton first Rogallo wing design 1974
Paul Hamilton flying his Razr patented wing initial design
Paul's patented Razor 1975
Paul Hamiltons second delta wing design
Second wing design 1975
Paul Launching his Razr wing that he got the patent on
Paul launching Razor wing - Peavine Mt Nevada
US Patent Diagram of Trike
Paul's wing patent 1978
Click On Images to Enlarge.

Master Rated Ultralight Pilot

Paul is a Master Rated Hang Glider Pilot and Advanced Rated Paraglider Pilot with the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA). He is used to flying the hang-gliding wing, the same as a trike wing, to high altitudes and landing with no engine. Paul began as a flight instructor 40+ years ago, teaching Hang Gliding with a local ski shop, as well as developing and teaching Hang Gliding with the University of Nevada Reno as a credit course in the athletic department.
Paul Hamilton soaring hang glider in front of Slide Mountain, NV
Paul hang gliding above Slide Mt, Nevada
Click On Image to Enlarge.

Consulting Engineer

Paul holds Professional Engineering licences in California #M28767 and Nevada #M007638. He does engineering consulting specializing in energy engineering and aircraft design/manufacturing/testing/marketing.

Paul is best at complex projects to find simple and cost-effective solutions. One of Paul’s interesting projects was in providing the full range of aircraft speeds in the Aerion Corporation supersonic business jet.

Aerion supersonic Business jet
Aerion Corporation Supersonic Business Jet

Paul had the honor of being selected as a contract consultant for Edwards Air Force Base for a number of “ultralight” projects working with the US Air Force Test Pilot School, flying trikes with wing commanders and test pilots under Brigadier General Robert C. Nolan, Commander Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base.


Specializing in weight-shift control trikes and light-sport airplanes, Paul continues to develop and publish books, DVD’s and online training for the adventure of flight and learning to fly.

Paul has experience with teaching people how to fly, as well as developing the leading light-sport aircraft pilot training system. This is not just how to prepare for your FAA tests, it is how to learn to be a safe pilot and fly with confidence.

Sport Aviation Center now offers expansive Self-Study Courses for the individual with dreams of being a world-class pilot.

Whether you train with Paul or use his “Hamilton Pilot Training System” (HPTS), you know that you have the “industry standard” learn to fly program.

Got questions?