In the mid 80’s we started looking for a microlight aircraft suitable for the varied conditions in the Norwegian landscape. We couldn’t find one, so we decided to build our own.
The Omsider is built as a plane with a view. The motor is placed behind the cockpit, to give you the best possible view while flying over the vast nordic landscape. With the fjord as the perfect runway, and the abundance of mountain lakes, being able to land both on water and land gives the pilot unrivaled freedom. As well as safety in case of an emergency landing. Naturally all the materials used are able to withstand use in both salt and freshwater.
It all started in a basement in Kinsarvik, a small town by the Hardangerfjord. Terje Sandvik had already built a hull for an amphibian microlight out of glass fiber and polyester, when Jostein Eide came to Kinsarvik to control another microlight. Terje told him about his project, and Jostein was so intrigued that he wanted to help him develop the project further.
After many years of tinkering and fine tuning in his basement, Terje Sandvik had a prototype ready in 1998. Before testing the plane needed a name. Jostein Eide came up with the name Omsider, meaning “at last” or “finally”, a fitting name with the years of hard work that had gone into the project.
In June The Omsider was ready for it’s first takeoff. It was a warm day with almost no wind. The Omsider took a few laps on the calm fjord before it took off. It flew with steady grace. That summer it logged 6 hours and 50 minutes.
Nordic Aircraft AS was established in 1999, and Terje Sandvik decided to start working on the project full time. We were going to build a new prototype, using the experience from the first one to improve it. The improved Omsider was built in carbon, glass fiber and epoxy. The body was elongated, making room for a passenger. We started experimenting with different propellers and motors, made new wings and installed retractable wheels. Our goal was to get the Omsider into production.
After eight years of development Terje Sandvik returned to his old job in the oil industry. With the extended work pattern of the industry, spending two weeks offshore and having four weeks off, there was still plenty of time to work on the Omsider.
Initially we tried to produce the Omsider in Norway, but Norway doesn’t have a tradition for aircraft production, and we couldn’t find a suitable producer. We started looking at other options, and we got in contact with ATEC v.o.s. in the Czech Republic. They have years of experience constructing microlights, and thought the Omsider looked promising. To get the best result we used the wings and stabilizer used on the well known ATEC Faeta. Early in 2013 the fuselage molds were transported to the Czech Republic, where the Omsider is now being produced.
An almost finished Omsider produced by ATEC was displayed at AERO 2014, and in september later that year it was transported to Norway. After the construction of three aircrafts, continuous testing, and constructive dialogue with ATEC we now have an amphibious microlight that performs ideally. It's hard to find an aircraft that is easier to operate, both in the air, on water and on land.
We have spent more than 20 000 hours of hard work on perfecting the Omsider, and the prototypes have logged more than 700 hours in the air.