2015 British Human Powered Flying Club Rally

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Human-powered flight is about as green as it gets, although the pilot/powerplant does emit CO2 and some methane during the exercise.  A human pilot can put out only about 0.25 to 0.5 horsepower for reasonable periods, with the record holders like Brian Allen flying The 70-lb Gossamer Albatross in its 26-mile cross-channel flight in 2 hours, 49 minutes,.and Olympic cyclist Kanellos Kanellopoulos of Greece flying 71.5 miles between Crete and Santorini in 3 hours, 54 minutes on April 23, 1988.  The flight holds the official FAI world records for total distance, straight-line distance, and duration for human-powered aircraft. The British Human Powered Flying Club holds a gathering of the hopeful every year, this year at Lasham Airfield, between London and Winchester.  Depending on how one …

52 Years of Human-Powered Flight

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

This year’s Icarus Cup, a human-powered flight competition, was held at Sywell Aerodrome, about 75 miles and nearly two hours north of London.  The Royal Aeronautical Society hosted the first Icarus Cup last year, and explains its origins and purpose.  “In 2011, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first flight by a human powered aircraft. The origins of human powered flight begin in 1959, when the Royal Aeronautical Society Human Powered Aircraft Specialist group was formed. Two years later, November 1961 marked the first human powered flight by Derek Piggott. Since then, human powered aircraft enthusiasts have been competing for the Society’s Kremer Prizes . “One of the Human Powered Aircraft Group’s objectives is to promote human powered flight as a sport …

The Icarus Cup – As Green As It Gets

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Dreams of human-powered flight go back at least to the myth of Daedelus and Icarus attempting to flee their Cretan prison by fashioning wings from feathers and wax.  Your editor doesn’t know why we continue to name festivals of flight for Icarus, since he was the young, foolish soul who flew too close to the sun and melted his wings.  His older, wiser father heeded his own advice and made the trip safely because he was not so bold.  Maybe we use Icarus’ name out of respect for his sacrifice. In the spirit of the two mythical aviators and Leonardo daVinci, Italian designer Enea Bossi and builder Vittorio Bonomi oversaw several bungee-launched flights in 1936 with their spruce, balsa wood …