A New British Club for HPAs

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

For the last six decades, the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has overseen records keeping for human powered aircraft (HPAs).  They report, “The Man Powered Aircraft Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society originated in 1959 when the members of the Man Powered Group of the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield were invited to become a group of the Society. Its title was changed from ‘Man’ to ‘Human’ in 1988 in recognition of the many successful flights by woman pilots.” Mr. Henry Kremer turned the wistful dreams of many to serious competition by donating over 275,000 pounds sterling ($440,000 at today’s exchange rates) in prize money for achievements such as flying a figure eight around to markers a half-mile apart and starting …

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 …