Welcome to the RAeS Human Powered Flight Group

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. Without the generosity and enthusiastic support of the late Mr Henry Kremer, human powered flight would probably still be only a dream. By offering prizes for the various competitions which have been set, he has provided a focus for research and made possible the building of extraordinary aircraft. Over the years he has donated over £275,000 of his own money to encourage greater achievement in human powered flight.

Human Powered Flight - Towards a Practical Sport

For designers these machines offer a most exciting challenge. Ultra lightweight materials have revolutionised techniques of construction, producing aircraft with a wingspan of around 25 meters, and an all up weight of little over 30 kilograms. Where the aircraft of the 1970's were so flimsy that they could only be flown in virtually still air, the machines now being built can cope with light winds. We have reached the transitional period in human powered flight. The basic research has been done, and this next stage will lead to more practical aircraft, which can be built by a group of enthusiasts and flown as a sport. For the pilot, the human factors involved are unique, offering a challenge not found in any other branch of aviation. Control of a slow flying, lightweight aeroplane demands a high degree of skill. In addition the pilot must generate sufficient power to take off and stay airborne. As designs progress, so it has become less necessary for the pilot to be a highly trained athlete. Anyone is a potential HPA pilot. One of the ultimate aims of the Group is to promote human powered flight as an Olympic sport.

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NEWS AND EVENTS

  • 7 Sep
    HQ Lecture

    The Vickers Wellington

    This lecture will be delivered by Dr Steve Bond, who will be talking about the Vickers Wellington, the only RAF bomber to serve in its original role from the first day of the European war to the last, and to serve as such in every theatre of World War II in a wide variety of roles.

  • 7 Sep
    Branch Event

    RAF Air-to-Air Missiles- The First 30 Years

    Covers the 50s period when Fireflash was developed, together with Aberporth Range & LLanbedr airfield, goes in the 60s period with Lightning )Firestreak & Red Top), then to Phantom (Sparrow III & Sidewinder) (70s) and finishes with Skyflash (Tornado ADV)(80s). Also firing AAMs against Jindivik in Aberporth Range operating from Valley, and high-level firings against Stilletto high-speed tgts.

  • 10 Sep
    HQ Lecture

    Flight Test Lecture

    This lecture will be organised by the Flight Test Group. Further details will be available shortly.

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