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

  • 3 Nov
    Conference

    Research Aircraft Operations

    This conference aims to bring together the global research aircraft operating community to share lessons and capabilities, as well as future plans for both campaigns and facility improvements. This conference is aimed at all participants in the planning, management and execution of airborne research programmes, both manned and unmanned, and both scientifically and aeronautically oriented.

  • 3 Nov
    Branch Event

    Apache Ops in Afghanistan

    Apache Ops in Afghanistan by Maj Simon Wilsey, OC 664 Sqn AAC

  • 5 Nov
    Named Lecture

    Brabazon Named Lecture 2014

    The new CEO of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, will deliver the 2014 Brabazon Lecture. The Brabazon Lecture is held in honour of Lord Brabazon of Tara. Born in London on 8 February 1884, J.T.C. Moore-Brabazon became one of British aviation's true pioneers and, in his political career played an important role in the planning of civil aviation for the years following WW2.

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