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

  • 5 Jul
    Named Lecture

    Gerhard Sedlmayr Named Lecture 2016

    Hamburg Branch Named Lecture. Established to commemorate the memory of Gerhard Sedlmayr, a pioneering aviator who dedicated his life to improving safety equipment for aircraft. The company which he founded in Berlin in 1919 as "Autoflug - Spezialhaus für das Automobil- und Luftfahrtwesen, Gerhard Sedlmayr" is still today as Autoflug GmbH involved in the design and manufacture of safety equipment.

  • 6 Jul
    Conference

    The Automated Rotorcraft

    The Rotorcraft group will be holding this conference on 6th - 7th July 2016 and it look at the challenges and solutions of The Automated Rotorcraft. Registration is currently open.

  • 8 Jul
    Branch Event

    150th Anniversary Reception

    To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Governor General of Australia and the RAeS Australian Division are hosting a reception at Admiralty House in Sydney.

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