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

  • 27 Apr
    Corporate Partner Event

    Corporate Partner Briefing by Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports

    A briefing on the strategy and model that contributed to the rapid ascension of Dubai International to its status as the world's busiest international airport, as well as plans for the $32 billion expansion of Dubai's second largest airport, Al Maktoum International, at Dubai World Central.

  • 27 Apr
    HQ Lecture

    Alan Bristow Memorial Lecture 2015

    This lecture is held in memoriam of Alan Bristow; a key figure in the rotary world. The lecture will cover 'Contemporary Royal Naval Helicopter Operations' and will be given by Cdr Glyn Owen, Commanding Officer 825 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Navy & Peter Prager, Head Of Training Operations (UK), AgustaWestland.

  • 28 Apr
    Named Lecture

    Commercial Aviation Trends - Past, Present and Future

    Sir Roy McNulty, Chairman of Gatwick Airport Limited will discuss some of the principal trends which have affected the industry in the UK over the past 40 years – technological, commercial, operational, environmental, regulatory and political.

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