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

  • 20 Oct
    Corporate Partner Event

    Corporate Partner Briefing by Sir Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire, House of Commons

    Sir Peter will draw on his experience of the 2010 SDSR and of the development and publication of the 2012 White Paper, “National Security Through Technology” as well as his involvement In the Defence Growth Partnership, to reflect on what industry should expect – and seek – in the 2015 SDSR.

  • 21 Oct
    Conference

    Alternative Fuels and Propulsion Systems

    The aim of this conference is to assess how aviation's impact on the environment can be reduced. The latest low carbon propulsion and fuel options for aviation will be reviewed and key questions will be addressed.

  • 24 Oct
    Conference

    Civil Aircraft Technology Enabled Services – A First Step Towards Achieving Maintenance Credits

    Following on from two previous related events, the aim of this workshop will be to initiate a process that delivers an industry-wide approach towards achieving Maintenance Credits and will focus on two areas in particular: • Data interoperability standards • Early engagement with regulatory bodies when introducing new IVHM technologies Related areas including the process of achieving maintenance credits, the required evidence base and regulatory hurdles will also be considered.

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