• 20th November 2008 - By greg

    Human Powered Flight

    I’m not sure exactly what direction I want to pursue with this project. I have a few options. There are a few designs that are being considered and these will need to be built in-house from scratch (a huge job!). Another option is to bring a HPA over from Germany. Velair was built by Peter Frank in 1989 and requires at least 255 watts to maintain flight for at least 3 hours which is way beyond my ability for going after the impossible 115 km MIT Daedalus record.

    I have spoken to Executive Vice President Al Krause from the IHPVA and Chris Roper, the IHPVA Vice President for Air records. They have agreed to set up a new record category that would be similar in spirit to the existing 24 hour human powered distance records for both land and water. Since accumulated flight distance in 24 hours is counted, I would be allowed to land and take-off as many times in 24 hours as I wanted – exactly the same rules that allowed for pit stops during my 24 HPV record in Critical Power as I made my way around the 1/4 mile oval race track in Eureka California, and the 24 hour human powered boat record in Whitefish where I circled a 5.79 km loop on Whitefish Lake in Montana.

    Of course, the clock would continue to tick during the stops and
    only miles of actual flight would be counted (wheels off the ground). I’m thinking that a dry lake bed or the salt flats would work for this. Even better would be a frozen lake in the winter near sea level. I could use some sort of light weight skis. The advantage with this approach is density altitude – the air is much thicker at sea level when it is cold and the power required for lift is reduced.

    One of the issues is getting the HPV over here from Germany which would require a container ship and cost about $5000. Still, far less expensive than building from scratch.

    Well, that’s all for now. I’ll send out another update and let you know how the big keynote went. I’m getting excited!!


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