HPA 4

The name is not yet known, but the design is promising: a wing span of 30 m, and an empty weight of less than 35 kg. A fit adult could easily fly for several minutes. A trained racing cyclist could fly for more than half an hour! The aircraft will fly slowly due to the large wing area, thereby providing ample time to look around. This HPA could be the Dutch entrant to the Icarus Cup, a yearly HPA competition in England.

The structure will consist of carbon tubing and steel wire bracing. A laminar airfoil will be used for good aerodynamic efficiency. The largest parts will be almost 8 m long, but weigh only a few kg. Even the propeller is enormous: a diameter of 4 m, and weighing only 1.5 kg! A custom, closed car trailer will help with transportation and storage of the HPA.

The aircraft can be controlled around 3 axes, such that turns are possible. Even a figure-of-eight could be flown. The tail surfaces are at the front of the aircraft, a so-called ‘canard’ configuration. This canard can roll and pitch, and thereby acts as rudder and elevator at the same time. Wing warping provides roll control, to fly coordinated turns.

The pilot is sitting upright, like a normal bicycle. Because of the slow flight speed, the air resistance of cockpit with aerodynamic fairing is not so significant. While a recumbent seating position is better for some pilots, the majority of people do not train in this position. Furthermore, the upright position gives the pilot a better view around and below!