From NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
By Paul Homewood
I had a mannequin airplane that was powered by rubber bands once I was a boy, however you wouldn't fly throughout the Atlantic on one!
When a one-person airplane powered purely by electrical energy took to the skies above the village of Little Snoring, it was a outstanding achievement in British engineering.
The maiden voyage of the primary all-electric gentle plane designed and constructed fully within the UK may herald the start of a brand new, homegrown, zero-emissions aerospace manufacturing trade.
But its victory lap didn’t final lengthy. The airplane was up for simply 33 minutes above the airfield in Norfolk, earlier than it got here again down for a recharge.
The all-electric microlight aeroplane may last as long as 90 minutes on full cost “on paper”, in response to Guy Gratton, an affiliate professor of aviation at Cranfield University, who piloted the Sherwood eKub.
The airplane was manufactured by The Light Aircraft Company (TLAC), which sells small planes to hobbyists all over the world, and constructed by a British-based consortium led by Mr Gratton.
It is a significant achievement within the race to determine emission-free air journey which the Government has backed with its Jet Zero Council. But it's unlikely to be the reply to remove the guilt out of your abroad holidays any time quickly.
Why is soppy Emma Gatten scripting this, as a substitute of the Telegraph’s aviation editor, who would possibly know what he's speaking about? (And, by the way in which, I don’t have any guilt about flying!)
As any aviation professional would have instructed her, battery powered flight has a elementary impediment, which it can not overcome apart from this kind of microlight, quick vary flight – the ratio of weight to power density.
Put merely, to put in sufficient battery capability for an extended flight would add an excessive amount of weight to the plane for it to be in any method helpful.
This microlight would possibly discover a area of interest amongst hobbyists. But because the Managing Director of TLAC admits:
“For the hobbyist, the leisure aviator, there is undoubtedly a market for it. But I’m certainly not basing my entire company’s future business on the project.”