Southampton University Human Powered Aircraft: SUHPA

The human powered aircraft team at the University of Southampton has been assembled to celebrate the success of former students fifty years ago, where they managed to build and successfully fly SUMPAC. This year the MEng students from the university will be entering their aircraft in the Kremer prize competition which is considered to push the absolute limits of these aircraft. There are three remaining prizes in the competition; one for a flight round a specified twenty six mile Marathon distance course, in a time of under one hour, one for a sporting aeroplane and one for Schools within the UK. By furthering the progress of human powered flight the Royal Aeronautical society hopes “these competitions will bring nearer the day when human powered flight can be a sport with wide appeal and many participants”.

This year the team will be using much more advanced technology than previously used fifty years ago including a full carbon fibre structure with an auto-pilot. It is believed the success of this aircraft will be achieved by the auto-pilot which will allow greater power transfer from the pilot to the propeller.  The team is now hoping their hard work and commitment to the project will honour the great success of their predecessors.