Entrants in Japan International Birdman Rally 2017

The organizer of Japan International Birdman Rally (JIBR) 2016 announced entrants and their flight orders on each category, which are the distance of gliders , the distance of human-powered propeller aircrafts and the time trial of human-powered propeller aircrafts. 36 entrants will fly away in the competition. They are 24 gliders, and 15 distance of HPAs. As already announced, time trial of HPA category was discontinued.

In the first day, which is July 29, the glider category will be started at 7:30 am. In the second day, which is July 30, distance of HPAs category will be started at 6:00 am.

Glider category
(Start: 7:30 am 29 July)

Flight order Pilot Age Team Times Remarks
1 Motoki KIDO 20 Hiroshima Institute of Technology
HIT Sky Project
2 Kaori YASHIKI 20 Hosei University
3 Yuita TAKENAKA 30 626Lab 4 Tailless configuration
4 Hikaru SATO 20 Nihon university college of industrial technology
Tsudanuma Aeronautical Team
5 Takuto NAKATANI 21 Kanagawa Institute of Technology
6 Takayuki TASHIRO 21 Toyota Technological Institute
7 Naoki INAMI 21 Soka University Birdman Club 14
8 Keita EGOSHI 21 The University of Shiga Prefecture
UAfg(Usp Airplane fabricate group)
1 Joined wing configuration
9 Koki SAKAGUCHI 22 Kyusyu University Birdman Team 35 Low wing and asymmetry configuration
10 Rumina KANO 24 Tokyo University of Science
11 Yutaka OSA 57 Team Old Guys who want to fly with flapping 4 Ornihopter applied Swing like flapping wings system
12 Muga YAMAMOTO 18 National Institute of Technology, Niihama College
Team Migrant
13 Yuki SATO 22 Fukui University of Technology Birdman Projhect 5
14 Masaya OZAWA 31 Team Teputo 7
15 Yoshinori YANO 26 IWATANI Clean energy team 8 Team of the main sponsor campany
16 Masaya KAI 26 Project Liberte 1
17 Keita FUKUMORI 58 Team Hamahama 27 Ornihopter applied PUMPABIKE like flapping wings system
18 Tsukasa KAWAJIRI 20 Tokyo Metropolitan College of Industrial Technology
Team ЯTR
19 Yota TOBATA 24 Team Azamino 1
20 Yuta SHUKUNAMI 21 Tokyo Metropolitan University
21 Yasuaki MIURA 19 Shizuoka University of Science and Technology
Sky Traveler
7 Swept wing, no fin and small stab configuration
22 Yuichi YOSHIDA 52 Nerima Challenge Team 10 High wing and twin-boom configuration
23 Taisei MURAMOTO 21 University of Hyogo
24 Shoji OKI 47 Mitaka Mobara Shimoyokota 30  The record folder (501.38 metre(2012))


HPA Distance category
(Start: 6:00 am 30 July)

Flight order Pilot Age Team Times Remarks
1 Keijiro SAITO 20 Kyoto University
2 Masaya KAKEMIZU 19 Hiroshima University School of Engineering
12  Twin prop configuration
3 Shunsuke IGARASHI 21 Tokyo Institute of Technology
21 Team best: 32,177.99 metre (2003)
4 Tsuneaki AKASE 20 Osaka Prefecture University
WindMill Club
22 Co-axial Mid prop configuration
Team best: 15,299.83 metre (2003)
5 Kotaro ONO 20 Kogakuin University
Birdman project
6 Yuta WATANABE 30 BIRDMAN HOUSE Iga 2  Team best: 17,854.09 metre (2016)
7 Kojiro YOSHIHASHI 21 Waseda University
Aeronautics & Space Association
8 Takuya HURUNAGA 20 Nagoya Institute of Technology
HPA study group NIEWS
9 Hayato TADA 21 Tohoku University
19  Team best: 36,000.00 metre (2008)
Takumi KOIKE
Shibaura Institute of Technology
Team Birdman Traial
20 Two-seater HPA
11 Haruki MOMOSE 21 Tokyo University of Science
Aircraft Makers
12 Kohei HUKUNAGA 19 Nagoya University
13 Sorano MIYAUCHI 31 ROKKO WORKS 1 Co-axial Mid prop configuration
Pilot’s best: 28,628.43 metre (2006)
14 Mitsuru OHARA 50 Toyota HPA study group with Takikko 9
15 Akira SHIOMI 20 Nihon university Aeronautical Students Group (NASG) 37 Defending Champions
Team best: 34,654.10 metre (2003)


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A students’ team attempted the world first FAI record of HPA.

“Apollo” which is Team “Aircraft Makers”‘s human-powered aircraft before flight on the attempt morning.
Source: http://acm9.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-380.html

On 6 November 2016, a team “Aircraft Makers”, which is a students’ HPA team at Tokyo University of Science, attempted FAI world record of HPA at Ryugasaki Airport in Ryugasaki city, Ibaraki pref., Japan. The team attempted “Distance on an Out and Return Cource” in accordance with FAI Sporting Code Section 11 3.1.2. As you may know, any records are not certified by FAI in this cateogry. So If the team successed the attempt, the team can achieve to set the new world record and their pilot can be the first japanese FAI record holder of human-powered aircraft.

In the last spring, the team decided to attempt a world record because the team had been rejected to entry HPA time trial category of the Japan International Birdman Rally 2016 and had lost appropriate occasions of flight to exercise potential of their aircraft performance. It is difficult for students to attempt FAI record. Because many negociations and many agreements are needed to fly human-powered aircraft over any places or waters. Ryugasaki airport ordinarily also reject to use runway to fly a human-powered aircraft. But the team and their supporters achieved to get agreement of the airport.

The team performed test flights to improve their aircraft and to train their pilot for setting the record from spring to summer in the last year. In test flights, they successed 180 degrees turning flights, which attracted team Airglow’s attention and were introduced on team Airglow’s facebook.  You may have watched the video. The following video shows one of the test flights for turning on 4 August 2016 uploaded on youtube page on team Aircraft Makers (https://www.youtube.com/user/aircraftmakers/featured). As it shows, their aircraft has impressive maneuverability. Most of HPA fans may hope for their success.


On the attempt morning, they performed running of aircraft and test flights (straight flight along the runway) to check their aircraft and pilot at first. Those few flights are their first flights on the Ryugasaki airport. They confirmed that their aircraft and pilot had no problems. Then they decided to go on a attempt flight. The team applied setting total 800 metre (one way 400 metre) length of a course to set the world record. Their aircraft and pilot successed to take off and to pass over T-bar of 2 metre height. Their aircraft flew uneventfully before turning. When on the harf way of turning, bank angle of the aircraft was incresing and loosing its altitudes. Finally the right wing tip of the aircraft touched tall grasses and the aircraft was made a forced landing. Their attempt was failed.

The pilot looked at causes of faillure in the attempt flight in the team’s blog. One of the causes might be crosswind. He was exhausted by excessive drag of a rudder and landing gears to avoid turning off the runway by the crosswind until taking off. Therefore he did not gain enough altitude for safety turning. Another of the causes was that the team might be unfamiliar with the Ryugasaki airport. The team was not able to use the airport before the attempt. So the team could not know enviroment of near the runway. Actually the pilot wrote in their blog that he did not get clearly perspective of the flight course due to tall grasses.

Although the team’s attempt was failed, this attempt gave valuable experience to the team.I wish that the attempt encourage other students’ HPA teams to attempt FAI records.

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National Air Sport Control of Japan recognized the official governing body of Human-Powered Aircraft in Japan!!

Mr. HAMANO (center) , who is the chairperson of EXAL (EXperimental Aircraft League), is holding an issued certificate of JAA (Japan Aeronautic Association) official human-powered aircraft organization and board members of JAA are around him.

Mr. HAMANO (center) , who is the chairperson of EXAL (EXperimental Aircraft League), is holding an issued certificate of JAA (Japan Aeronautic Association) official human-powered aircraft governing body and board members of JAA are around him on 26 Jan. 2017.
Source(Japanese): http://www.aero.or.jp/koku_sports/koku_sports_top_new.htm


Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA), which is the japanese national air sport control membering FAI, announced that JAA recognized Experimental Aircraft League(EXAL) as the official governing body of Human-powered aircraft in Japan on 21 December 2016. Additionally JAA issued a certificate of governing body of human-poered aircraft to EXAL on 26 January 2017. EXAL have been recognised as the governing body of experimental aircraft in Japan even up to now. Therefore EXAL becomes the official governing body for the former 2 category of air sports. EXAL have not announced officially about human-powered aircraft as the official governing body up to posting this article.

Some amateures of human-powered aircraft in Japan are feeling both anxious and excited. The reconition of the official governing body may make flights or competitions of human-powered aircraft one of official air sports. In that case, it may become easy to attempt setting FAI records or to take place officially new competitions such as BHPFC rally in UK or KARI competition in Korea. On the other hand, it may become difficult to fly human-powered aircraft. A part of amateures have specific concerns. One of the concerns is application of Civil Aeronautics Act for human-powered aircraft as experimental aircraft. For example flights of experimental aircraft governed by the EXAL needs long time, which is known that it is normally several months or more  at first time, for approval of civil aviation bureauunder. The approval is also required when the experimental aircraft is modified. Most of human-powered aircraft needs many modification from initial design through test flights for safyty, stability and controled fllight.If participants of Japan International Birdman Rally are required to gain same approval as owner of experimantal aircraft, participants may have to take huge time, which may be sevral years, to develop and modify their human-powered aircraft. If so, it may be difficult that high performance human-powered aircraft entry the annual japanese birdman rally as well as until now. Especially for students’ team, it may be difficult to develop high performance human-powered aircraft needing consistent development because of frequent change of owner ship of active members including pilot with their promotion or graduation.

Although there are some concerns, I wish that the recognition of the governing body of human-powered aircraft encourages activities human-powered aircraft in Japan to impressively grow.

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The Flight Exhibition of Human-Powered Aircrafts 2016 was held.

On 27 August 2016, The Flight Exhibition of Human-Powered Aircrafts 2016 was held at Fujikawa (or Fujigawa) gliderport in Shimizu wead, Shizuoka city, Shizuoka prefecture. In this meeting, Two HPAs took into the sky as flight exhibision and were exhibited on the ground after their flights. In addition to the HPA flights, items regarding HPA activities were exhibited. Participants discussed about those exbisions and HPAs in point of view of engineering, operation technique and so on.

Quoted photo from http://hpahikoukai.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-104.html: exhibition flight of HPA developed by team Sky project (students' team of Tekyo university). The photo is linked to official blog of the meeting showing the original file.

Quoted photo from http://hpahikoukai.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-104.html: exhibition flight of HPA developed by team Sky project (students’ team of Tekyo university). The photo is linked to official blog of the meeting showing the original file.

The HPA flights of this flight exhibision meeting is a brief competition. The competition is scored according to a points system awarded to the team for approprate controlled flight. The controlled flight consists of stability in runing, pitch stability in taking off, stability of height, speed and attitude in flight and controlled and targeted soft randing. Prior to the meeting, some points also are aweard for results of load test and test flights from point of view of safety. In this meeting, two teams entried in the exhibision flight. one of them was Teikyo university team Sky project and the other was Tokai university team TUMPA(Tokai University Man-Powered Aircraft). Finally the Sky project got 533 points and won this brief competition. TUMPA’s HPA, which got 425 points and which was high speed and high manuverability HPA for JIBR HPA timetrial, would be unmatch with the point system.

In items exhibition, several items were provided from several teams. For example, propeller hub for variable pitch propeller, some propeller blades, gearbox, propeller jig and balsa wood seedling were exhibited. The propeller hub were provided by famous team Aeroscepy, which have been aiming at breaking great world record set by MIT deadalus. A team member of the Aeroscepcy gave a explanation of mechanism of the variable pitch hub to many participants from students’ team.

The Flight Exhibision of Human-Powered Aircrafts has been held annualy since 2010 except 2014. All of staffs is volunteer and cost of the meeting was funded by donations. This meeting is a very smaller event than Japan International Birdman Rally (JIBR), which is organized for TV program by YOMIURI TELECASTING CORPORATION. Flyable area of this meeting which is limited in the 850 metre length runway also very smaller than flyable area of JIBR. Of course, audiences of this meeting was less than JIBR. Although this meeting is tiny, it is important event for HPA amatures other than JIBR. The reason why This meeting was planned is that JIBR, which had been held anually since 1977, was not held in 2009 because of effects of global financial crisis. It shocked most of HPA funs who assumed that JIBR 2009 was going to be held. A part of HPA funs planned another occasion for many audiences to watch HPA flights by a number of teams. At last they started this meeting.

Currently one of major intentions of this meeting is to provide HPA teams alternative target to JIBR when they were rejected in applicant screening of JIBR. Many teams, which may be about twenty teams, are rejected in the applicant screening and most of them also have started to build their HPA at the time because of long building time. The rejected teams lost target of their project. Ofcourse they will continue their activity in order to gain know-how of design, building process, training of pilot and HPA operation. But losing their target much impact on motivation of members of the project. Finally the team may give up their HPA activities of the year. It may affect their activity in the next and later year. The Flight Exhibision of Human-Powered Aircrafts will encourage the rejected teams to keep their motivation.

Another intention is to provide occasion of interaction while watching flyable HPAs or actual HPA parts. In JIBR, it is difficult for audiences to watch HPAs from close up it because HPAs in JIBR is surrounded by narvous participants to get ready for their flght in the serious competition. On the other hand, in the flight exhibision meeting participants can watch and even may touch HPAs.

This Flight Exhibition meeting is a tiny event but it is a meaningful event providing different value from bigger JIBR. The meeting will be supporting more growth of Japanese HPA scene.


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Yomiuri TV is looking for participants of 40th Japan International Birdman Rally which will be held in July 2017!!

English version of TV program introduction of Japan International Birdman Rally

English version of TV program introduction of Japan International Birdman Rally
Source: http://www.ytv.co.jp/english/programs/index.php?g=g06&p=&pId=g06_19

Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, which is governing body, announced that the 40 th Japan International Birdman Rally (JIBR) will be held in end of the next July. The 40 th JIBR will consist of “Distance by Glider category” and “Distance by human-powered propeller aircraft category”. Please note that the governing body has already decided to discontinue “Time trial by human-powered propeller aircraft category” which had been held in the last 10 competitions. According to official Facebook of the competition, the governing body would like various teams having different background to entry the competition. Ofcourse the “various teams” include a team consisting of non-Japanese people.

Additionally, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation announced holding information sessions of the competition for persons wishing participate. The information sessions will be held in Osaka on 4 Feb, 2017 and in Tokyo on 5 Feb, 2017. If you want to participate the sessions, you need to submit your information by 31 Jan. The information should be include followings; 1. The place for the session you want to go, 2. Your team name, 3. Name of participant of the session (two people or less) 4. Your street address and 5. Your contact information. You can send the information by a postcard, FAX or E-mail.You will need rule book in the session. The rule book will sell at 500 yen in the place.

[UPDATED 28 Jan. 2016] Regarding those sessions, JIBR organizer also gives a welcome to brand-new teams who want to participate JIBR 2018 or later.

If you want more detail information, please visit the official JIBR website.

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Results of Japan International Birdman Rally 2016

This article intends to show results of Japan International Birdman Rally (JIBR) 2016 in English because google translation can not work for results page of JIBR official website.

NOTE: Some team names are defined with only Japanese. So they were forcibly interpreted by author in following.

Glider category

Position Pilot Age Team Flight distance [metre] Remarks
1 Shoji OKI 46 Mitaka Mobara Shimoyokota 443.60 4th longest record of the category
2 Kaho SUNAGA 21 Tokyo Metropolitan University team MaPPL 392.06 1st longest students record of the category
3 Koki SAKAGUCHI 21 Kyushu University Birdman Team 332.91
4 Masaya OZAWA 31 Team Teputo 278.71
5 Toma KANEHIRA 26 Team SOLAE (Team at Toyota Technological Institute) 277.56
6 Ryotaro KINJO 19 Soka University Birdman Club 250.50
7 Keita FUKUMORI 57 Team Hamahama 221.09 Ornihopter applied PUMPABIKE like drive system
8 Masaki KURAKAMI 20 Tokyo University of Science Team Torica 203.72
9 Takumi DOSAKA 20 Tsudanuma Aeronautical Team (team at Nihon university college of industrial technology) 153.00
10 Tsukasa KAWAJIRI 19 Tokyo Metropolitan College of Industrial Technology Team ЯTR 138.92
11 Tomohiro NAKAYAMA 21 Shizuoka University of Science and Technology Team Sky Traveler 60.57 Swept wing and small stab configuration
12 Nobuyoshi YAMADA 38 Shijonawate young man’s group 54.93
13 Kiichi SAITO 20 Osaka Sangyo University birdman project 54.51 Biplane
14 Izumi KONNO 20 Muroran Institute of Technology aeronautical study group 40.44 Canard configuration
15 Wataru KOIDO 20 Sophia University Team Flying Turkeys 30.93
16 Hitoshi ICHISE 26 IWATANI Clean energy team 30.93  Team of sponsor campany
17 Nozomi KADOSUGI 30 Kari-ko Dream (team at Kanda technical high school) 14.78
18 Hiroki HISAMATSU 20 Hosei unversity Team HoPE 13.14

HPA time trial category

Position Pilot Age Team Time Remarks
1 Seiichiro ITO 21 Nagoya University Team AirCraft 1m46s11 3th fastest record in the category
2 Hiroto KITTAKA 20 Tokyo Metropolitan University Team T-MIT 2m08m60
3 Shu INOUE 20 University of Tsukuba team Tsukuba Birdman Works 2m31s41
4 Mitsuru Ohara 49 MPACII with Takikko DNF
5 Ryota HAGIWARA 20 Waseda University WASA (Waseda univ. Aeronautics & Space Association) DNF
6 Seiya MATSUSHITA 21 Osaka Prefecture University WindMill Club DNF Mid propeller configuration

HPA distance category

Position Pilot Age Team Flight distance [metre] Remarks
1 Shunya YAMAZAKI 20 Nihon university Aeronautical Students Group (NASG) 21415.53
2 Ryosuke AKAISHI 20 Tohoku university Team Windnauts 19699.59
3 Yuta WATANABE 29 BIRDMAN HOUSE Iga 17854.09
4 Nobutoshi FUJIHARA 21 Hiroshima University Team HUSE 2483.20 Twin propeller
5 Kodai KOMIZU 20 Hokkaido university TEam Northern Wings 1967.13
6 Masanori IWASE 25 Flight Works 1029.75
7 Toshihiko HIRASAWA 20 Kyoto University Team Shooting Stars 853.82
8 Haruka OGIKUBO 21 The University of Electro-Communications Team U.E.C Wings 694.90 Female pilot, Ita-HPA (decorating the wing with fictional girls “Lagopus-tan sisters”)
9 Kazuma SAKAI 33 Osaka institute of technology human-powered aircraft project 475.22 One blade propeller
10 Hiroyuki KASHIWAGI 36  Next generation aircraft research group 424.19 Twin boom + V tail
11 Michihiro HOJO/Ryo SHIGEMATSU 20/21 Shibaura institute of technology Team Birdman Trial 24.27 Two-seater HPA
12 Takeru IBUKI 20 Ritsumeikan university Aircraft Project Team – RAPT 14.45

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Japan International Birdman Rally 2016 was broadcasted.

A TV program of 39th Japan International Birdman Rally (JIBR) 2016 (鳥人間コンテスト2016) was broadcasted on 31 Aug, 2016. Yomiuri telecasting corporation, who is organizer of the competition, unveiled results of the competition on their website after broadcasting the program. The TV program has been webcasted within Japan. However, unfortunately it can not be watched officially in other countries. So this article try to introduce you very brief overview of winner of the JIBR

Japan International Birdman Rally 2016 picture of platform and announcement of broadcasting.

Platform of Japan International Birdman Rally and announcement of broadcasting. The picture link to JIBR official website (http://www.ytv.co.jp/birdman/), where the original image is put.

Glider category
Glider category is the oldest category in JIBR competitions. Machines used in this category can not have propeller. The participants try to fly with their own home-made light weight gliders. The game record of the category is 501.38 meters (approx 548.32 yards) of flight distance.

Flight picture of team

Flight of team “Mitaka Mobara Shimoyokota”‘s glider piloted by Shoji OKI, that is the winner of glider category in JIBR 2016.

Team “Mitaka Mobara Shimo-Yokota” and their pilot Shoji OKI won the 1st prize with 443.60 meters (approx. 485.13 yards) flight distance in glider category of this year. This is their the 13th win and this flight distance is the 4th longest distance in JIBR glider category. This team and Mr. OKI have been known as the undisputed king of birdman. In the last competition, however, they finished in 6th place with only 258.24 meters (approx. 282.41 yards)  flight. They were successful in clearing their name with this win.

Time trial categoty of human-powered propeller airplane
This category is the youngest category in JIBR and have performed 10 times. Machines used in this category have propellers driven by human power. The participants compete on speed of flying on a specified cource which is total 1000 meters and more (going away 500 meters, U-turn and returning 500 meters). In this category, High speed and high maneuverable HPA are required. The game record of this category is 1’43″03.

Flight of team

Flight of team “AirCraft”‘s HPA piloted by Seiichiro ITO, that is that winner of HPA time trial category in JIBR 2016.

Team “AirCraft”, which is HPA club by students of Nagoya university, and their pilot Seiichiro ITO won the 1st prize with 1’46″11. This time is the 3rd fastest record in this category. Their HPA have high speed which is approx. 12 m/s and high maneuverability by flapperon. So it had been expected that they break record. But it did not come true.

Distance category of human-powered propeller airplane
This category is the most famous category in JIBR. Machine used in this category have propeller driven by human power. Some HPAs in this category have high performance such as Gossamer Albatross. In most of case, it is difficult to fly 30 km and more due to high temperature (approx. 30 deg C/ 86 deg F or higher) of Japanese summer. The game record of this category is 36 km (approx. 22.37 mi).

Flight of team

Flight of team “Nihon university Aeronautical Students Group”‘s HPA named “Möwe33” piloted Shunya YAMAZAKI, that is the winner of HPA distance cateogy in JIBR 2016.

Team “Nihon university Aeronautical Students Group (NASG)” and their pilot Shunya YAMAZAKI won the 1st prize with 21415.53 meters (approx. 13.3 mi). This is their 8th win and this flight distance is the 10th longest distance in this category. Nihon university is pioneer of HPA and achieved the first flight by HPA in Japan. This team have been a distinguished team. However this team had not won in the last 10 years. This team got the first win for the last 11 years in this memorable year when is the 50th anniversary of the japanese first HPA flight by nihon university.


Unfortunately official website of JIBR website performed in this July. If I resolve this problem, I will add link to translated results.


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