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 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 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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Japanese high school students made towing flight with their HPA.

Towing flight of High school students’ HPA belongiing Higashi Okayama Technical High School.

10 high school students who belong to mechanical department of Higashi Okayama Technical High School made successfully towing flight with their handmade human-powered airplane in front of presses on February 8, 2016. They flew the HPA two times on that day. The first flight was distance of 24 meters and maximum height of 20 centimeters. The second flight led to breaking their HPA. The first flight is the fourth successful flight and the longest flight for the school since 2001, when students of the school started HPA building and flight trial as graduation study.

Their HPA has aluminium tubular structure, strut and wire braced high wing monoplane, wing span of 24 meters, tractor-type 2 blades propeller of 3 meters diameter, length allover of 7 meters and empty weight of 50 kg. The HPA is the fifth machine of the school. The HPA tried towing flight and crashed 2 years ago. The HPA had been repaired and  modified in the last 2 years.

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人力飛行機 飛行本番(機械科) « 岡山県立東岡山工業高等学校:  Human-powered airplane flight (Mechanical department) <<Higashi Okayama Technical High School  (Google transrated link – English)

過去最高24メートル、人力飛行機飛ばしたぞ 東岡山工業高の生徒ら😦Google transrated link – English)

poor English better than Japanese – thank you

A challenge to Post-Daedalus style

Many HPA builders may have imagined new generation of HPA style which may replace Daedalus-look HPAs, which means “conventional configuration, boom fuselage and hanged cockpit pod” style. Modern HPA style mainly have been established by MIT team (Monarch A/B and Daedalus), MacCready team (Bionicbat), Rochelt team (Musculair 1/2),Max Horlacher team (Pelargos serise) … and many their followers. The modern HPA style is about 30 years old.  I think that HPA builders should not stop challenges to build more efficient HPA which can achieve new records and can fly easily for many people to fun HPA.

The “TUMPA/Tokai University Man Power Aircraft” HPA club at Tokai university have built HPA for about 30 years and have challenged to one of non-Daedalus-look HPA for three years. Their HPA have direct drive system and retractable landing gear.  The drive system is conposed of only one gear box and propeller shaft. It is expected of higher efficiency by less number of component parts. The retractable landing gear is expected of less drag in flying.

In above video, landing gear is not retractable type because the flight is in test flight ,which the HPA flew in low altitude.

Last year, the team participated in Time trial with HPA division in the Japan International Birdman Rally. Their HPA took off smoothly and flew. The HPA including its drive system and retractable landing gear looked good work.But the HPA got large drag of spoilers which were opened by trouble of control system on the way. Then the HPA splashed down water at least.

This year, the team is going to participate in the same competition. Please direct your attention to their challenge in the competition.

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poor English better than Japanese – thank you

Birdman teams meeting 2015 spring was held at Kanazawa Univ.

A semi-annual meeting of Japanese birdman teams meeting was held on 14 Mar. 2015 at Kanazawa University, Ishikawa, Japan. Most of participants are belong to human powered aircraft club or birdman-type glider club of university/college throughout Japan. Of course, members of non-students teams also participated.  The meeting have been intent to facilitate exchange between other teams. It consisted of general lectures and some meetings regarding each components of HPA or birdman’s glider. In this meeting, three speakers gave lecture. One of them was lecture regarding methods of test flight of HPA more safe. another was announcement regarding HPA flight exhibition which will be held in this summer. The other one was announcement regarding activity of a certain non-student team. Throughout the meeting, Participants built their network of contacts to make their activity excellence in future of HPA and birdman rally. The next meeting will be hosted by a birdman rally team of Soka University in next fall.


poor English better than Japanese – thank you