Lazarus –  Meet the impossible plane with a human engine

Lazarus – Meet the impossible plane with a human engine

Students at the University of Southampton have been working diligently on an ambitious and awesome project: to power flight with a single pilot, or human-powered aircraft (HPA). After years in the making, their dream became reality this year when they won first place for Lazarus – their custom-designed HPA.

Formula Flight, a competition organised by the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Human Powered Flight Group, sees contestants try to fly aircraft using only their physical power.

With its unique combination of grit and engineering skills, the event makes extreme engineering soar. It’s like a marathon…with wings! Unfortunately, with our puny human muscles only able to put out maximum power for short bursts at best, the low-speed lightweight craft is necessary.

SUHPA recently unveiled its latest project, Super Lazarus.

The vehicle has achieved a dramatic weight reduction from earlier models. Constructed from XPA foam, carbon fiber and balsa wood for a superior strength-to-weight ratio, this impressive aircraft boasts a 78-foot wingspan with an empty weight of just 112 pounds.

Its nearly 10-foot propeller can be engaged to generate 400W of power – enough to launch the 13′ long elevator and 6.56′ rudder into flight.

Super Lazarus was flown by an outside pilot to demonstrate its potential and highlight how SUHPA is open to collaborating with people from all kinds of backgrounds.

The team had already participated in this year’s Icarus Cup competition hosted by BHPFC – soaring ever further into the realm of Human Powered Aviation – and despite not claiming any trophies, the Super Lazarus team had a stunning success; their flight soared for an impressive 31 seconds.

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