After an intriguing look into what is becoming a homogenous look for commercial aircraft in our previous blog, ‘Not so plain Planes – Part 1’, we are going to be taking a peek at and altogether new look and feel of aircraft soon to take to the sky.
In Cambridge, a radical new shape of aircraft is about to fly for the first time. While on nothing like the same scale as the Airbus A350 XWB and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, it does however make extensive use of carbon fibre composite materials and has been a labour of love for my friend Tony Bishop and his colleagues at e-Go aeroplanes.
Tony, who studied aeronautical engineering at Imperial College, together with Giotto Castelli won a design competition for a new class of light aircraft in 2007. As a single seater, the e-Go fits into the sub-115kg ‘deregulated’ category; in the UK and certain other territories, it needs no certification or permit to operate and can be flown on a microlight licence.
Having seen the aircraft at various stages of its development, I can vouch for not only its incredible lightness (the nearly 8m long wing weighs just 16kg) but also (at least to my eyes) its stunning appearance. The novel ‘Canard’ design contributes to those striking looks, but also makes it impossible to stall or spin the aircraft. The ‘pusher’ propeller enables a large canopy affording a panoramic view for the pilot.
Featured and above image credit: e-Go aeroplane on display at AeroExpo in May/June 2013
The e-Go was shown at AeroExpo in the UK at the end of May 2013, advance orders are being taken and the first test flight is expected in the next few months. With a cruise speed of 115mph, a 300mile range and predicted 70mpg fuel consumption, could the e-Go become the ‘to be seen in’ form of personal transport in the future?
I am of course interested to see my first Airbus A350 or Boeing Dreamliner, but even more excited to see the e-Go in flight. Unlike the Airbus or the Boeing, at least I will be sure of it when I see it, the e-Go certainly won’t confuse it with any other aircraft!