Paxton man-powered aircraft

The Paxton man-powered aircraft was the project of architect Tony Paxton, to create a compact human-powered aircraft, suitable for sports flying.[1]

Role Human-powered aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Tony Paxton
Number built 1

It was a low-wing monoplane, but mounted on top of a tall undercarriage 6 ft off the ground. The airframe was constructed of metal tubing, with extensive use of styrofoam in order to create the wing ribs and fuselage formers. The wings were of constant chord and made use of the thick-sectioned high-lift GU25-5(11)8 aerofoil. The wings were also wire braced, and fitted with tip plates at each wingtip.[2][3] Control was very similar to that of the Weybridge Dumbo machine; the cruciform tail featured movable control surfaces on both fins and the tailplanes, with lateral control being achieved by rotating each wing, in its entirety, around the spar.

The pilot sat in the open air, in a reclined position, and powered a 2-bladed pusher propeller via a bevel-geared drive system.[3]

Initial tests with the aircraft resulted in a failure of the drive system. A later attempt to tow the aircraft aloft ended when the craft tipped over forwards.[3] According to the author Keith Sherwin, subsequent developments to the aircraft proved to be successful, implying that it had flown.[2]

Specifications edit

Data from Man-Powered Flight[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Wingspan: 51 ft (16 m)
  • Wing area: 153 sq ft (14.2 m2)
  • Airfoil: GU25-5(11)8
  • Empty weight: 85 lb (39 kg)
  • Gross weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed


See also edit

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

References edit

  1. ^ a b Sherwin, Keith (1971). Man-powered flight (revised reprint 1975 ed.). Hemel Hempstead, England: Model & Allied Publications Ltd. pp. 34, 164. ISBN 0852424361.
  2. ^ a b Sherwin, Keith (1976). To fly like a bird: The story of man-powered aircraft. Folkestone, England: Bailey Brothers and Swinfen Limited. pp. 161–162. ISBN 0561002835.
  3. ^ a b c Icarus' Children : The Story of Man-Powered Flight. PBS Nova. 1978. Event occurs at 24:00. OCLC 10744243. Archived from the original on 20 August 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2023.