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Human Powered Airplane Flies in California
January 7, 2016 - The Dead Simple Human Powered Airplane (DaSH) made its first flight on Saturday, December 5 at 7:32 a.m. at the Half Moon Bay Airport, just south of San Francisco, California. Described on the team’s blog as a “just-for-fun, after hours project,” the DaSH represents a culmination of more than 12,000 man-hours of work by hundreds of volunteers.
DaSH has a wingspan of 109 feet (33.3 meters) but weighs in at just under 100 pounds (45 kilograms), half the weight of the pilot. The first flight covered a distance of 764 feet (233 meters) in 37 seconds, and was described by chief engineer and test pilot Alec Proudfoot as “fantastic.”
“It flew a lot easier and handled great,” he said. “A bit of PIO (pilot induced oscillation) in the middle of the flight as I sorted out the handling.” The flight was cut short when a flange on the vertical tail mount failed, but the landing was uneventful and the damage has since been repaired.
“We're very happy with how this first flight went, a long one for a brand new HPA, and we're looking forward to flying again soon,” Proudfoot concluded.