The Design and Construction Consideration for Developing the Human Powered Aircraft

인력비행기 개발을 위한 설계 및 제작 고려 요소

  • 이기영 (해군사관학교 기계조선공학과) ;
  • 최성옥 (공군사관학교 항공우주공학과)
  • Published : 2009.03.31


This paper surveys the historical perspective and design considerations for developing the human powered aircraft(HPA). Especially the weight and materials, aerodynamics, flight controls, and power trains are focused. The average power a human can produce and sustain is approximately 200${\sim}$250 W which is a critical design constraint of HPA. The survey shows that the empty weight of HPA was in the 30${\sim}$40 kg range(90${\sim}$110 kg include pilot). Thus, in order to design a successful HPA, the value of power to weight ratio should be 2.0 W/kg or above. The HPA design technique could be applied directly to the development of an unmanned high altitude airplanes used for atmospheric research, where light structures, low Reynolds number aerodynamics and high efficiency propeller design are required as well.


  1. Laurenza, D., Leonardo on Flight, Giunti Editore S.p.A., Florence-Millan, Italy, 2004.
  2. Niccoli, R., History of Flight, White Star S.p.A. Via Candido Sassone, Vercelli, Italy, 2002.
  3. The Royal Aeronautical Society, Human Powered Flight Regulations and Conditions for the Kremer International Marathon Competition, 1988.
  4. Drela, M., "Aerodynamics of Human-Powered Flight," Annu. Rev., Fluid Mech., Vol. 22, 1990, pp. 93-110.
  5. Langford, J. S., "The Daedalus Project: A Summary of Lessons Learned," AIAA-89-2048, 1989.
  6. Kimura, H., "Development of Human-Powered Aircraft in Nihon University Since 1963," The Research Institute of Science & Technology Nihon University, 1977.
  7. Nakamura, K., "Human Powered Aircraft of Japan," The Human Powered Aircraft Group Symposium, Royal Aeronautical Society, London, 1992.
  8. 유용원의 군사포커스, 2008년6월21일, 조선일보.
  9. Bussolari, S. R. and Nadel, E. R., "The Physiological Limits of Long Duration Human Power Production," Human Power, Summer 1989.
  10. Whitt, F. R., Wilson, D. G., Bicycling Science, MIT Press, London, 1982.
  11. Huxley, H. E., "The Mechanism of Muscular Contraction," Scientific Am., Vol. 213, No. 6, 1965, pp. 18-27.
  12. Nadel, E. R., and Bussolari, S. R., "The Daedalus Project: Physiological Problems and Solutions," American Scientist, Vol. 76, 1988, pp. 35-360.
  13. Ball, D., Ferguson, R. A., & Sargeant, A. J., "Effect of Muscle Temperature on Rate of Oxygen Uptake During Exercise in Humans at Different Contraction Frequencies," The Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 205, 2002, pp. 981-987.
  14. Frank, P., "The Human Powered Aircraft Velair Design Details and Results of Structural, Prop and Flight Tests," 1994 International Human Powered Flight Symposium.
  15. Drela, M., "Low Reynolds-Number Airfoil Design for the M. I. T. Daedalus Prototype: Case Study," J. Aircraft, Vol. 25, No. 8, 1988, pp. 724-732.
  16. Lissamann, P. B. S., "Low Reynolds Number Airfoils, " Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. Vol. 15, 1983, 229-239.
  17. Carmichael, B. H., "Low Reynolds Number Airfoil Survey," NASA CR-165803.
  18. Wortmann, F. X., "Aerofoil Design for Man Powered Aircraft," 2nd Man Powered Aircraft Group Symposium, The Royal Aeronautical Society, London, 1977.
  19. 이일우, “인력비행기 형상설계 및 해석결과,” KHPA 설계 및 제작 기본설계 검토회의 발표자료, 2008.
  20. Anderson, J. D., Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 2007.
  21. Abbot, I. H. and Von Doenhoff, A. E., Theory of Wing Section, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1949.
  22. Shenstone, B. S., "Engineering Aspects in Man Powered Flight," Journal of The Royal Aeronautical Society, Vol. 64, No. 596, August 1960.
  23. Raymer, D. P., Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach 4th ed, AIAA Education Series, AIAA, Inc., Virginia, 2006.
  24. Glauert, H., "Airplane propellers, In Aerodynamic Theory, Vol. 4, Div. I, pp. 169-360, Berlin, Springer-Verlag.
  25. Larrabee, E. E., "Practical Design of Minimum Induced Loss Propellers," SAE Technical Paper 790585, 1979.
  26. Larrabee, E. E., "My Propeller Theory," Human Power, No 50, p. 20, Spring, 2000.
  27. Larrabee, E. E., "The Daedalus Propeller: A Modern Application of Classical Propeller Theory," Fall 1988.