Lots of kids wish they could build an airplane and fly away, but Dutch teenager Jesse van Kuijk has become one of the rare few to make it happen with his pedal-powered plane made out of balsa wood, polyurethane, and rip-resistant foil. The most impressive part? Van Kuijk built his plane without ever having flown in one before!
The Dutchman’s project began in 2006, when van Kuijk started researching pedal-powered planes, including the Gossamer Condor (the first pedal-powered plane to fly a figure-8) and the Gossamer Albatross (the first pedal-powered flight over the English channel).
Over the next few years, the inventor gathered materials and eventually built a plane with 85 foot-wide wings and a bicycle chain attached to a propeller for acceleration. Van Kuijk’s maiden flight last Sunday didn’t go very far–the plane flew 15 feet in the air for a distance of about 45 feet–but eventually he hopes to make an extended journey. That’s not out of the realm of possibility, as van Kuijk is only 19 years old and he built his first plane without constructing a model.
As we mentioned previously, Jesse van Kuijk is far from the first aeronautical buff to build a pedal-powered plane. The Royal Aeronautical Society funds four cash prizes for innovative models, with teams from institutions like Virginia Tech and Pennsylvania State University gunning for first place. But van Kuijk could very well be among the first of an upstart generation of engineers who find new ways to deal with growing aircraft fuel shortages.
Via Spiegel Online
187 Comments >
19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans
- 125 Comments >
- 40 Comments >
16 Comments >
FDA finds majority of herbal supplements at GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target don't contain what they claim - instead cheap fillers like wheat and soy powder
- 2002 Comments >
411 Comments >
BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop and Green Prize Package (Worth $1155!)
- 392 Comments >
- 366 Comments >
- 351 Comments >
286 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter to Win a Voltaic Laptop-Charging Solar Backpack Filled With Green School Supplies (Worth $500)!
282 Comments >
GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a Sloan AQUS Grey Water Toilet System That Recycles Your Sink Water (Worth $189)!
- 247 Comments >
240 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter Inhabitat's Back To School Contest to Win $250+ of Green Goodies Including a Voltaic Solar Backpack (Worth $129)
- 231 Comments >
- 229 Comments >
- 221 Comments >
Avocados are one of the wonderful fruits of summer. High in nutrition and flavor, nothing signals the start of summer like a zesty lime guacamole dip with tortilla chips. The next time you’re making guacamole or slicing an avocado for a salad, try savingREAD MORE >
You've all heard the tired mantras about changing your lightbulbs and recycling at home in order to save the planet - are you yawning yet? Many consumers think that going green is a gesture of self-sacrifice that often comes at great expense and inconvenienceREAD MORE >
It's amazing to think that just a few years ago, many people thought of LEDs as nothing more than the tiny red lights in our laser pointers but my, how the times have changed! With more and more people realizing the energy-efficiency benefits of LED lighting,READ MORE >
WINDOWHOP It's easy to get depressed when your work schedule has you getting less sun than Edward Cullen (you've got the sickly pallor to match and it's not nearly as sexy on you). If you're lucky enough to at least have a window in your workspace, openREAD MORE >
Cutting back on your energy usage is one of the best ways to bring down your electricity bill. But did you know that making simple changes to not just your wattage consumption but the way your home retains and expels air can dramatically transform the wayREAD MORE >
Did you know that there are wolves living near you in almost every state in the country? Sadly most of these wolves are not living in the wild, but in wolf sanctuaries, which are conservation organizations set up to protect them and help grow their populationREAD MORE >
Namba Parks was conceived when Osaka Stadium closed down, presenting a great redevelopment opportunity for a new commercial district right next to the Namba Train Station, which is just one stop away from Kansai Airport. Since it's one of the first placesREAD MORE >
Top image: A child is put to work at a militia-run mine in Watsa. © Marcus Bleasdale/National Geographic Captured during a 2004 visit to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Bleasdale's images "tell the story of the country's mineral resourceREAD MORE >
BANANAS You might have heard that bananas are favored by athletes because they contain potassium and it's that same reason that makes them great hangover cures. When you're hungover, your body has lost a lot of potassium that needs to be replenished, so eatingREAD MORE >
Images © Graham King “The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart. We see shopping carts every day and take them for granted. IndividuallyREAD MORE >
TIP 1: Wrap Your Home in Insulation - "The More, The Better!" Proper insulation is probably the most important factor you can control in creating an energy-efficient home. I always say insulation is like chocolate, the more you have, the better! On average,READ MORE >
While conjuring up comfort in the home seems like a basic principle, it’s a far more complex process for architect & remodeling guru Sarah Susanka, who believes that comfort can significantly influence the sustainability of your personal abode. WithREAD MORE >