e-Go Aeroplanes – visit

e-Go Hillcoat & BougheyToday I went to the e-Go Centre in Cambridgeshire, UK – home of an ultra-modern single seat aircraft – the e-Go Aeroplane. Click here for information in a previous post: e-Go Aeroplanes.

I met CEO, Adrian Hillcoat and Sales & Marketing Manager, David Boughey, seen L-R in the photo here, with the currently dis-assembled e-Go prototype.

We spent 2-3 hours looking around their facility and discussing the technical aspects of their aircraft, testing schedules and production plans, as well as potential interest in Australia.

For testing purposes, the prototype has been fitted with a wonderful array of strain gauges and computerised data logging equipment. There’s nothing that’s not recorded – flight speeds, engine parameters, flight envelope, heights, airframe stresses under different flight conditions, even a complete GPS track of each and every flight. Every time an aspect of the design is changed, it’s checked and tested to ensure the desired improvement is delivered.

e-Go prototype

e-Go prototype

Although technically the aircraft fits into the UK ‘deregulated’ class – i.e. single seat with maximum weight, wing loading and stall speed limitations – the aircraft is being finalised to be capable of LSA compliance and maybe even full certification at a later date.

e-Go is aiming for production to be started during the first quarter of 2015 – much of the first year’s production has already been sold.

The aircraft will appeal primarily to the buyer looking to put some extra fun into their flying. Owners will include GA and LSA pilots who already own a more staid bigger aircraft; or perhaps owners of a fast car, motorcycle or boat, who want to add a third dimension to their fun; and even maybe glider pilots, who will find they can ‘thermal’ the aircraft and who will feel instantly at home in the glider-like cockpit.

Although the aircraft is not primarily intended for long cross-country flights, there will be space for an overnight bag behind the seat, as well as other stowage for water, maps and other items in the cockpit. Duration of the aircraft is projected to be around 3½ hours plus reserve, at 90-100 knots, so you could go places if you really want to. However, the primary purpose of the aircraft is to give the weekend flyer a big grin – the test pilot’s partner says his smile after each flight is enough to light up a sizeable town!

Towards the end of the meeting, Adrian, David and I considered for some time a variety of different purchasing options, to make ownership or part ownership a relatively easy and affordable process. There are some interesting possibilities to think about.

Personally, I believe this is one of the more exciting developments in very light aviation in a long while – the e-Go company is well funded, has a wealth of design and technological excellence, and the aircraft itself looks very good – and by all accounts, flies even better.

I think they will have no problem selling every one they can make…….watch this space!

Click here for the e-Go Aeroplane website

Visit to Europe

Hello everyone – I’m soon leaving for a short trip to Europe – including a visit to the Aeroprakt factory in Kiev.

As a result, blog posts may not be as frequent as usual for a while, although I’m aiming to continue as far as possible, including news and pictures direct from Kiev while I’m there.

Just before my visit to Aeroprakt, I’ll also be going to the e-Go Aeroplane factory near Cambridge in England – info and pictures ditto.

Hopefully, when I get back, spring will be well under way and – at least in Melbourne – flying weather will have improved a bit.

Meanwhile – happy flying!

e-Go aeroplane

e-Go prototype

e-Go prototype

Now here’s one of my favourite up and coming single seat ultralights – the e-Go aeroplane.

Contrary to the suggestion in its name, the e-Go is not battery powered (yet). In fact propulsion unit is a 30 hp rotary (Wankel) engine adapted for the aircraft from its original use in large drones.

Performance figures for the single seat, very light weight (115 kgs empty) aircraft are quite amazing – cruise around 100 knots, slowest flight speed (canards don’t stall as such) around 35 knots, take-off and landing distances around 150 metres. Typical fuel burn is around 6.5 – 7.0 litres/hour, giving about a 3 hour duration with reserve.

The aircraft is not yet in production and is still undergoing extensive testing in its home country – the UK. First customer deliveries are expected to be in early 2015. However, at an asking price from about UK£50,000 (that’s about A$90,000 plus shipping and taxes at today’s rates) I can’t see high volume sales in Australia. And there’s also the problem of registration in Australia – currently (unlike USA and Europe/UK) there is no category under which this factory-built midget speedster can be registered. That’s a shame, as even given the high price, there are undoubtedly well heeled buyers out there who would have one…

Here’s a link to the e-GO website: e-Go aeroplane

Let me know your thoughts. Are you interested? Reactions to price? Lack of Australian movement towards ‘deregulation’ of single seat ultralights as per USA and Europe?

And here are some links to earlier blog posts I made about single seat light aircraft:

Single seat ultralights – the Sirocco NG

More single seat ultralights – the Aerolite 103