A UK-based aviation project called NUNCATS has successfully completed the maiden flight of its all-electric plane, described as an “electric sky jeep.” Looking ahead, the project’s goal is to expand the availability of healthcare by transporting doctors, medical supplies, and other cargo to remote parts of the world with zero emissions, helping save lives.
NUNCATS began as a mere idea among its cofounder while still at university and would take fifteen years before coming to fruition in 2019. It currently exists as a nonprofit social enterprise in the UK looking to combat climate change one flight at a time but utilizing electric aviation technology and renewable energy sources like solar to power it.
The name itself is an acronym that the project says describes its design philosophy:
No Unnecessary Novelty Community Air Transport Services.
NUNCATS states that the last four letters could also stand for “Community Alternative Transport Solutions” or “Clean Air Transport Solutions.” Following the project’s first successful flight with its all-electric sky jeep plane, NUNCATS is starting to accomplish a little bit of all these initialisms.
NUNCATS “electric sky jeep” plane takes flight overseas
The team recently relayed that its all-electric plane completed its maiden flight out of Old Buckenham Airfield in south Norfolk, England. The aircraft began as a Zenith CH750 kit, where the NUNCATS team removed its combustion engine and gas tank in favor of an electric motor and battery pack.
Charging for the “electric sky jeep” plane is supported by solar stations on the ground at Old Buckenham (seen in the video below). NUNCATS cofounder Tim Bridge spoke following the successful all-electric maiden flight:
Nobody else is building electric aircraft in this way. Our aim is to provide a low-cost, rugged and practical aircraft for use in rural and hard to reach communities, such as medics in Uganda and doctors in rural India.
We knew it would work but it’s great to actually see it in action. Now we have done that our next stage is to find the money to complete the second plane and replicate this so we can get them out into the field for testing.
As soon as funding allows, we hope to move towards getting this into communities where it can make a real difference. There are currently a billion people in the world with no access to healthcare, 5000 people will die because of that just today. This can be a genuine life-saver.
NUNCATS may have found success with its “electric sky jeep” plane, but it still has work to do to achieve its goal of saving lives around the world through clean and nimble aviation. The project is still seeking backers and sponsors to help fund its development.
The “electric sky jeep” kits can also be purchased as a greener option for sports flyers.
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