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The inaugural Icarus Cup, took place at Lasham Gliding Society from 13-22 July 2012 to commemorate the 51st anniversary of Human Powered Flight at Lasham Airfield. The competition, run by the RAES Human Powered Flight group, was designed to progress the sport from occasional record attempts into a viable activity and featured a number of challenges, with the aim of crowning one team first ever winners of the Royal Aeronautical Society HPA Icarus Cup 2012.
This was the first event of its kind and to have 5 human powered aircraft on one site at the same time was an achievement in itself!
Day 1 of the competition saw blustery winds and heavy rain clear away by 8.00am allowing Team Airglow, piloted by Robin Kraike, to take to the skies for the 200m sprint race and complete the task with a time of 43.22 seconds. Team Betterfly, piloted by Bill Brooks, then followed, but due to a technical fault with the aircraft, had to abort the task after staying airborne for approximately 29 seconds in total.
The following day hopes were high for another successful flying day. At the morning briefing session at 5.00am conditions were calm and Competition Director Bill Brooks set 200m, 1000m and Slalom tasks, aiming to take advantage of the conditions.
Team Airglow, piloted by Robin Kraike, was first to fly but aborted the 1000m task after approximately 500m. However, they completed the 200m task in a time of 31.65 seconds which included 3 slalom crossings.
Southampton University's aircraft was next to fly, piloted by Bill Brooks, and stayed airborne for 3.75 seconds.
Team Betterfly, piloted by David Barford, flew for a total of 4.91 seconds.
Team Airglow made their way to the runway for a second flight, but decided that the crosswind had become too strong and didn't fly a second time.
Unfortunately no further flights were possible for the next four days due to poor weather. This was more than made up for over the last three days of the competition. Tasks were run for duration, landing accuracy and unassisted take-off, this final day being the busiest flying day of the entire event.
The overall winner of this inaugural event was Robin Kraike and Team Airglow. Team Betterfly took second place, and Team SUHPA (Southampton University) took third place.
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Full details of the 2013 Icarus Cup Competition are available on the Royal Aeronautical Society website.