Alec Proudfoot

Proudfoot Design | Mechanical Engineer

Human Powered Flight: Designing, building and flying a Sky Cycle

The DaSH human powered airplane is the first human powered airplane to successfully fly in the U.S. since the late 1990's. Powered solely by the pedal power of its pilot, DaSH must be very large (with a wingspan greater than a 737), but very light -- 50 kg (110 lbs) -- in order to be able to fly on the small amount of power a human can produce. DaSH has flown more than 60 times with a dozen different pilots, flight length and duration limited only by the length of the available runway. Now we are working towards breaking the absolute distance record of 115 km (71 miles) and a also a possible English Channel crossing within the next two years. We'll cover the lessons learned during the design, building and flight testing phases of the DaSH project, and talk about what it takes to build your own human powered airplane.

​Meet Alec Proudfoot

Alec Proudfoot of Proudfoot Design is currently Chief Designer on the DaSH human powered airplane project. He was the engineer at Google Inc. who started the RechargeIT plug-in vehicle project in the mid-2000s, at a time when the outlook for EVs was bleak. At AeroVironment in the late 1980s, he was a member of the engineering team that created the GM Impact prototype. The Impact entered production as the GM EV1, the first modern high power AC induction electric vehicle, and grandfather to all the EVs we see today.

In addition to his renewable energy and alternative fuel vehicle work, Alec has had a diverse engineering career, spanning fields from aviation to medical devices to telecommunications, and also worked briefly as a professional helicopter pilot. Since starting the DaSH project in 2010, Alec has participated in the HPA community worldwide, attending EV rallies in England, Japan and South Korea.

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