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Ultralight aircraft

 

Colin Chapman had a big passion - flying. Since he had learned how to fly, he had a vision of designing and making an aeroplane for the individual, a sort of Lotus of the sky. A problem for him was that aeroplanes are even more regulated than cars will ever be. He discovered this while working on a concept of a personal jet in the 1970's. But he soon discovered that there was a part of aviation that did not have so many regulations, so he would have the chance to use his innovative ideas without having to "bump into walls" all the time: ultralights. Very simple winged hang gliders with a small engine and propeller. In his mind, he did see  something much more sophisticated. And of course it had to be cheap and small. He was thinking about 2-seat aeroplanes that could be used for both business and hobby.

He did spend a lot of time searching for experts in light aeroplane design, and for the best components and technology to use. In his opinopn everyone else concerned with ultralight aircrafts was doing it wrong. What he did see was too big, too heavy, too expensive and so on.

Chapman made contact with designer Burt Rutan and asked him to design and build a prototype 2-seater ultralight for him. At the same time, Lotus was devoloping a light and small engine.

This project was started but never finished, due to the fact that Colin Chapman died.

Lotus Microlight