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Mon, Jan 30, 2023

Electric CH750 Takes Flight Under NUNCATS Development

Affordable Backcountry Courier Aims for Pole Position as Affordable Charity Aircraft

NUNCATS has seen the first flight of its Zenith CH750-based Electric Sky Jeep at the UK's Old Buckenham airport.

The project aims to create an affordable, sustainable, electric courier aircraft to provide health service to remote communities all around the world. NUNCATS (No Unnecessary Novelty Community Air Transport Services) hopes to provide a stable, reliable form of backcountry transport for doctors, teachers and medical supplies with their affordable combination of a tried and true Chris Heintz Design and electric powertrain. Whether used by charities, governments, or NGOs, the electric sky jeep will allow them to tap into existing networks of solar powered energy wherever it's installed. With the right grid, operators can turn remote towns and villages into functional operating bases with minimal upkeep required to keep on trucking.

The test flight is a "significant step forward" for the project, helping the group identify possible pre-production tweaks before embarking on wider trials. The Community Interest Company (CIC), which has partnered with US Zenith Aircraft Company and several start-up investors, is the work of Shipdham-based husband and wife Tim and Helen Bridge, who founded the company in 2019. Their goal is to provide the market with a robust light aircraft with all-electric performance - at an affordable price point. For charities and NGOs with boots on the ground, operational cost is key, and there are few ways to curb runaway development costs than to run with a proven system like the Zenith CH750.

“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," said Tim Bridge. “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."

He's eager to hit the ground running. "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.” 

The test pilot for the jeep's first voyage, Tim Kingsley, came from one of the backers of the project, SaxonAir. The charter pilot said he was content to see how far the project had come. “I’m very happy with how today went. It was cold out there, there was a bit of crosswind, but everything went really well." 

NUNCATS is open to any interested backers and sponsors to help fund the project. They stress that the ‘electric sky jeep’ kits won't just be a tool for do-gooders around the world, but anyone who sees a need for a reliable, affordable light aircraft.

FMI: www.nuncats.org


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