Farnborough Air Show

Rotax-powered Ellipse goes 200 knots

 - August 5, 2008, 8:37 AM

Dwarfed by other aircraft in the static display area, the LH-10 Ellipse is only 17 feet long and has a wingspan of just over 26 feet. But what it lacks in size it makes up for with performance. Powered by a single 100-hp Rotax 921 ULS, the Ellipse can cruise at 200 knots and cover France from coast to coast without refueling. It burns avgas 98 at the rate of 5.28 gph, which is a great deal less than a motor car.

Begun in May 2004 by Sebastien Lefebvre, then age 23, the project drew on inputs from numerous European research laboratories and aviation experts, using the best design tools available. Thanks to the use of carbon fiber in its construction, the Ellipse has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,102 pounds and can carry a 530-pound payload.

Seating two in tandem, the LH-10 is proposed for various roles including aerial observation and photography, air patrol, training or conversion into a UAV. The cockpit is said to provide excellent visibility. The Rotax engine fitted to the Ellipse is air- and liquid- cooled but LH Aviation is considering the development of turboprop- or turbojet-powered variants.

Currently being promoted as a homebuilt airplane for which the company holds orders for 39 examples, the Ellipse example on display is the second ever built.