A British firm announced that its all-electric, heavily modified Zenith CH 750 “Sky Jeep” completed its first test flight.
No Unnecessary Novelty Community Air Transport Services (NUNCATS) was founded in 2019 by husband and wife team Tim and Helen Bridge with the goal of providing health care and education access to remote communities across the world. To accomplish this, the Old Buckenham-based nonprofit (designated in the U.K. a community interest company) has been developing its electric “Sky Jeep” with the hope that it will one day provide low-cost, sustainable, zero-emission transport to bring doctors, teachers, and medical supplies to remote locations.
“Nobody else is building electric aircraft in this way,” Tim said. “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.”
“We knew it would work,” he continued, “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.”
The company has partnered with U.S.-based Zenith Aircraft Co. and investors, and is actively seeking more funding for the project.
The “Sky Jeep’s” maiden voyage was piloted by Tim Kingsley, who flies for a U.K. air charter company. Kingsley said, “I’m very happy with how today went. It was cold out there, there was a bit of crosswind, but everything went really well.”
Kingsley continued, “I’ve seen first-hand the challenges some of these communities face and harnessing natural energy in such a way could make a real difference to so many people’s lives.”