Would you believe that the ultra-light aircraft could be as versatile as Bill Lishman himself? Ultra-light flight hasn’t been around for too long, but it’s an incredibly promising technology if you believe in what it can do.
Ultra-light aircrafts are 1 or 2 person airplanes that are both affordable and eco-friendly. They started popping up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and as you can imagine, Bill’s first encounter with ultra-light was quite unique.
It was through a friend that he tried, and fell in love with, hang gliding, but he found the process of hauling the vehicle up the hill to be cumbersome.
So, being the innovator that he is, he attached a go-kart engine to the glider and carved a propeller. In 1978, he became the first in Canada to foot-launch a powered aircraft!
Bill’s aircraft evolved into an intricate version featuring a tail fashioned from two drag rudders, a Chrome-Molly tricycle landing gear with steerable nose-wheel, bungee cord suspension, and a reliable 3 cylinder 2 stroke Konig engine capable of producing 24 horsepower. The aircraft evolved even more, enabling him to use it in his first trip to re-establish a migratory path for the endangered Whooping Crane.
Bill’s latest venture involving ultra-light aviation is on a completely different path of its own; Air First Aid is an innovative first aid tool for emergency humanitarian crises. Find out how you can get involved with the cause by visiting our Taking Flight campaign page!
Back in 1998, Bill was impacted by Hurricane Mitch, which was striking Central America, thousands of kilometers away from him. Thousands died because there were not enough helicopters to send in supplies; Bill knew then that he had to act.
He has now developed an ultra-light aircraft that can deploy up to 200 pounds of cargo. Its strength is in its immediacy, able to deliver water, food, and medicine almost instantly during environmental and natural disasters.
Think of it like first aid of the skies; sure, it’s not a flying hospital, but it can help sustain life in triage situations until more advanced care is available. We think this is one cool idea because Bill’s taken a problem that’s been around for ages, got creative, and put his mind to work to create an innovative solution. Got your own idea to solve an environmental problem? Visit our Taking Flight page for tools to set your ideas in motion!
Remember – in the battle to save the planet, let your ideas take flight: Share your story of innovation and bright ideas sparking change by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.
GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!
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