LH Aviation LH-10 Ellipse
2007 LH Aviation LH-10 Ellipse is a two-seat light aircraft kitplane designed by LH Aviation of France. It is a low-wing single-engine pusher configuration with a tandem seating arrangement, and is constructed of composite materials. The plane is marketed in a surveillance configuration as the Grand Duc (Eurasian eagle-owl).
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The LH Aviation LH-10 Ellipse is a two-seat light aircraft kitplane designed by LH Aviation of France and manufactured by Morocco. It is a low-wing single-engine pusher configuration with a tandem seating arrangement, and is constructed of composite materials. The plane is marketed in a surveillance configuration as the Grand Duc (Eurasian eagle-owl).
The LH-10 Ellipse was conceived by Frenchman Sébastien Lefebvre, starting as an engineering grande école (university) project to conceive “a small plane with different design and performance than available for private pilots”. This led to the founding of the company, LH Aviation, in May 2004. As a surveillance plane, Sébastien Lefebvre conceives of the plane as an alternative to drone UAVs, the latter being costly to operate, especially near airports. The Ellipse aims to “deliver 80% of the range of drone missions for 20% of the cost”.
The potential of the plane for surveillance and military missions led the investment fund Magellan Industries to become a shareholder in LH Aviation. The Ellipse was thus further developed in collaboration with Thales as a modular platform for civilian and military missions with different equipment systems, including day and night vision, rocket launching, and on-board communication systems.
The airframe is constructed of composite material based on ingredients produced by DSM. The production model is powered by a Rotax 912 four-cylinder reciprocating engine. (It has been tested using the 100 hp ULS variant, other options having been tested and discarded.) The undercarriage is a tricycle design, and will be available in fixed or electrically retractable front wheel configuration. The plane’s design, with propeller in the tail and a short-nosed fuselage with a forward pilot seat in glider configuration, offers a field of view of 300 degrees.
The LH-10 Ellipse entered serial production in early 2011. Several versions are offered for various missions: land and maritime surveillance, air policing and training of civilian and military pilots.
The LH-10 Ellipse is a low-wing, tandem two-seat light kit aircraft, powered by a 100 hp Rotax petrol engine in a pusher-propeller configuration. Its low weight and unusual configuration is designed to deliver a very high cruising speed with exceptional fuel economy. This high speed and a relatively high 50-knot stall speed will exclude it from the UK Microlight or United States LSA categories, so a full single-engine private pilot certificate will be the minimum certification requirement to fly it in these countries, which are not the immediate target of the manufacturer, anyway. At the 2008 Farnborough Airshow LH-Aviation said that for the future they would be looking into LSA/ELA compliant production, possibly for the United States.
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