Last month, the Ontario-based company Hempearth signed a contract with the Florida-based plane manufacturing company Velocity Inc. to build the world’s first airplane made of hemp.
According to Derek Kesek, owner of Hempearth, the plane will be constructed from at least 75% hemp – including the wings, seats, pillows and outer shell. The plane will be the color of natural hemp fiber, and is intended to run on hemp biofuel.
With a wingspan of 12 meters, the 4-person plane will cost approximately $500,000 to build, according to Velocity Inc..
The airplane manufacturing company tested the strength and durability of the hemp material proposed for use on the new plane before committing to the project, and found that, compared to the fiberglass normally used in plane construction, the hemp material was generally equal to or better than the fiberglass.
The world’s first hemp plane is scheduled to launch next year, in Kitty Hawk, N.C. – the original site of the first airplane launch in 1903.