Led by Cathay Pacific pilot Hank Cheng, and with support from the Inspiration team, the first-ever homebuilt aircraft certified to fly under Hong Kong registration - B-KOO Inspiration - took off from Hong Kong International Airport for the first time on 15 November 2015, marking an exciting moment for Hong Kong aviation.
Growing up in Hong Kong, Hank Cheng had always dreamed of building his own aircraft locally and flying it around the world. Part of his dream has become a reality, along the way involving hundreds of local students and many engineers and pilots from Cathay Pacific. The kit-built RV-8 single-engine aircraft was designed by Van’s Aircraft Inc, and is one of the most popular amateur-built planes with an excellent safety record.
For seven years, Hank Cheng worked closely with groups of secondary school students from St. Paul’s Convent School and engineers from Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO) to construct the aircraft. The Inspiration team had to adhere to stringent construction and operational standards. The operational certification, pre-flight testing and risk assessments were all fully documented by the team to demonstrate the airworthiness of “Inspiration” and ensure its safe operations.
After 7 years of aircraft building and 40 hours of flight tests in Australia in the 8th year, Inspiration has come back to Hong Kong to prepare for the 3-month Inspiration RTW journey from August to November 2016. Starting and ending in Hong Kong, Inspiration will fly across all meridians, most latitudes outside the Arctic and Antarctic circles, covering approximately 55,000km. Inspiration will stop in around 50 airports of 25 countries*, including Australia, USA, Great Britain, Italy and many more!
Vision and Mission
To promote aviation by building and flying the first amateur-built aircraft in Hong Kong
Build and certify the first amateur-built aircraft in Hong Kong by local students and aviation enthusiasts;
To be the first Hong Kong registered amateur-built aircraft to take flight under Hong Kong airspace;
Circumnavigate the aircraft to promote the spirit of Hong Kong; and
Educate and inspire the Hong Kong public’s interest in aviation.
The aircraft for our RTW journey is a Van’s RV8 aircraft (http://www.vansaircraft.com). Originally designed in 1996, it was fully built and flown in Hong Kong in 2015. While there are more than 9000 RV in the world, this is the first Hong Kong registered homebuilt aircraft. From aircraft equipment to our paint scheme, the aircraft was built with the round the world journey in mind.
The aircraft is equipped with state of the art avionics to support our long distance across the globe. The aircraft is fitted with dual Dynon Skyview Touch EFIS displays and autopilot as our primary flight instrument, with worldwide navigation database by Jeppesen.
Engine and Propeller
Our engine is a Titan IOX360 180hp piston engine, with a custom made propeller, made by Catto Propeller. The propeller is a wood/composite fixed pitch propeller, it’s lightweight and its design to yield best fuel economy in cruise.
Our seats are custom made for the RV8 aircraft by Oregon Aero. The seats are made with high quality flame resistance material while providing maximum comfort for the long flight around the world.