A company based in Canada has created the world’s very first plane that’s made mostly from hemp and powered by cannabis oil, giving a completely new meaning to the term “sky high”.
Designed and built by the weed company Hempearth – which also sells other weed-related items such as food, clothing, and accessories, the plane is claimed to be much stronger, lighter, and much more environmentally friendly than normal planes.
But how does it do it, exactly?
Almost the entire plane is made from composite hemp fibers that are said to be 10 times stronger than steel, and this includes not only the chassis, but also everything inside of the plane including the seats, walls, and cushions.
From wingtip to wingtip, the plane spans only 36 feet, but can easily fit five individuals including a pilot and four passengers thanks to the durability of the hemp-fiber body and the lack of bulk found in commercial planes made from metal.
“In addition to being one of the world’s healthiest, and most versatile plants on earth, hemp is pound for pound 10 times stronger than steel,” explained Hempearth on its website.
“This means that it can withstand a lot more weight before and breaks, and it can bend way further than metal. Great for Aviation.”
Derek Kesek – the CEO of Hempearth – also thinks that composite hemp fibers could possibly replace the use of fiberglass when building smaller planes similar to his, which could also mean more sustainable aircraft construction considering that cannabis – the plant from which hemp is derived – is extremely easy to grow (it requires less water and land compared to cotton) and is considered nutritious to the soil its planted in.
Also pretty interesting is the fact that the plane will supposedly run completely on cannabis oil, which will be cleaner than power derived from fossil fuels and adds to the eco-friendly factor of the plane. Just how efficient hemp oil will prove as fuel still remains to be seen, however.
Obviously, the plane itself – though created from cannabis-derived materials – will not contain any psychoactive substances. This is because the hemp plant itself doesn’t contain any THC – the ingredient that gives some cannabis variants the ability to make consumers “high”.
Still, Kesek thinks that his plane has all the ingredients to take off, and hopes that the plane will be able to soon make its first flight from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina – the spot where the Wright brothers successfully managed the world’s first-ever flight.
Despite the stigma placed on cannabis as a source of drugs and other “bad things”, the use of hemp in the creation of greener construction materials with better tensile properties may be something to look out for in the near future. And should Hempearth’s cannabis plane realize its ambitions, it could possibly become a proof of concept for things to come.
Already, the aviation industry is one of the leading contributors when it comes leaving massive carbon footprints, so why not a plane that does things differently, no matter how eyebrow-raising it may seem at first.