Hemp and resin panels are replacing fiberglass in an experimental plane project that seeks to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter.
Ontario resident and former organic restaurant operator Derek Kesek intends to fly a 75 percent hemp plane that runs on hemp-based bio-diesel from Kitty Hawk, N.C., in Spring 2016, Outside Magazine reports March 16.
Hemp — the non-euphoric form of cannabis (aka marijuana) — has been used for millennia as a food, fuel and fiber. The ultra-tough fibers of the fast-growing, cane-like weed could also support newer, lighter aircraft.
Oversees hemp is already used to lighten the weight of the BMW i3 electric vehicle and is in hundreds of other products. Hemp was pushed out of the U.S. during the unscientific prohibition of cannabis in the ‘30s, then re-legalized during World War II to provide rope for the Navy. Banned again in 1957, domestic hemp-growing is back in 2015 a big way as a bipartisan issue — with new crops going into the ground from Washington to Tennessee this year. Nineteen states have legalized industrial hemp, and the federal Farm Bill of 2014 legalized hemp research.