National Cheng Kung University yesterday launched the nation’s first university flying course, offering hands-on training in flying an ultralight airplane.
The course is open to all university students, and can be followed up with advanced classes and flight practice to obtain an operator’s license.
The course is worth three university credits and includes lectures at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics on basic aviation theory, the school said in a press release.
The lectures cover aerodynamics, the structure of airplanes, operation of airplanes, air control, meteorology and basic radio communication terminology.
Students will also participate in a flying lesson using an ultralight airplane, the school said.
“In addition to fundamental lectures on aviation and basic airmanship, the course requires students to take part in a selective one-to-two-hour actual flying session ... piloting and landing an ultralight aircraft,” a press release said.
The ultralight aviation lesson will take place over the summer. Lin Chin-e (林清一), a professor from the department, said students would attend 12 days of intensive classes.
The course costs NT$3,300, plus a fee of between NT$2,000 and NT$2,500 to pilot an ultralight plane, Lin said.
Because of limited air routes and out of concern for safety in urban areas, Lin said ultralight aviation was not legalized as a recreational activity until 2003.
Lin said it had been his dream since 1996 to build a suitable ultralight airplane for students of aeronautics and astronautics, and to promote ultralight aviation in Taiwan.