A NEW breed of aeroplane could be in the skies at then end of the year as the e-go aeroplane project nears completion.

Tony Bishop unveiled the designs for the E-go aeroplane in a competition five years ago.

Surprised by the initial demand for the aeroplane, Mr Bishop came out of semi-retirement to manufacture the plane, and expects the first to come off the production line by the end of 2012.

"It's a terribly exciting time as the project has massive momentum at the moment," the E-go chief executive told The Hunts Post. "We should have the prototype ready by July and we're looking for a place on an airstrip to start manufacturing it.

"As the E-go is so light, it's incredibly responsive and great fun to fly. We're expecting existing pilots to buy the plane when we start to sell."

At under 115kg, the E-go can reach speeds of 110 knots (125mph), powered by a 70mpg fuel-efficient 35bhp wankel engine, and fly as far as 400 miles on a tank of fuel.

Mr Bishop, with business partner Giotto Castelli, has seen his workforce increase as the project completion draws near, with several university students volunteering and up to 10 people working on the plane at any one time at the Connington base.

As well as the £50,000 plane, the firm is also creating a trailer to carry the E-go.