LISA Airplanes conducts flight tests of its high-speed, long-distance AKOYA amphibious skiplane, whose structures are made primarily of composites. The plane is shown taking off at low speed from France's Bourget Lake. (Source: LISA Airplanes)
So maybe now that the price of composites is coming down we will see more innovative designs like this? Designers and engineers can only do so much with aircraft aluminum and fiberglass. Can our 1950s flying car be far behind?
I want one! We have a neighborhood in our town called Aero Estates. They have their own runway, and all the houses have 3 car garages and a hangar. The taxiways are in the back between the houses. With one of these, I could park it in the third bay of my conventional garage and just tool down the street to the runway. Almost a flying car.
Beth, this is a very high-end, upscale, custom built, leather-seats type of aircraft for private use. williamlweaver, you made me laugh--yes, this does make me think of our 1950s flying cars. And naperlou, sounds like you live near a community that's already set up for the AKOYA.
Actually this and the Terrafugia, which we've written about, show the flying car is just around the corner. The Terrafugia, which I've personally seen and sat in, has wings that fold up and can operate on the road or in the air. This week, Terrafugia announced that its prototype plane, the Transition, had completed its first flight and it's aiming to get the car/plane to market by next year. I've also read about another company who is working on the flying car and claims to have already tested a maiden flight. The company is PAL-V and it has a video on its Web site of the craft's first flight.
Yes, this new plane is very exciting, apparently a breakthrough design in the general aviation catagory, picking up where past great sea planes, like the Otter, left off. The problem, from my prospective, is that it is being designed and manufactured in France, instead of the USA. What is wrong with our national industrial climate when an over regulated, over taxed and inefficient unionized workforce in France can make a cutting edge product like this, while a US-based icon of small plane manufacturing, Hawker Beechcraft, struggles with backruptcy? We'd better get smart, fast, and fix the manufacturing environment in the US, or we will be collectively "Out of Business". I don't know all the answers, but I'm pretty sure France is succeeding *despite* the hinderances mentioned above, not because of them, As such, these are elements we need to eliminate or minimize to regain our competitive edge, not grow, as the Democrats would lead us to believe.
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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