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)
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.
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.
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.
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?
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
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