Electric FlyNano Attempts to Feel the Wind

June 22, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Last year’s Aero Friedrichshafen aviation trade show in Germany had one shining star, peculiar and fun electric flyer called FlyNano. It is basically a miniature flying boat, and like many electric airplanes, it’s all about enjoying flight and the view from above.

Thanks to the lightweight carbon fiber fuselage and minimalist design, the FlyNano weighs less than 70 kilograms (154 pounds), which falls under the Federal Aviation Administration’s definition of an ultralight aircraft.

So you need not worry about getting a pilot’s license to legally fly the FlyNano in the United States. You need to have training though.

The designer claims a 10,000-foot ceiling for the airplane and a maximum cruising speed of around 85 miles per hour and a maximum range of 40 miles. Though, a modest 40 to 50 mph may be more realistic for maximizing time aloft.

The first flight of FlyNano was a really short one and the airplane didn’t really get out of ground effect, but the makers are working on making it better.

There is no cockpit, or even a windshield and the company emphasizes on its motto of “Feel the wind”.  A helmet with a visor or even just a pair of classic flying goggles would do the trick.

The original airplane was going to have a gas engine powerplant, but the Finnish company decided to make it an electric aircraft considering the ever-improving electric motors and batteries.

FlyNano is not ready for the pilots out there yet. When it arrives, it is expected to come with a price tag of $40,000.

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