FlyNano Steals Show at Aero
A futuristic ultralight seaplane using the latest in carbon-fiber construction was one of the most noticed and talked about aircraft at the Aero 2011 show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Europe’s largest general aviation trade show. It hadn’t yet been flown. While most designers are trying to optimize the standard aircraft form, Finnish aeronautical engineer Aki Suokas is thinking out of the box with this tiny box-wing ultralight that weighs only 154 pounds with engine.
The FlyNano craft uses an array of features to achieve its light weight. A box-wing or joined-wing design can save structural weight and improve wingtip efficiency. A pure seaplane requires no landing gear, wheels, and brakes, and the all-carbon-fiber composite construction saves a lot of weight but at considerable expense. The price is about $37,000, and it’s available with electric or gasoline power. Wingspan is 15.7 feet, and control surfaces are in the upper wing. Maximum takeoff weight is 396 or 440 pounds depending on the model. It has a cruising speed range of 80.8 to 93.2 mph. The craft is too fast for U.S. ultralight regulations.
Promotion of the FlyNano was first class with inspiring artwork that captures the sense of fun which comes from ultralights anyone can recognize. See it and get more details at www.FlyNano.com.Some may have wondered if it was a serious project, but the design has been under development for nearly 10 years as the pilots have been flying a 1/3 scale model to verify their predictions. A company spokesman was reported to have said the flight controls are such that any trained conventional pilot should be able to transition quickly and also that training would be made available. Actual tests with the full-size version will begin as soon as the lakes thaw in Finland. Production of the craft could begin this summer.
EAA’s online news coverage of the planes of Aero at Friedrichshafen can be found here.