Airplanes -- we all want to fly them. The cost of entry (from training to rentals to getting licensed) is not within easy reach for most of us, though, so we settle for simulators on expensive home gaming PCs and flight-sim accessories for our flying jollies. Well, that may all change soon with the FlyNano, a box-wing lightweight aircraft that will allow every average Joe entry to the skies (provided you can figure out the controls).
Designed by Finnish engineer Aki Suokas, the single-seat plane is intended purely for solo recreational riding. There's no space for cargo and no room for passengers -- just you and a flying machine and the open skies.
The FlyNano can only take off and land on water, eliminating the need for an undercarriage (helping ease the weight). Carbon fiber was used throughout the construction, as well, leading to a flying vehicle that weighs under 70 kilograms (154 pounds) -- an important consideration, as it turns out, since piloting a plane this light requires no license in many jurisdictions.
Three variants will be available: the 20kW electric-only E200, the two-stroke powered G240 and the 35 bhp racing model called R 260/300. The plane itself has a wingspan of 5 meters, with an estimated speed range of 70 to 140 km/h. Actual numbers will be verified in a few weeks when the plane actually goes on its maiden piloted flight (only scale RC models have been flown as of now).
A prototype of the FlyNano was on hand at this week's Aero Friedrichshafen Global Show for General Aviation. While actual production dates are still to be determined, its makers are already selling buying options: €900 gets you in the 2011 delivery queue, with 30% of the price payable on delivery confirmation and the rest upon receipt. Full prices for the planes will range from €25,000 to €27,000 ($36,250 to $39,150).