FlyNano electric sea plane takes first test flight

Jun 18, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(Phys.org) -- A single-seat carbon-fiber airplane designed for water operations and proposed as a “fun flyer” has taken its first test flight at Finland’s Lake Hepari. The June test flight comes after more than a year since its introduction at an air show in Germany in 2011. The earlier FlyNano was showcased as a single-occupant petrol/electric microlight amphibious aircraft. The new FlyNano has undergone key changes to advance its readiness for takeoff. Gone are the petrol-engine models. The new engine, propeller, controller and batteries combine to produce a stronger model than the earlier structure.

FlyNano has stated that due to advances in batteries and electric motors, they ditched combustion models. The carbon fiber-bodied aircraft is now electric.

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“When the FlyNano concept was presented last year at the Aero 2011 trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, it was envisioned to be primarily powered with a combustion engine,” said the Finnish aeronautics firm by the same name, FlyNano.“ However, the development of electric motors and batteries has been immense during the past year and the demand for electric powerlines has been increasing continuously.”

The cruising speed is around 140 km/h (87 miles per hour). The rudder is controlled by pedals. “Elevons” (ailerons + elevators) and throttle are controlled intuitively by a stick with the right hand. The designers say their electric sea plane is quiet, and power-train vibration is reduced.

FlyNano's goal is to start production and deliver the first 35 planes to dealers by the end of 2013. The FlyNano plane has an ex-factory price listed on the company site as 32,000 euro ($40,000). Transport and storage trailer charges are extra.

A promotional portion of text on the site tells prospective customers that, “If you’ve ever had a pilot’s licence you’ll fly Nano right out of the box.” For the rest, knowledge of simple rules of the air will be required, says the team. The FlyNano FAQ page, however, directly answers the question of whether customers need a pilot’s license to fly the plane. According to the European Aviation Safety Association regulation. FlyNano is below the necessary weight of 70kg, which means that national authorities decide on the classification. "Nevertheless a good understanding of water plane operation, rules and aviation safety is requested." The company adds that “We will clear the situation in several countries around the world within the following months.”

FlyNano does not have a windshield, but in keeping with the company’s philosophy of “feel the wind,” the recommended gear includes helmet or at least goggles and drysuit/wetsuit or similar clothing.

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antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2012
Just searched around a bit, and it does sport a 70km operational range. That's not half bad for a battery operated flyer. If I had a lake next to my appartment (and a lake at work) then that would be a real option.
Eikka
not rated yet Jun 18, 2012
If I had a lake next to my appartment (and a lake at work) then that would be a real option.


Well, if I remember correctly, that thing has a 45 mph / 70 kph takeoff/landing speed, so it's pretty much a nice weather plane. If there's roughness in the water, touching down at speed will be quite hazardous. You can imagine what it feels like to bounce off of a wave in a canoe that's going 40 knots.

For reference, here's an ordinary motorboat going 40 knots on a calm lake: http://www.youtub...fjQL2uUk

Water is hard at speed.
jshloram
not rated yet Jun 18, 2012
Interesting, but not very convincing. What are they not showing us?
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Jun 18, 2012
If I had a lake next to my appartment (and a lake at work) then that would be a real option.


You would need time to re-charge the batteries before returning home, and battery performance deteriorates after repeated charging.

Something like this would be a ton of fun though.

I wonder how hard it is to keep water out of the cockpit, and what happens if those lower wings get a wave over them. I also wonder how easy/hard it would be to rock it from side to side with body movement.

lol, how long will it take for someone to launch one over a waterfall?

Interesting that it's water only, with no landing gear at all. I guess the weight budget favored water TOL over land.

I wonder how much space it takes to take off or land?
dschlink
not rated yet Jun 18, 2012
The propeller is directly in front of the operator's head! Is this to give the illusion of greater speed or simply a very bad design?
Eikka
not rated yet Jun 22, 2012
The propeller is directly in front of the operator's head! Is this to give the illusion of greater speed or simply a very bad design?


It's there to stop the propeller from catching water splashes and debris kicked up by the wings, or touching the water surface itself.
james_r_olson_1
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2012
It appears this vehicle is flying in ground effect only. hence the seaplane configuration. Try flying in ground effect over the ground and, whoops! Anybodies guess why they don't just admit that it can't fly out of ground effect.