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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedItalian SkyCar is automotive-inspired
By Dana Heimos
 
Italian aircraft manufacturer OMA SUD's latest innovation, the SkyCar, will likely peak the interest of anyone who walks past its exhibit space just northeast of the main gate. But it won't be because of any ability to transition from airways to roadways.

The five-seat, twin-engine aircraft derives its name from its automotive inspiration, and although it's "limited" to aerial transit, it's equally clear the qualities of a luxury automobile-style, comfort, and spaciousness-were top priorities in designing this high-performance airplane.

Featuring a twin-boom configuration with two pusher-mounted 200-hp Lycoming IO-360 engines, the SkyCar is a unique aircraft that packs more of a punch than it first appears.

Its retractable landing gear is capable of landing on unpaved airfields while a full glass cockpit with a 3D synthetic vision multifunction display allows pilots to navigate the sky with ease.

But perhaps the most distinguishable feature of the SkyCar is its large, configurable interior, which allows users to convert the cabin from a cross-country comfort ride to a cargo-carrying workhorse.

"Almost every feature of the SkyCar was developed with the automobile in mind," said Giuseppe Verde, design manager of OMA SUD. "The cockpit is fitted with two big doors and a large windshield like a car," Verde detailed, "and the back of the fuselage is wide open, which acts like a trunk.

"The cockpit is spacious and all of the flight controls are electronically operated. The engines were designed in a pusher configuration to reduce noise in the cabin and help free up room at the front of the plane, which makes for easy, automobile-like access in and out of the plane."

The SkyCar can fly at a maximum structural cruising speed of 160 knots, with a cruising speed of 145 knots at 75 percent full power. It offers 1,224 pounds useful load and has a total fuel capacity of 132 gallons.

The SkyCar achieved official certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in January, and the company is aiming for FAA certification by the end of the year.

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