The Flyer – an Ultralight Plane You Can Fly Without a Licence

California-based Kitty Hawk has been flight testing its lightweight, electric plane, which does not require aircraft registration or pilot certification.

Designed to be flown for recreational purposes over water and uncongested areas, its weight and speed means it is classed as an “ultralight” by the US’s Federal Aviation Administration.

The 113kg aircraft, which is powered by powered by lithium polymer batteries, can fly at 20mph for 12 to 20 minutes, at between three and 10ft above the water.

It uses 10 independent lift fans for vertical take-off and landing, and is crafted from a highly durable, composite material, which is lightweight, aerodynamic and waterproof.

With a wingspan of eight by 13ft, it is designed to be flown by one person, employing software that utilises data from multiple smart sensors to make flying intuitive and easy.

About the Author

Abigail Saltmarsh is a freelance journalist with 25 years’ experience for industry publications (Packaging Europe) and national magazines (The New York Times, International Herald Tribune).

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