Flying Vehicle Maiden Flight, The: "Pumpkin Carriage"
In the world of personal aircraft, there are a few options out there to get you off the ground for a reasonable price in a machine that most anybody can fly fairly easily. From powered parachutes to small fixed wing aircraft, you can actually buy many mini airplanes that give you the freedom to fly without investing millions in a plane or years in training.
Or you can do what these guys did and design and build your own, and you even get to take part in the really fun “Will it fly?” stage of testing after the building is complete. As you can imagine, putting together your own design and flying it for the first time is a bit unnerving, especially knowing once you’re in the air, that solid ground below is going to hurt awfully bad the higher you go.
Of course, the remedy to a hard crash is building a design that just flies so you can focus on that instead of crashing, and that’s exactly what these guys did with their Pumpkin Carriage. So named for its resemblance to Cinderella’s famed midnight ride, the propeller-powered electric aircraft probably carries a little extra weight in the circular design, but that very part of the design may very well prove crucial in the event of the aforementioned crash landing. Much like the roll cage in a race car, the hoop may keep the pilot safe from smacking the ground should things take a sudden turn for the worse while soaring far above the earth.
These guys clearly know what they’re doing, working together to design, build and test their own creation, and as you can see, it flies. It’s hardly going to win any aerobatics competitions, but the thing takes off, flies around in a pretty controlled manner, and most importantly, returns to earth nearly flawlessly.
If anything, we learned that all it takes is a little know-how and the guts to trust your intelligence and climb aboard your machine and take to the skies to become a pilot.