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
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 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
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.