Often times a peek into the future of science and technology come from unexpected avenues. Dreams, artistic expression and simple play have led to some of the most innovative discoveries and inventions. From Galileo to Leonardo there have always been creative intelligent artisans helping us to see the future and realize its potential. These creative minds have often used prototypes as a way of illustrating the genius behind their ideas. This is no different in the area of aviation. Today’s airplane enthusiasts, like their ancient counterparts, are in the unique position to contribute the future of real world aircraft. There are some amazing homemade airplane prototypes that you can purchase. You can buy some of these prototypes pre-built and ready to fly. If you are truly committed you can find many of the plans for these prototypes online and attempt to build them yourself. You could find yourself building a sleek hovercraft design, or something as experimental in design as Leonardo’s helicopter was.
One of these incredible prototypes is the Synergy Aircraft. This double box tail, five passenger, aircraft started off, as most prototypes do, as a scale model. After numerous successful runs and even finer tuning, the model was ready to be converted to a full scale version. The Synergy Aircraft uses a very advanced design that reduces drag and makes this prototype a fast, comfortable and fuel-sipping addition to the experimental aircraft industry.
Another equally impressive prototype is the Solar Impulse. This European long range aircraft is completely powered by the sun. Having a non-pressurized cockpit and a limited flight ceiling the Solar Impulse is primarily a demonstrator design. They are working on making this fairly sizable plane into a feasible commuter transport. While the Solar Impulse is not necessarily considered a homebuilt aircraft it is still a prime example of how prototypes can influence the future of flight travel.
Finally the Verhees Delta is an amazing single cockpit airplane. The unified wing construction makes it look like some UFO from the 80’s. While the plane looks small on the outside, it lays claim to the widest cockpit of all light aircraft. The Delta looks at first like it is a very unstable prototype but in flight it is actually a comfortable plane to maneuver. A misleading craft on the outside, the Delta will surprise with its flight abilities, space for luggage, stability in landing and its overall speed. As with virtually any endeavor, innovation is more often than not left in the hands of those who are crazy enough to believe. The aircraft industry is understandably an industry first and an inventor second. The homebuilt club is where you will find truly creative minds.
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Andrew recently received his pilot license after training for the last 4 years. He enjoys blogging about the experience and plans on possibly purchasing one of these aircraft in the future.