The folks at Ryse Aerotech have liftoff.
The American firm announced Monday that its futuristic Recon eVTOL successfully completed its first manned test flight. The ultralight aircraft, which was unveiled in May, took the skies of Ohio in late June, executing a seamless takeoff, a controlled hover, forward flight, pivot turn maneuvers and a safe, smooth landing. (For proof, check out the above video.)
“It was effortless and very enjoyable to fly,” pilot Erik Stephansen said in a statement. “I was thrilled at how I could literally hover, take my hands off the controls and the Recon sat there stable and safe.”
Billed as a buy ‘n’ fly aircraft, Recon’s simplicity and size mean that any wannabe fliers won’t need a pilot’s license. Plus the craft doesn’t require any special certification (it’s the same as Jetson’s personal electric aerial vehicle), the idea being that farmers and ranchers could immediately put it to use in the agriculture sector with no red tape.
With a lightweight aluminum frame and a sleek carbon-fiber body, Recon tips the scales at just 286 pounds yet can accommodate a passenger of up to 200 pounds. It is equipped with a six-propeller propulsion system similar to that of a drone and rechargeable batteries. The craft can fly for up to 25 miles, depending on the payload and the conditions. It can also reach speeds of up to 58 mph full tilt or cruise at a more comfortable 40 mph.
Recon is fitted with a pair of simple joysticks, as well as obstacle sense and avoid tech to keep you safe in the skies. Speaking of which, the vessel can fly to a max altitude of 700 feet above ground level.
As its moniker suggests, the single-seater could carry out recon (or survey plots land) in rural areas. It’s not intended for multiple passengers or inner-city commuting like, say, Volcopter or Volkswagen’s eVTOLs. Think of it as ATV that provides a bird’s eye view of your property.
As for the fine print, Recon is rumored to cost around $150,000. The full commercial launch is expected to take place next year.