Last week, a group of Czech engineers flew a hybrid bicycle/multi-copter by remote control, but this week, another take on the flying-bicycle concept -- one that's already flown with live human pilots -- turned up in the news. This one is basically a lightweight powered-parachute with a bicycle attached as a means of traveling from your garage to your launch site. For a powered parachute, the launch site doesn't have to be much more than an open field. The folding bicycle tows a two-wheeled trailer that holds the fan. An optional tent creates an all-in-one door-to-campsite recreational vehicle. Its British creators have spent two years developing and test-flying a prototype, and now have launched a Kickstarter campaign with the hope of developing a production line.
Bell Helicopter introduced a new five-seat, entry-level helicopter at the Paris Air Show this week. The aircraft was developed to meet performance targets set by an advisory council of customers who will operate the aircraft for utility, training, private use, and law enforcement. "The SLS [short light single] class is both extremely competitive and price sensitive, so we collaborated with customers to incorporate their mission needs in a high-performance, high-value helicopter at a very competitive price," said John Garrison, Bell CEO. The helicopter will feature a high-visibility cabin with large cabin doors, a flat floor, and five forward-facing seats. It will cruise at 125 knots for up to about 360 nm and carry a useful load up to 1,500 pounds, the company said.