Skycraft SD-1 - The $55,000 Airplane
Hey, here's a neat little toy for tooling around the friendly skies and hopefully not crashing when you come back down. Skycraft's SD-1 Minisport represents the first affordable consumer airplane (remember, as Einstein and the inbreds say, "Everything's relative") set to hit the public market. While the first production model version of the precious-looking prop flier is still in flight testing, photos of homebuilt SD-1 Minisports are now available for our lusting pleasure.
Seven years of design refinements in the Czech Republic have produced an SD-1 airframe of wood and carbon fiber that maintains strength without adding heft to the plane's structure. In flight, the result is capable of 60 miles per gallon at a cruise speed of 120 mph.
SD-1 Minisports will be powered by German-engineered Hirth F-23 Engines, which output 50 horsepower, and are capable of reaching a 138 mph maximum speed, with operational engine overhaul costs of $4 an hour (total lowest operation cost is $12/hour; I think that's somewhat low.) The aircraft's instrument panel has a 7" Dynon SkyView Glass Display with GPS, Synthetic Flight, and Collision Avoidance. A Dynon COM Radio comes standard in each aircraft with 2-channel monitoring and GPS-based frequency that automatically dials into the nearest airport's frequency.
Most Huzzah!-worthy: an auxiliary port for listening to your iPod without interfering with radio communications. Holy cannoli, I can't even do that on a 767*!
*February 2014 Update: Well, FAA regulations have changed, so I guess I can now. Also, the SD-1 is officially available for purchase--check out the sdplanes website to custom design yours.