Space & Innovation

Personal Plane Fits in Your Garage

The e-Go debuted last week and it's pretty sweet.

Having just returned to the East Coast on a West Coast flight, I'm not surprised to see that personal aircrafts are really taking off. Long security lines, little leg room and the reclined seat from the person sitting in front of you is enough to make you never want to get on a flight again.

But what if you could just hop in your single-seater plane and fly yourself?

The e-Go, which made its commercial debut last week, is such an aircraft.

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The e-Go, designed by aeronautical engineers Giotto Castelli and Tony Bishop, arose out of a design competition nine years ago and, after some crowdfunding and Angel investing, the lightweight craft is now officially on the market.

Like other personal aircrafts, the e-Go doesn't require a private pilot license to fly. Owners in the United States need only a light-sport license. (In the U.K., where e-Go Aeroplane is based, the plane is classified as a microlight.)

Typically, these kinds of licenses allow pilots to fly only during the day and in clear weather.

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Made mainly of carbon fiber, the e-Go weighs a little more than 300 pounds, and because its wings and canard can be easily removed, there's no need to park it in hangar. You can just park it in your garage.

According to the website, the e-Go runs on unleaded fuel and gets about 65 miles to the gallon when flying at 90 knots. It has a range of about 330 miles cruising.

That's good enough for a quick hop across the state or for a thrilling zip around the countryside.

See a video below of the e-Go in flight.

Other light sport aircrafts have been slowly making their way onto the scene, too. There's the ICON A5, which can take off and land from the ground or water. And how about the SuperSTOL, which is compact enough for landing and taking off in tight spaces.

Several more are in development, including the TF-X from Terrafugia, the Lilium from Lilium Aviation, the Volocopter from E-Volo, the E-Fan from Airbus, and the Aeromobil.

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And we haven't even talked about self-driving passenger drones. Can you imagine a future where you might use an app like Uber to summon a self-driving passenger drone to fly you into the city? I want to see that day!

Although the costs are still high for these aircraft -- tens of thousands and upwards of hundreds of thousands -- the convenience can't be beat. Plus, there's no security line in your garage.