The Skycar's first Flights from the SkySchool HQ in Spain
The SkyCar Expedition Team set off from London on 14th January 2009 and after crossing France they headed to the SkySchool HQ at Aerodromo Ordis in north east Spain. On Thursday 22nd January at 8.30pm Neil Laughton, the SkyCar Expedition Team leader, completed the first successful flight up to 1000ft under the direction of SkySchool MD Alex Ledger. The SkyCar required the full 350m runway in order to launch and lost a little bit of height as it went off the end of the runway however Neil followed Alex's radio commands to keep the SkyCar into wind and proceeded to climb out over the Torremirona Golf Course much to the annoyance of the local inhabitants! Neil flew the SkyCar around Aerodromo Ordis for the next 25 minutes with an average airspeed of around 75kph, which is very fast for a Ram Air canopy.
After a few practise approaches Neil carried out a text book landing back at the airfield. This was promptly celebrated by all involved with a magnum of Mumm Champagne. The SkyCar had two more flights, logging a total of 60 minutes flying time, with the final flight being filmed from the air by Alex Ledger in a Quicksilver microlight flown by Joan Casals, the owner of Aerodromo Ordis. This was an enormous achievement for all involved, in particular Neil Laughton and Giles Cardozo, the SkyCar's designer. Alex became the first unofficial SkyCar Instructor and his footage was used in the Channel 4 documentary. Read Alex's article about the SkyCar in AV8 Magazine.