Aviation Cartoon to Become Reality
I was a huge fan of Disney's animated TV show "TaleSpin" when I was a kid, so I was excited to hear about Wyp Aviation's WingBoard!
"TaleSpin" was a fun cartoon set in the golden era of aviation, but with animals instead of humans. The main characters flew a seaplane for a cargo operator and all sorts of hi-jinks ensued. The show's young aviator, Kit Cloudkicker, flies an airfoil attached to the back of an airplane. The inspiration is similar to a wake boarder attached to a boat.
WingBoard inventor, Aaron Wypyszynski, also a big fan of the show as a kid, wanted to create a real life version of the airfoil. The design is still in the development phase.
The WingBoard rider will be attached to the board, which in turn is attached to the towing aircraft with a tow line. The rider will also hold on to the tow rope that is attached to the tow line on the board.
"The WingBoard is controlled via two methods. The primary control input is the rider's position. Leaning forward and backward changes the angle of the tow rope triangle, thereby altering the WingBoard angle of attack, vertical position behind the tow plane, and amount of lift generated. The rider also leans and rotates to the side to place the board at that angle, using a side component of the lift vector to pull out to one side or the other of the tow plane. In addition to the rider's position, force sensors in the foot bindings and on the tow bar allow the rider to input additional roll commands. These commands further aid in rolling the WingBoard to the side and also allow for spectacular aileron rolls."
I'm excited to see this childhood dream become a reality!
UPDATE: Wyp Aviation's WingBoard has been blowing up the internet these past few days! Creator Aaron Wypyszynski has created a Kickstarter to help fund the development of a 40% scale model (Phase 2) in order to prove the safety of the WingBoard.