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Dan Johnson's
Light-Sport Aircraft

Date: January 13, 2016

The Super Sky Cycle

by Ira McComic

At least as far back as the invention of the automobile, followed by the flight of the first airplane, many people have envisioned a flying car, a vehicle that would carry them up in the air as well as down on the ground. However, the vision for some kind of combination land and sky transport has existed long before the airplane and automobile. Consider the Roman god Mercury and his winged shoes, or the Arabian flying carpet. And going back even further, I wouldn’t be too surprised if some day an archeologist, mucking around in the La Brea tar pits, discovered the fossilized remains of a dinosaur, one onto which gigantic fern leaves had been attached, extending from its scaly shoulders and fashioned as would-be wings. The discovery would likely be an unexplained mystery until the archeologist eventually found the explanation nearby the dinosaur: the turned-to-stone remains of a venturous caveman, still wearing goggles hewed from quartz, who was obviously attempting to get the beast he was riding to fly.

Indeed, some persons have succeeded in building a flying car, though none with any notable commercial success—thus far. Along the same line, a few inventors have built other combinations of land and sky vehicles, including a combination dune buggy and powered parachute, a flying bicycle, a roadable trike, and a few winged motorcycles. Among the inventors in this last category was the late Larry Neal, the designer of the Butterfly line of gyroplanes, who went as far as claiming a patent for his invention of a flying motorcycle, one with rotary wings.

At one time, there was several videos of the Super Sky Cycle on the ButterflyLLC website, and although that website is no longer active, I found some videos of the machine on YouTube, which I’ve selected and arranged so you can view them here.

Among the earliest of these videos is this interview below of Larry Neal by Paul Plack at AirVenture 2009

page 1 of 7 pages

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