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FlyNano Goes Electric, Starts "Airborne Test Flights"

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The creators of the FlyNano sport aircraft launched from a lake in southern Finland, near Helsinki, on Monday, and posted a video at their website showing several short hops above the surface. Over the winter, the prototype was re-fitted with an all-new electric motor, which the company says is "substantially stronger" than the earlier gasoline powerplant. "Now we will continue to work on further development," the company posted at its website. "Many thanks for your support and patience. We'll be back with more flights as soon as possible." The company said it has already taken orders for 35 airplanes and hopes to start deliveries by the end of next year.

The aircraft was introduced at the Aero 2011 show in Germany last year. The single-seat carbon-fiber airplane is designed for water operations only. When it was introduced, the designers projected a delivery price of $39,000 and a weight under 254 pounds, allowing the FlyNano to qualify as an ultralight under U.S. regulations.

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