November 8, 2023
Following some detailed discussions, training and touring at Ryse Aero Technology, it was time to take the Ryse Recon out for a test flight.
The vehicle we had been speaking in and around for several hours turned out also to be the vehicle we would be flying.
A quick attachment of a wheel to each side of the personal aerial vehicle made it totally portable and movable by one person.
Once wheeled out to the parking lot, the movement wheels were removed and it was set to go.
As in all the pre-flight training, safety was the rule of the day.
Robert Royse, vice president of production, engineering and manufacturing, walked around the vehicle and checked each battery installation and each propeller.
Ryse CEO Mick Kowitz tested the ground-to-air communications system to make sure we could talk to each other during the flight.
Kowitz lifted the hood and I hopped into the single seat. These ultralight vehicles are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be designed to carry one person only.
There clearly is no chance of falling out of the vehicle based on the significant strapping in of the flier. And as another safety precaution, I was instructed on how to quickly remove the harnesses in case of an emergency if I needed to quickly get out of the craft, which never occurred.
I put on the helmet with a full front visor with a microphone and speakers to communicate with ground personnel.
We were restricted to flying height and speed due to insurance requirements but could do any maneuvers ranging from forward and backward motion to sideways travel, all of which we did.
Legally, anyone can fly a personal eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle like the Ryse Recon without training.
However, advanced training can make the experience smoother, more rewarding and much safer.
On my recent visit to Ryse in Mason, Ohio, we received training in advance.
As a result, there were no surprises in the air. All the controls functioned exactly as described and the vehicle performed totally as expected after the training.
The vehicle is flown by using two joysticks. The one on the left makes the vehicle go up, down, or slowly spin left or right, or yaw in pilot language.
The right joystick makes the vehicle go forward, backward, left and right.
We went in every direction, felt gusts of wind while the vehicle remained stable, gently landed and powered down the craft.
The test flight was uneventful, issue-free, and, most notably, great fun.
This is the fifth and final installment in a series of stories and videos taking an inside look at personal flying vehicle startup Ryse Aero.
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