GENERAL | AUTOMOTIVE | AIRCRAFT
Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What does FSC-1 stand for?
A: The FSC-1 stands for "Flying SportsCar #1." After considering a number of different names and gimmicks,we chose the “no nonsense” approach in naming the vehicle. A philosophythat extends to our vehicle design as well!
Q: Is this a kit vehicle?
A: Yes. There are a number ofreasons for this, but the primary reasons are to hold down cost and weightto provide maximum vehicle performance. The car will be licensedas a kit car and the airplane will be licensed as an experimental airplaneunder experimental homebuilt aircraft. This requires that the ownerprovide 51% of the labor to assemble the vehicle. LaBiche Aerospaceis working with the FAA to minimize the labor to be provided by the customers.
Q: Can I get assistance to help me put the
A: Yes. LaBiche Aerospace will have
a Builder Assistance Program. This will include an in-house factory assistance
program, along with strategically placed number of builder assistance facilities
around the country. The builders assistance program will include everything
from simple construction operations to helping with the final paint job!
However, the help doesn't stop there. Manned hot lines will be available 24
hours a day. As your FSC-1 nears completion, LaBiche Aerospace will give
flight instructions using factory vehicles to assure complete confidence in all
systems and flight operations.
Q: What does the kit include?
A: The kit includes everything necessaryfor the standard equipped FSC-1. Engine, avionics, interior and allnecessary electronics and mechanisms come with the basic kit. Thereis an option list customers can also choose from for additional features. Due to the fact that the vehicle is a kit built vehicle, owners have morefreedom to customize their vehicle as desired (assuming it does not introducesafety issues for the aircraft or car mode). This is a definite advantageover certified vehicles, which require strict adherence to FAA regulationsfor certification. Customizing such as an external camera or removingthe right side seats for a medical stretcher are easily within the rangeof more common deviations from the basic equipment package.
Q: Is the FSC-1 for sale at this time?
A: Yes. We are now accepting “limitedterm” non-refundable deposits for initial production slots. Contactus regarding the terms and conditions for this one of a kind opportunity.
Q: What is the price of the standard
A: The price for the standard FSC-1package is 175,000 USD. We believe this is an excellent price-performancevalue when comparing this to purchasing a sports car and high performanceaircraft that still cannot deliver the combined functionality of the FSC-1.
Q: Where can I buy one? When canI get one?
A: LaBiche Aerospace is the only manufacturerat this time. Deliveries of production units are scheduled to beginin the 2004-2005 time frame.
Q: How safe is it?
A: The FSC-1 has numerous safety andmonitoring systems to provide maximum safety without taxing the pilot/driver. IT IS OUR TOP PRIORITY! Some of these features include tire pressuremonitoring, automatic fold and retracting systems with dual redundant lockingsystems for the wing and canard systems, automatic weights and balance,“critical numbers” verbal warnings while in aircraft mode, etc.
Q: Can I get features such as air conditioning,autopilot, GPS, etc?
A: Yes, air conditioning and many otherfeatures are included in the baseline package. Many other accessoriesare available through the Customer Accessory Selection List.
Q: How fast can it go?
A: The Performance page contains allof the primary performance information on the FSC-1. But in short,the FSC-1 ground speed is about 180 mph and aircraft cruise performanceis 275 mph @ 18,000 ft. making it the “fastest street legal car in theworld."
Q: Why did you go to so much troubleto hide the wings, canard, and prop?
A: During the early development ofthe FSC-1, our pilot surveys and questionnaires showed concern with theappearance of the vehicle while it was in car mode and tampering issueswith leaving the vehicle unattended in public parking lots. The V-tailis the only flight surface not concealed. This is due to the factthat is used in car mode as the rear deck spoiler for active ground effects. In short, any equipment that would “give away” the vehicle was considerednecessary to stow to satisfy the customer requirement for an attractiveground vehicle.
Q: Can I drive it on the road?
A: Yes. The FSC-1 is completelystreet legal and was designed to provide “world class” caliber sports carperformance while on the road. The operator must have a valid statedriver’s license to operate the vehicle. LaBiche Aerospace will providecomplete details for your individual state procedures to speed the registrationprocess. The typical cost for registration is about $40 for the FAAlicense and $35 for a DOT VIN plate, plus additional standard state licensefees (as necessary).
Q: Can I drive it anywhere I can drivemy car?
A: Absolutely! The FSC-1 wasspecifically designed to go anywhere a family sedan could go. Thevehicle is 80” wide and has a 126” wheelbase - about the same as a typicalSUV. It can pull up to any ATM or fast food drive through.
Q: What does it drive like?
A: The FSC-1 contains state-of-the-artperformance sports car automotive equipment. Because of its lightweight,wide stance and performance suspension/wheels, the FSC-1 handling is onpar with any performance sports car in the world.
Q: What about rough roads and speedbumps?
A: The ground clearance is driver adjustablefrom 4”-20". The nominal drive height clearance is 5", with 4" beinga performance mode and 7" being a rough road clearance mode. Thecar can be raised to the 20” height to clear potholes, drive on the “ol’cabin road” or traverse the occasional street flooding. In Auto-Mode,the suspension system will “adapt” itself to driving conditions.
Q: Where is the engine?
A: The FSC-1 is a mid-engine configuration. All high performance sports cars use this configuration for optimal front/rearweight distribution. The mid-engine also works extremely well forcanard configuration aircraft as well.
Q: The design looks really low slungconsidering the seats will have to be above the folded wing storage bay. Are the operator and passengers really reclined?
A: The height of the front seat (pilot/copilot)compartment is approx. 38" in height that allows for a moderately largerange of seat angle adjustment. The headroom for the rear seats isabout 36" in height.
Q: How much travel do you have in thesuspension?
A: The ground clearance is driver adjustablefrom 0-20". The vehicle rises to 20" for takeoff/landing configurationand retracts the wheels into the wheel wells after takeoff (0" ground clearance).The nominal drive height clearance is 5", with 4" being a performance modeand 7" being a rough road clearance mode. The suspension has over7" of travel. However, during car mode the car will "float" in thecenter of travel with ±1.5" being normal travel. Remember,the FSC-1 also has front and rear torsion bars for performance handling.
Q: Do I need a pilot’s license to flyit?
A: Yes. At the current time,the FAA requires anyone piloting a flying vehicle to have at least a privatepilot’s license.
Q: Can I take off from the road?
A: Many people have expressed interestin taking off from abandoned roads in rural areas. However, it iscurrently illegal to take off from a location other than a FAA approvedairport or from a privately owned strip.
Q: What is the propeller clearance?
A: The prop clearance (at landing/takeoff)is approximately 11".
Q: Is the C.G. far enough forward forthe canard configuration?
A: The C.G. remains positive underall weight distribution scenarios. We have performed extensive tradestudies and dynamic modeling of the vehicle to verify this. We aregoing into a wind tunnel during 2001 to make final "tweaks" to the shapeand clean up of the configuration.
Q: Why did you pick a V-tail?
A: There are several reasons for theV-tail configuration. One is to make sure the tail stays in cleanair even at moderate to high AOA during landing/takeoff approach configuration. The second is to provide a secondary pitch control system to assist thecanard during emergency or off nominal loading configurations. Thethird was the "sex appeal" over the more conventional straight up twintail.
Q: What does it fly like?
A: The FSC-1 has flying characteristicssimilar to the Rutan canard style aircraft with the exception of a higherroll moment-of-inertia. Modern canard aircraft exhibit exceptionalroll and yaw stability with the help of the swept wings, rear verticalstabilizers and a pusher prop. In fact, most canard pilots rarelyuse their foot pedals to make coordinated turns due to the docile flightcharacteristics. One of the benefits of canard aircraft is theirinherent stall resistance.
Q: How much baggage can it carry?
A: The center baggage area can stowapproximately 150 lbs. of bags. However, while in aircraft mode,the now empty wing bay area becomes a large storage area for low-densityoversized equipment and baggage (such as snow skis, clothes, duffel bags,etc.). The baggage can be accessed from the cabin through a floorhatch door. Larger items can be accessed through the wing main baydoors while parked.