While journeying to find his parents, Ry took a train, a car, a plane and a boat. Four separate vehicles. But what if he could have simply taken one? What if there were such a vehicle? One that could operate on land, water and in the air?
There is! Check out the Ramphos!
While it looks just like something slightly crazy Del would have patch-worked together and you would skeptically (and warily) wonder if it would crash into a million pieces the minute you started the engine, the Ramphos, made in Italy, is an ingenious, amphibious flying vehicle. It looks like a hang-glider attached to a boat with retractable wheels, and can take off and land on land or water. It uses standard car gasoline or diesel fuel. It folds up simply for convenient transport, and it allows for interesting sightseeing because it can get to many different places with ease.
Take off from the water is apparently quite easy. Once you get to 30-40 knots (about 40 mph) you just shift the control bar to break free from the water, and about 8 seconds later you are airborne! The landing gear has no electronic parts, you just pull on the brake to release the locking mechanism and then push the landing gear up or down. You can see the wheels release into their ready position through clear covered ports on the floor. If you want to land on water - and impress everyone around you - you can fly down, float on the water to the shore, and then drive away. Incredible!
The quick build kit is easy to put together, with no welding or fiberglass work. So Del can buy his own and put it together for his and Ry's next adventure - so long as he's ready to part with about $36,000 to buy a Ramphos, plus quite a few thousand to pay for a private instructor to train him!
This article was originally published in August 2010, and has been updated for the
April 2012 paperback release.
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