Flite Test Puts a Chair in the Air

The Flite Test crew is well known for putting some crazy flying contraptions together. They’ve outdone themselves this time with a flying IKEA chair. This build began with [Josh] issuing a challenge to [Stefan]. Take a standard IKEA ladderback chair and make it fly– in less than six hours. With such a tight schedule, measuring twice and cutting once was right out the window. This was a hackathon-style “throw it together and hope it works” build.

The chair was plenty sturdy, so it became the core of the fuselage. [Stefan] grabbed the wing from a previous plane and placed it on the seat of the chair. Two carbon fiber rods drilled into the seat frame formed a tail boom. The tailfeathers were built from Flite Test foam – paper coated foam-core board.

With the structure complete, [Stefan] and his team added servos for control, a beefy motor for power, and some big LiPo batteries. The batteries hung from the bottom of the chair to keep the center of gravity reasonable.

When the time came for the maiden flight, everyone was expecting a spectacular failure. The chair defied logic and leaped into the air. It flew stable enough for [Josh] to take his fingers off the sticks. The pure excitement of seeing a crazy build that works is on full display as the entire Flite Test crew literally jumps for joy. [Alex] even throws in a cartwheel. This is the kind of story we love to cover here at Hackaday – watching a completely nutty build come together and perform better than anyone expected.

We’ve covered the Flite Test team’s build of a star destroyer, and even interviewed them a few years ago at Maker Faire.

22 thoughts on “Flite Test Puts a Chair in the Air

    1. We already have flying pigs in the UK… We call them, “Police In Helicopters”.

      Before someone jumps in with SJW-isms… I’ve mostly have had a bad experience with police… It maybe that around these ways there are no hero-cops. However those who are a hero on the day to day basis… Please head our way!!!

      1. Ughh. I have bad memories where that screensaver was endlessly playing in the background. Sorry… but if I see a flying toaster near me I’m shooting it down!*

        *-ok, not really but I might want to!

    1. Yeah, you can fly a barn door with a high enough thrust-to-weight ratio. Having it fly true without operator input is a different story, though. Mere power won’t do that!

  1. I would hate to sit in that chair to fly it due to the precarious position of that propeller. I like the flying lawnmower better even though this was pretty cool too.

  2. Larry Walters flew his lawn chair over LAX airspace back in the 1980s. That’s even more impressive considering he had the balls to be sitting in it while it flew. :-) 🦊 Still, any flying chair is cool.

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