OMA SUD Skycar

by Philip Greenspun, ATP-CFII in August 2010

Site Home : Flying : One Article

The OMA SUD Skycar is a five-seat, twin-engine airplane certified in Europe and shown at Oshkosh 2010. The Skycar is powered by two Lycoming IO-360 engines with pusher propellers, which should result in reduced interior noise compared to conventional tractor twins. OMA SUD has put a huge cargo door in between the tail booms, much like an EC145/BK117 medevac helicopter. This airplane would be a great choice for a family that wanted to take some bicycles out for a day trip.

This review is based on a completed airplane viewed in a static display at Oshkosh.


The Achilles Heel of any piston twin tends to be single engine performance. OMA SUD does not quote a single-engine climb rate nor a single-engine service ceiling. The Skycar has the same engines as a Piper Seminole trainer, albeit with 200 HP rather than 180 HP. Unfortunately the gross weight is 4400 lbs compared to the Seminole's 3800 lbs. If you remember from your multi-engine trainer what a horrible performer the Seminole was on one engine with just two people on board you can imagine that the Skycar would have little chance of achieving a climb when at gross weight. The Cirrus SR20 has a 200 HP engine for its 3000 lb. gross weight and is a sluggish climber in the summer.

Why "Skycar"?

Asked why the name "Skycar" was chosen, the son of the founder said that they had been inspired by automotive interior design and hoped that their airplane met modern automotive standards for ergonomics and comfort.


The OMA SUD Skycar does not have enough power to operate safely on one engine. An engine failure after takeoff would result in the plane settling back to the ground and impacting terrain. The chance of such a failure would be double that of a single-engine family airplane, such as the Cirrus SR20. The Skycar would benefit hugely from a hybrid engine with an electric boost feature (such as the prototypes that are coming out from Rotax, with 135 HP from the gasoline engine and 40 HP from an electric motor). In the event of an engine failure, an electric motor could be activated on at least one side of the airplane to provide real climb power.

The Skycar might also be a nice airplane if equipped with a 400-500 HP turboprop engine, such as the RR500.


Text and photos (if any) Copyright 2010 Philip Greenspun.