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Remember flying SEAT Arona? This is how it was done

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Posted July 4, 2017

Not so long ago we wrote about SEAT Arona – a new compact SUV. It is an attractive package – people love small crossovers nowadays, because of added practicality, raised ride height, style and many other reasons. But now there are so many of them that SEAT had to find a creative way of introducing the Arona. So it went flying over Barcelona. But how it was done?

The cover was pulled off when car was hovering at around 7 meter altitude – eventually it was raised to 300 above sea level. Image credit: SEAT

Arona went flying over locals and tourists before its actual launch. This is literally how a new model was revealed to the public – flying at 300 metres above the sea. A helicopter was a perfect mode of transportation for this operation, but the task was not as simple as it may look like – you can’t just strap a car to the helicopter and hope for the best.

A special H platform was built to support the car and hold it stable in flight. Engineers had to study the height of the car, length of the cable and shape of the platform to ensure that the car will not start swinging catastrophically and will fly smoothly. The effect would not have been the same if the car started spinning or swinging around too much – it would have ruined the photo-shoot and beach-goers would not have been able to really memorize the silhouette of the car.

Car was only flying above sea for safety reasons, but many people on the beach were able to see it. Image credit: SEAT

At first, the helicopter hovered over the platform with the car. He then lowered the cable, which was connected to the platform. Arona was hung around 20 metres below the cockpit, which made for the best balance for such flight. When the new car was lifted to around 7 metre high, covers were removed to reveal the car for the first time and then it was time for a test drive… a demonstration flight, we mean.

Helicopter pilot has over 15 years of experience, but still, because of safety reasons the flight was carried out only above the sea. A second helicopter was there to take pictures. Flight took around 50 minutes and helicopter with a car reached the speeds of around 40 knots (somewhere around 80 kph).

Arona is a new compact SUV in a very crowded marketplace. Strong introduction may not give SEAT an advantage it wants, but it does show how creative this automotive brand can be. Now SEAT is teasing us about its next adventure. SEAT Arona will be introduced at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, SEAT asks: “How do you think it’ll get there?” We sure do want to find that out .

 

Source: SEAT

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