My workplace is under the pattern for Chicago Executive (PWK) and we sometimes get interesting/unusual things flying overhead. Yesterday I heard something that sounded very different from a "normal" aircraft; I looked up and saw a straight-wing prop twin with canard, and what appeared (from below) to be just a thin pipe connecting the fuselage to the empennage (with horizontal as well as vertical fin). Maybe like a Piaggio / Diamond crossbreed? I don't recall whether the props were in front or behind. Sorry about the sparse description but that's the best I can do.

Any ideas?

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    $\begingroup$ Tractor (propellers in front of the wing) or pusher propellers? $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 20, 2021 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ It had both a canard and an aft horizontal tail? Or does "empennage" just refer to the vertical fin? Can't quite tell from your description. Reference to "Piaggio" suggest the former but please clarify-- $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2021 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited some more detail in. I don't want to add too much since I fear when I try too hard my brain is adding details I may not have actually seen. There was a full set of control surfaces aft. I only got a glimpse for a few seconds. The engine sound was quite distinctive though -- that's what made me look up. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2021 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ Looking at more photos; it might have been a Piaggio. From some angles the tail might look like an extension aft... wired.com/images_blogs/autopia/2010/08/Immagine-008-660x440.jpg $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2021 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


I wonder if this might have been an actual Diamond Hybrid -- a combustion/electric hybrid aircraft (hence strange engine sound -- the propellers are driven by electric motors). The two electric motor nacelles (each holding an electric motor, batteries, and inverter) are mounted on a "canard" type surface (which doesn't appear to have any control surfaces, however) alongside the nose, and the very conventional empennage is on a fairly narrow tail cone. I presume the combustion engine is inside the nose, as it would be on the conventional Diamond (single engine tractor).


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