The biofueled flying car was unveiled in London, in preparations for taking off on an expedition from the UK to Timbuktu. The first leg of a long journey requires the car to fly across the English channel to France. The inventor, Giles Cardozo, tells audiences that the car flies at about 170 miles per hour and can drive up to 120 mph on roads. Longer video and details over the fold.
The 6000km (3700 miles) expedition will test the concept and help earn money for charity. A successful test in the 'Empty Quarter' of the Sahara will hopefully prove the vehicle capable in harsh conditions. The Skycar can be driven by anyone with a driver's license and paragliding certification -- for now. It has built in safety systems in case of mid-air power loss. The car should be able to glide safely to the ground without any motor assistance. As a back-up, the vehicle is also outfitted with a roof-mounted parachute.
Prior to the expedition, there was talk that Skycar planned to bring the flying car to market, targeting 35 to 40 thousand British pounds sticker price. Now the inventor shows hesitation, reflecting on the practicality of a car with very weather-dependent functionality. We repeat our earlier conclusion:
If the Skycar becomes just another toy for dune buggy fanatics to make tracks in ever more remote corners of nature, the Skycar will have failed its potential. One imagines a future with Skycars available in emergency situations, for example delivering aid to earthquake victims where roads are seriously damaged and uncrossable, for scientists exploring the planet to help guide better environmental policy, and as part of a transport infrastructure that uses fuel-efficient vehicles.
More on the Parajet Skycar:
BBC, Flying car takes to the skies
BioFuel Powered Flying Car Expedition 2009
Parajet, Cardozo's Company
Skycar, the Expedition
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