For the last 30 years or so various previously unheard
of manufacturers have popped up with increasing frequency
promising to offer flying cars for the average person.
And all have been epic failures. Well, except perhaps
for the Terrafugia
The SkyCar from UK manufacturer ParaJet is a distinctly
low-tech solution to the problem. But unlike other 'flying
cars' which promise so much but deliver so little, the
SkyCar can back up its claims thanks to a series of successful
test flights and demanding ground tests.
The SkyCars basic layout is different to most other flying
cars in that the design is a car first and an aircraft
second. Most other manufacturers have tried to adapt an
aircraft for use on the road, whereas ParaJet modified
a car for flight.
The SkyCar's wing consists of a ram-air style parachute
which works by funneling air in through the front to inflate
the wing and provide lift. The vehicle requires less than
200 metres for takeoff and can be operated from a wide
variety of locations due to the rugged mechanicals of
the vehicle. The SkyCar is easier and safer to fly than
any other aircraft, as it has no pitch control and therefore
it is impossible to stall or dive. Should the engine fail,
the pilot can simply glide down into the nearest open
In the unlikely event of complete wing failure, car connection
system failure or midair collision, an emergency ballistic
reserve parachute can be deployed to bring the vehicle
safely to the ground.
The performance of the ParaJet Skycar on the ground would
easily embarrass most regular cars. Powered by a 140 horsepower
Yamaha R1 motorcycle engine the SkyCar can rocket to 60
mph in just 4.2 seconds, and reach a top speed of 140
mph. And thanks to the rugged chassis and wheel combination
it can easily handle a bit of off-roading.
ParaJet have also taken the time to give the SkyCar a
stylish design and bodywork. The end result is that this
isn't the sort of vehicle people would do their daily
commute in, but for those looking for the ultimate adventure
travel machine look no further.
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