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SkyRunner Car Goes Off-Road and Off-Ground

timothy posted about a year ago | from the here's-your-gol-danged-flying-car dept.

Transportation 26

Zothecula writes "Back in 2008, we heard about a parasail-equipped dune buggy, known as the Parajet Skycar. It could scramble over rough ground like a true off-roader, but then take to the skies when needed. One epic 6,000-km (3,728-mile) drive/flight from London to Tombouctou later, its creators got some ideas about how the design could be improved. The result is the lighter, better-flying and less-polluting SkyRunner – and you can order one now." Fans of American domestic parasail-equipped flying cars, don't forget that there's also the Florida-built Maverick.

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Just Cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45314247)

This is the kind of ride Rico Rodriguez would have.

Off road and off ground ... (2)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year ago | (#45314273)

If it goes off-road and off-ground, it's starting to sound like that jetpack I was promised back in the 50s.


Re:Off road and off ground ... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#45314339)

It's a parasail-equipped car. I'm guessing once you bust the parasail out you have to pack it away again after. I'm also guessing that the FAA will consider that to be an ultralight and require you to take off from an airport (Which is really what defeats most of the best reasons to have a flying car in the USA anyway.)

Re:Off road and off ground ... (2)

Tom (822) | about a year ago | (#45314415)

Not sure about the US, but I've had the pleasure of starting from the private/business departure area on my local airport, and it doesn't compare with the regular airport, it's an entirely different world. No security theatre, no waiting and sitting around, you arrive, go through the lobby, on the tarmac, into the plane, take-off. Total time spent on airport: 10 minutes at most.

Being able to skip the lines and security theatre and waiting and boarding is easily worth it all by itself.

Re:Off road and off ground ... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#45314587)

Oh yeah, you can just walk on to the local airport here, but it kind of defeats the purpose of having a "flying car" if you have to take off and land there. You still need to use the road system to get anywhere in town. During the epic flooding here a couple months ago, traffic in town was gridlocked. Every road going north and east had washed out and a couple hundred thousand people were trying to go north or east. Consequently you couldn't even go south or west because you had to go a little north or a little east to get to one of the southbound or westbound roads. And the roads south were pretty well choked up too because people wanted to turn into an eastbound road that wasn't moving. At all. If you had a flying car, you could have avoided all that and the washed out roads that were the reason for the gridlock in the first place. If you had to park your flying car at the airport, you wouldn't have been able to get to it until a week after the flood.

If you're OK with parking your flying car at an airport, you could just get a decent old Cessna starting around 45 grand, which is a lot less than any of the prototype flying cars will set you back, and you can be flying it right now. You still need to get a pilot's license, but you'll need one for a flying car too.

Re:Off road and off ground ... (1)

Tom (822) | about a year ago | (#45315211)

I don't think the point of the flying car is at your home location.

The point is that once you arrive, you have a car.

Re:Off road and off ground ... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#45317763)

Yeah, most people when they imagine it though, they imagine flying to work. Problem is, if you're flying to work, so is everyone else. Maybe at some point Google will make an autonomous flying car that can handle that sort of traffic and is actually safe enough for someone who's not a pilot to use. They'd still need to get the FAA to change their regulations, which I suspect is a harder task than making an autonomous flying car that everyone can use. Rumor has it they got the FAA to change their regs for the glass skydiving demo, so maybe they can pull it off.

Re:Off road and off ground ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315303)

Bollocks. You aren't required to take off from or land at an airport in an ultralight, a light sport aircraft, or a normal airplane or helicopter. And this thing is way to heavy to be an ultraLIGHT anyway.

Re:Off road and off ground ... (3, Informative)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | about a year ago | (#45318385)

I'm not quite sure where you're getting the impression that you need to take off and land from an airport in the USA. While I've never done it I have seen a helicopter land and take off from the parking lot of a business here in St. Louis on more than one occasion. With an appropriately equipped plane you can also take off and land in fields without anyone batting an eyelid... so long as you have the permission of the land owner or own the land yourself.

Can you cite a FAR that shows that you can't fly from anywhere but an airport?

This is a toy, not a tool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45314349)

Having said that, I imagine it could be one hell of a fun toy.

Re:This is a toy, not a tool. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45314903)

You are a nigger.

Re:This is a toy, not a tool. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315065)

A gay nigger?

Unfortunately... (2)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#45314357)

It doesn't go on road. This thing is obviously not capable of meeting the requirements for a vehicle to be driven on public roads.

Re:Unfortunately... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#45314885)

The unprotected propeller being the most obvious reason. And the sheer chaos induced if you tried to take off or land in traffic.

Makes sense. (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#45314469)

I like the idea behind projects like The Maverick.

The flying car that has a clearly defined and realistic purpose, in the case of the Maverick, delivering routine medical care to areas which are tucked behind a gorge or some other natural obstruction, but where the expense of a fixed wing aircraft or helicopter would be hard to justify.

Low-profile tires? We hates it, precious (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#45314481)

Low-profile tires are awesome on the road, but this thing is designed to function off of it. The ideal tire for something as light as this would not only be narrower, but also have a taller sidewall. Well, or it would be a tweel, but it would still have a taller side.

Re:Low-profile tires? We hates it, precious (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about a year ago | (#45314811)

Sometimes style trumps function for purely practical (monetary, as in financial backing) reasons.

Once upon a time, there was a project to build and drive a Miata 200mph on the Bonneville salt flats. From a pure engineering / efficient speed perspective, you'd want narrow wheels/tires for that (no reason to turn on the salt flats). However, when you're looking for funding for a project like that, one of the prime candidates are custom wheel manufacturers - and custom wheels are wide and oversized (for low profile tires.) So, the 200mph Miata just needed to turn the turbo boost up a couple of psi to be able to capture the wheel sponsorship.... BTW, the project almost happened, had a sponsored car from Mazda Japan and everything, but hit a major SNAFU when the donated car unexpectedly had to be returned to Japan after a year in the country, something about its import paperwork as a promotional vehicle.

Unidirectional low-profiles, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45317407)

Must admit that was immediately my reaction too. WTF are *those* tires doing on a dune buggy?


Just like that landmark SciFi film... (1)

Bleek II (878455) | about a year ago | (#45315225)

The Slipstream is coming! [] And by landmark I mean toppled over mile marker...

Historical perspective (3, Informative)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about a year ago | (#45315413)

The October issue of Air & Space Magazine had an interesting article on an earlier attempt [] to get John Q.Public flying instead of driving. Hint: the problem isn't the cost of the vehicle.


Toy not Tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315849)

This thing screams overall unreliability and impracticality in the field. Low profile tires? Lack of availability of parts (due to uniqueness or proprietary nature)? no storage space to keep parts? Driver exposed to the elements? I don't think I'll be trusting my life with one of these in the outback, and that price puts it in the range of much better alternatives. That said, as a toy this thing looks nifty, but I can just see people landing this thing too hard and killing themselves. is a real flying car, to be shipped (1)

short (66530) | about a year ago | (#45316191) [] is a real flying car, to be shipp (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#45316633)

Looks promising, but a 6 meter long car isn't very practical for the city.

Paraglider, not parasail (1)

naranek (1727936) | about a year ago | (#45316325)

It's a paraglider and not a parasail. Parasail is something you drag behind a boat or car to lift a passanger to air, but the passanger can't steer and the parasail can't function without the rope. Paraglider on the other hand is used to fly for long distances similar to hang gliders and sailplanes.

What's with the wheels? (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#45317623)

20-inch rims and low profile street tires. Perfect for off-roading.

Off-road and off-ground (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | about a year ago | (#45318257)

So what? My car can go off-road and off-ground.

Just not for very long. Or more than once.
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