A parachute-equipped flying car designed by a Florida-based company for the use of missionaries in developing countries has crashed in Canada, just feet from an elementary school about to have a sports day event.
The car is a Maverick (slogan: “the flying car that does”) and is basically an ultralight open-wheeled buggy with a cloth exterior skin and a propellor on the back. It uses a wing-style deployable parachute for lift, and costs $94,000. Development of the car was funded by the Indigenous Peoples’ Technology and Education Center, and apparently the idea is that when the road in Borneo, Tanzania, or Peru runs out, the missionary can simply fly to his or her destination.
Above: One model of the Maverick flying car
Now, however, the company may need to revise its slogan.
Curtis Allen, a reporter for CTV News who was on the scene, told Jalopnik that the pilot took off in Vernon, British Columbia, and crashed around 8:45. He hit a school fence and — from the picture — a tree, which may have saved his life, according to Allen.
Flying cars have been in the news lately as Terrafugia, the flying car company from Woburn, MA, reported that it plans to build street-legal airplanes. The company is working on feasibility studies for the TF-X, which “will further increase the level of safety, simplicity, and convenience of personal aviation.”
It’ll need to increase the level of safety quite considerably before the FAA and other governmental organizations think it’s a good idea to give the power of flight to every yahoo with a driver’s license.
The pilot and passenger walked away from this accident, but it is just one more reason why a Jetsons-style future is — and maybe forever will be — in the future.
When I contacted the Maverick flying car company for a comment, an employee apologized and said “I don’t know anything about it.”
Image credits: Curtis Allen/Twitter, Maverick