This is the Skyrunner off-road flying car

5 November, 2013 | by Matthew Jones

For those with an exceptional memory and/or Google, you may remember our coverage of the Parajet Skycar – essentially a quad bike with a paraglider wing/propeller setup on the back. Despite the Skycar’s failure to displace the Ford Fiesta as Britain’s best-selling car, the concept has been revisited by American firm Skyrunner, which has just given us this.

But how does the Skyrunner differentiate itself in the bustling niche of flying all-terrain vehicles? It uses a proper car engine. Namely the award-winning 85kW 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost three-cylinder – the very same unit Ford fitted to a road-legal Formula Ford racer for us.

On terra firma, the 420kg Skyrunner gets from 0-100 kph in 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 185 kph. After the three-minute conversion from car to plane, it’ll do 88 kph with the engine plugged into a rear-mounted prop, though range is reduced from 805 km to 322km. Using an iPad mounted to the steering wheel, you can check fuel levels, speed, and whether the latest episode of Breaking Bad is on Netflix yet.

By car standards, the Skyrunner a little on the pricey side. *R1.2m, to be precise. But by plane standards, it’s a relatively cheap way to get skyward: you can get the license you need to fly one in a few days with 12 hours of flight with a Certified Flight Instructor. And it looks extremely Bond Baddie. Which is good.

Is this the future of flying cars? Or do you want PAL-V’s road-going helicopter instead? Or perhaps James May’s creation?

*Estimate price

     

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