Aircraft

SkyRunner car goes off-road and off-ground

SkyRunner car goes off-road an...
The SkyRunner in flight
The SkyRunner in flight
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The SkyRunner taking off
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The SkyRunner taking off
The 926-lb (420-kg) vehicle is powered by a 1.0-liter EcoBoost direct injection turbo engine that produces 200 Nm (147.5 ft lb) of torque
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The 926-lb (420-kg) vehicle is powered by a 1.0-liter EcoBoost direct injection turbo engine that produces 200 Nm (147.5 ft lb) of torque
The SkyRunner is currently in the process of acquiring its light sport aircraft certification
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The SkyRunner is currently in the process of acquiring its light sport aircraft certification
The SkyRunner's tablet-equipped cockpit
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The SkyRunner's tablet-equipped cockpit
The SkyRunner in flight
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The SkyRunner in flight
The SkyRunner has a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h) on the ground and 55 mph (89 km/h) in the air
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The SkyRunner has a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h) on the ground and 55 mph (89 km/h) in the air

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.

Like other parasail vehicles, the SkyRunner has a propeller on the back, along with a parachute-like paraglider wing that packs down when not in use. When it's time to take flight, the wing is laid out behind the car, its propeller is fired up, then it zips along the ground until it reaches 37 mph (60 km/h), at which point the lifting force of the wing pulls everything into the air.

No airport runway is necessary, as a grassy field, beach, or other sufficiently long and empty area is sufficient. A Sport Pilot license, however, is required.

Once airborne, the SkyRunner is reportedly fairly easy to control, as the pilot only needs to manage its pitch and roll. Should trouble arise, a reserve chute can be deployed.

The 926-lb (420-kg) vehicle is powered by a 1.0-liter EcoBoost direct injection turbo engine that produces 200 Nm (147.5 ft lb) of torque
The 926-lb (420-kg) vehicle is powered by a 1.0-liter EcoBoost direct injection turbo engine that produces 200 Nm (147.5 ft lb) of torque

The 926-lb (420-kg) vehicle is powered by a 1.0-liter EcoBoost direct injection turbo engine that produces 200 Nm (147.5 ft lb) of torque, and pushes the car from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.3 seconds. It has a top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h) on the ground and 55 mph (89 km/h) in the air, with one tank of gas taking it 500 miles (805 km) on the road at 56.5 mpg (5 L/100 km), or 200 nautical miles (322 km) in the sky.

The SkyRunner is currently in the process of acquiring its light sport aircraft certification. In the meantime, the company is accepting US$1,500 deposits from potential buyers. The vehicle is hoped to be ready for delivery next year.

While some people may see it as a rich man's toy, its suggested buyers include emergency medical teams, aerial survey companies, pipeline companies, and search and rescue teams. In fact, the very similar Maverick parasail car was designed primarily to deliver medical supplies to remote African villages.

Source: SkyRunner

12 comments
Milton
Not sure how I feel about this one yet. On one hand the thing looks bad-ass and I'm sure it would be a blast to drive OR fly. But on the other hand... I don't quite see the point in having a vehicle like this when you still have to get out and attach a parachute to it in order to get airborn. (or take it off when going "land-born"). I think I'd rather have an off-roader without a propeller, and a para-glider without wheels. plus... VIDEO (or it didn't happen).
The Skud
Getting better and better! Unfortunately, something else for paranoid dope growers to shoot at if they see it flying over their little concealed green patches.
Riaanh
I love it! I can see that this is ideal for travelling between any points A and B in the bundus. The idea is probably to travel on-road as far as you can, when the going really gets tough, like getting to a non-existent bridge, rip out the chute and take-off! The airborne range would unfortunately restrict you from using flying as the main method of travelling. The one main restriction is probably the limited payload which can be carried
notarichman
in the back country...with lousy roads, but lots of them; this would come in handy for search and rescue teams / medical emergencies. also in desert country. pity the article doesn't mention how pitch and roll are controlled...an example of bad reporting? can't afford one, but really want to try one out!
Loïc Marchand
Check out Vaylon's PEGASE concept too. Same kind of vehicle but it's a side by side 2-seater, it is equipped with a windshield and efforts have been made to ensure the propeller is as quiet as possible. They claim it will have a total payload capacity of 250kg (550 lbs). http://www.vaylon.fr/
PB
Oh, spare me! $119,000 for a motorized hang glider? I'd say they were kidding but it isn't April Fools Day. It can't be flown in controlled airspace, is limited to daytime VFR only. You can buy two older Cessna 172 planes for that kind of money. It'll be in Chapter 11 before we know it.
TedF
Agree with PB. Plus it's high speed take-off and slow climb rate did not encourage me any.
Stephen N Russell
Need 2, 4 passenger model & backup chute for use & to rent & add pontoons for amphib model alone Great for camping, hiking in mtns, beaches, riverways] Apps for: Firefighting Security. mapping tourism Sales
MangoCat
@Milton, the point is: after you take a 10km hop in the air, you've got a ground vehicle with you; after you've trekked 300km overland and come to a 5km obstacle that your ground vehicle can't handle, you've got a STOL aircraft with you. $119K must be taking the development (mostly certification and licensing) costs into account with a small projected sales volume (safe bet at that price point!)
Michael Givan
This thing has future military application written all over it. For hobbyists, the market is probably rather minute, but as a multi-use recon vehicle with personnel that can run across any terrain, I can't think of any singular vehicle that can match this.