The Parajet Skycar was introduced back in 2008. It was a parasail-equipped dune buggy. It was capable of running like a real off-roader on rough terrain but had something much more to it; it could take off and land anywhere. After a 6,000 km long journey which included driving and flying from London to Tombouctou, the manufacturers came up with a number of ideas on how to improve the design. The incorporation of these ideas has led to a better, lighter and more environment friendly Skyrunner which can be ordered too.
Just like other vehicles belonging to the same family, SkyRunner also comes with a propeller on its back and a Para-glider wing that resembles a parachute which can be easily folded when it’s not in use. However, when the flight is to take place, this wing is stretched out behind the vehicle and the propeller is fired up. Using this configuration, the vehicle continues down on the ground until it attains the speed of 37 mph that it requires to generate enough lifting power to take off from the ground. No runway is needed so thats a big plus. All you need is a sufficiently long path and a Sport Pilot license to fly this awesome machine.
SkyRunner is quite easy to control once it’s in flight. All the pilot needs to attend to is the pitch and roll. In case of any trouble, the pilot may choose to employ a reserve chute. SkyRunner weighs around 420 kg and is powered by a 1.0 liter EcoBoost direct injection turbo engine which is capable of producing 200Nm torque. The engine helps the vehicle go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and makes it attain a top speed of 115 mph on the ground while a top speed of 55 mph can be achieved in the air. One tank of gas suffices for a journey of 500 miles on ground and 200 nautical miles in the air.
SkyRunner is currently up for the process of acquiring its light sport aircraft certification. However, the company is accepting $1,500 deposits for advance booking. The vehicle will be made available next year at a price of $119,000. One might see this as a hobby for the rich but surprisingly, the potential users also include medical teams, aerial survey companies and search/rescue teams. Before Skyrunner, a parasail car, Maverick, was specifically designed for the purpose of delivering medical supplies to the remote African villages. Therefore, the utility of such a multirole vehicle is already proven.