Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cars of the future

The Register reported today that a Dutch firm is working on a flying tricycle.

The hybrid vehicle can transform from a road vehicle to an autogyro and looks VERY interesting. I wonder how much it will cost.

I've always been a fan of autogyros, and I must say it seems a much more elegant solution than the American Skycar, a brash 'volantor' with no wings and FOUR bloody great jet engines. It can apparently hover on three engines, but otherwise you'll have to rely on the emergency parachute, as an engine failure will be catastrophic. Also, think of the expense involved in keeping 4 jet engines maintained. Whatever they say, I can only think that the Skycar will be LESS affordable than a light aircraft and consequently the preserve of executives and millionaires. This is borne out by the price tag - between $500,000 and $1 million.

The Dutch proposal uses a single petrol engine. It can function as a car as well as a plane (something the Skycar designers seem to have overlooked) and will gently float downwards under full control in the event of engine failure ("the procedure for landing an autogyro after engine failure is the same for landing an autogyro under ordinary circumstances").

I can't wait to get one.