How About An All-Terrain Flying Car?

A different type of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle is being launched this week.

The SkyRunner, a recreational sports vehicle, will make its public debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this week.

Part all-terrain vehicle and part light-sport aircraft, the SkyRunner is described by the company introducing it as the next generation in the small, elite segment of light sport aviation.

No, the company did not explain why a contraption that flies and rolls is launched at a boat show.

The SkyRunner is powered by Ford’s 1.0 liter EcoBoost direct injection turbo engine; its 92-kilowatt power output provides, per the designers of the vehicle, the highest power density of any similar production engine.

Parajet Automotive, the British group that designed SkyRunner, said the vehicle is not limited to the adventurist or recreational enthusiast. The business and governmental applications for a low-cost, low-maintenance aviation asset could include large landowners, ranchers, farmers, pipeline companies, emergency medical teams, film, media, aerial survey companies, bush pilots, border security, police, military and search & rescue.

“Airports are not required with SkyRunner,” said Stewart Hamel, SkyRunner Founder and Chief Executive Officer.  “This vehicle will change the way people experience their world and provide pure enjoyment of flight. Imagine driving an all-terrain vehicle that can convert from road to air mode in three minutes — with SkyRunner, that dream has become a reality.”

Parajet said the SkyRunner uses the latest reflex paraglide wing technology, which is renowned for its extreme pitch and roll stability.

“Open fields, grass strips and secluded beaches will be the runways of choice,” says Hamel. “In the United States 98 percent of airspace is open to light sport pilots.”

The SkyRunner weighs 926 pounds and can accelerate to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, with a top speed of 115 mph on the ground and 55 mph in the air.

The fuel-efficient SkyRunner will see, per Parajet, a 500 mile road range (at 53MPG) and 200 nautical miles in the air.

Parajet priced the craft at $119,000.

SkyRunner is said to combine reliability, ease of use and portability into one adventurous package.

Parajet explained a license to fly SkyRunner can be obtained in a few days with 12 hours of flight with a Certified Flight Instructor.  Requirements for licensing include a valid driver’s license and a minimum age of 17. If applicants are in good health, an FAA medical certificate is not required. Sport pilot regulations will allow flight in daytime, VFR weather in uncontrolled airspace with a ceiling of 10,000 feet above sea level.

Over the next few months Parajet will make sure the SkyRunner is fulfilling ASTM Design & Manufacturing Standards for its S-LSA certification. The company declared during this time, the company will be accepting deposits for SkyRunner orders to be delivered in 2014.

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