Saturday, July 31, 2010

I-TEC Maverick Flying Car

We’ve certainly seen some high-tech wonders but sometimes it’s the relatively low-tech aircraft that are the most inspiring and that’s certainly the case with the Maverick, a flying car from Florida’s I-TEC (abbreviation for Indigenous People's Technology and Education Center). While I-TEC initially plans on raising funds by selling Mavericks to recreational users and they also hope to put the vehicles to use in impoverished African nations where missionary pilots can use them to deliver medical drugs and supplies.
As a car alone, the vehicle’s performance is pretty impressive as its 140 hp, fuel-injected, 16-valve Subaru EJ22 engine sends it from 0 to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and it has a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h), and the whole rig weighs less than 1,000 pounds (454 kg).
When it’s time to fly, the Maverick’s central telescopic mast raises and acts as a wing spar for its chute, properly known as a ram-air wing and the flip of a switch diverts engine power from the rear wheels to the rear-mounted five-blade propeller, which propels the car across the ground, up to its take-off speed of 40mph (64km/h) and the Maverick can take flight in only 300 feet (91 meters).
Once in the air, the vehicle’s electronic fly-by-wire system allows the pilot to steer it with the steering wheel, just like they would on the ground and according to I-TEC, existing sport pilots can learn to fly the Maverick in just 12 hours. Its dash-mounted Garmin GPS allows for both aerial and ground-based navigation.

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