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Wiltshire Inventor to Drive World's First Flying Car to Timbuktu

Wiltshire, England, inventor and parajet expert Gilo Cardozo has devised and constructed the world's first road-legal Skycar.  In mid-January, he was scheduled to begin a 4,000-mile, 42-day test drive to Timbuktu with pilot Neil Laughton. The Skycar allows its driver to pilot the vehicle through the touch of a button, similar to a microlight. Cardozo and Laughton will travel through France, Spain, and Morocco, and then cross the Sahara. The trip will entail going over the Pyrenees, gliding on the Strait of Gibraltar, flying above the Atlas Mountains, and driving through the Sahara Desert. The Skycar took four years to build and cost 250,000 British pounds sterling. "I started making a paramotor on wheels that you sit on and take off and it suddenly occurred to me, 'why not just have a car that does everything?'" Cardozo recalls. Aerodynamic profiles and materials make it feasible to lift a vehicle weighing 1,500 pounds and passengers without the risk of instability. Skycar is fueled by a modified 140bhp Yamaha R1 superbike engine and can change between road and flight in minutes. In addition, it is road-legal, having passed the British government's single-vehicle approval test. The road trip is meant to display the Skycar, which could eventually be sold for 50,000 stg.

January 14, 2009

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