It's not a flying DeLorean, but it's still pretty cool.
Futurists throughout the latter half of the 20th century loved to wax poetic about all the majestic flying cars we’d be driving by now. Enter the Pegasus, designed by French company Vaylon to be a vehicle that can access difficult-to-reach areas for reconnaissance and rescue. The man behind the flying car is Vaylon President Jerome Dauffy, and as you can see, it’s not exactly a posh recreation of the bubble canopy runabout from The Jetsons. Actually, it’s pretty much a dune buggy with motorcycle wheels, a propeller at the back, and a big honking parachute.
It may not be pretty, but it works. Yesterday, pilot Bruno Vezzoli took off near Calais, France and crossed the English Channel in a little under an hour, covering approximately 58 kilometres before landing near Dover in the United Kingdom. As a “warm-up” for the journey, the pilot flew from Paris to Calais on Tuesday, a distance seven times longer than crossing the channel. Of course, failures or problems over terra firma at least offer actual ground to land on, so a lengthy dry run (pun intended) makes perfect sense before venturing out over the gusty winds of the famous channel crossing.
As far as flying cars go, we must say the parasail concept is a rather brilliant approach to take. Whereas other attempts basically try to convert an airplane into a car by giving it removable wings, the Pegasus keeps it simple. There are obviously downsides to this approach, however. The Pegasus has no doors, no roof, and aside from a small hood, no body panels to speak of. There are accommodations for two, but we only see it airborne with a single operator so we suspect weight is a major factor. And with an open cockpit suspended in the air by a big piece of fabric, it’s not what you’d call all-weather capable.
Still, props to the designer for taking a novel approach to the flying car concept. Now, can someone please get going on the DeLorean hover conversion kits? That was supposed to be ready by 2015 already.