2016 Flying Cars: Comparing the Maverick, Skyrunner, and PAL-V

Since the days of early 1950s science fiction, writers predicted the day when cars would fly.  Even Popular Mechanics tried to call the flying car as early as 1902.  Of course, it anticipated we would have flying cars by as early as 2010.  While the future may not be here – yet – it certainly hasn’t stopped inventors and entrepreneurs from trying to make it a reality. Enter the Skyrunner – a dune buggy which relies upon a high powered air turbine to paraglide the vehicle to heights of up to 15,000 ft. 

The Skyrunner hasn’t officially hit the market yet but that hasn’t stopped some speculators from looking at this as a step in the right direction for achieving the dream of a car that can take off and land reliably.  At present, Skyrunner doesn’t estimate their vehicle will be ready for American roadways until late 2015, early 2016.  In the meantime, there’s an American company which seems to have a working model – the Maverick.


Designed to Bridge the Gap Between Remote and Local

This vehicle was created through the Indigenous People Technology and Education Center (I-TEC), a non-profit organization based out of Florida.  Steve Saint, the main coordinator for this project, saw this as a fantastic way to reach out to remote areas of Ecuador where he builds schools and churches as a part of his organization. Unlike the Skyrunner, the Maverick vehicle operates off a dual drive system.  On the ground, it relies upon a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and trans axle.  When it’s ready to go airborne, the ground drive is disengaged and a rear propeller kicks on.  Both the Skyrunner and the Maverick operate off a paragliding parachute which is powered by a rear propeller.

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According to Saint, the Maverick has a 17 gallon petrol gasoline tank.  Under ideal conditions, this gives the vehicle a respectable 25 miles to the gallon on roadways and abou