A Christian missionary working with an Amazonian tribe in Ecuador has received the first FAA certification for a flying car. Steve Saint, a missionary, inventor, and pilot, had been working on the project in Ecuador, saying that he drew his inspiration from the driving obstacles of people in places like Ecuador.
While there is another similar vehicle with FAA certification called the Transition, that vehicle is an aircraft that is drivable on roadways with its wings folded up, not a car that flies. It is more of a plane that drives, if you will. Saint founded the non-profit I-tec, the Indigenous People”s Technology and Education Center, out of Florida, as a means to help the people of the Waodani tribe learn to fend for themselves, as opposed to relying on outside aid.
The Maverick flying car is just one piece of the puzzle for I-Tec. “We’ve been working on this particular project for six years,” Saint said. “But it’s just one, the bigger thing that we do is developing health care technology and tools and training systems so that we can train people that live out in the jungle areas, that don’t have any formal education, and don’t have access to doctors or nurses or midwives, or optometrists, or dentists, teaching them how to take care of these needs for their own people. That’s really what we’re doing.”
Check out the car in action in a video posted after the jump.
The car transitions from road to air by way of a parachute and mast mechanism. “The Maverick is not only a practical flying car but it’s also a beefy car,” says Logan Ward from Popular Mechanics. “They put a Subaru engine in this thing with 250 horsepower. It goes 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. We were really impressed they gave it that sort of on-road performance.”
I-tec hopes to send the Maverick to the production lines soon, and if they can get a manufacturer on board, Saint estimates an MSRP of about $80,000 if they can get 11 per year rolled out. Saint wants to get the vehicle to the masses to drive the price down, and roll the cash into RnD for future projects and to make the car more affordable for people in frontier areas who have a high need for such a vehicle but little resources to obtain one.
Thanks for the tip Mike!
– By: Stephen Calogera