Powered by bio-fuel and built on Haas CNC machine tools, the Skycar – designed by Dorset, UK based Parajet – has just returned home after a 4000-mile flight over Europe to Timbuktu in Africa.
The Parajet Skycar is a high-performance road legal vehicle, which, by deploying a canopy and diverting power to a rear-mounted Paramotor propeller, becomes a fast, safe and versatile aircraft able to land on or off road. The two-seater Skycar was developed by 29-year-old self-taught engineer Mr. Gilo Cardozo in his workshop in Mere, Wiltshire. His firm, Parajet (www.parajet.co.uk), manufactures and sells Paramotors to customers around the world. The two-seater Skycar base vehicle – a high-performance off-road buggy with a 1000cc motorcycle engine – was also built using Haas machines, at Rage Motorsport (www.ragemotorsport.co.uk), based in Dunstable, Buckinghamshire, UK.
“One of the engineering innovations that makes the SkyCar special,” says Jim Edmondson, Parajet sales and marketing manager, “is that the wheels and the prop’ can be driven separately from the same engine. Other designs that have been similar have used a secondary engine to drive the prop’, but due to the combined weight of two engines the vehicles are either too heavy or lack power.”
As reported on the BBC news website, the 42-day Skycar expedition traveled through France, Spain and Morocco, and then across the Sahara by way of Mauritania and Mali, before returning home via Senegal. Mr Cardozo said: ‘Crossing the desert in a flying car is absolutely surreal. It’s an extraordinary experience.’
Parajet machines a variety of components for its paramotors using its Haas VF-1 vertical machining centre. Rage Motorsport employs a Haas TL-25 CNC turning centre and a Haas VF-2 CNC machining centre to make everything from vehicle chassis parts to brake calipers and wheel hubs.
The next generation Skycar will be based on a Parajet designed-and-built vehicle and will go on sale from 2010 with a price tag of approximately £50,000.
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