Flying cars to the rescue

The Vaylon Pégase in a publicity shot. It and US rival the Maverick are aimed at the military, humanitarian and leisure markets.

French company Vaylon is spruiking its flying car Pégase – expected to go on sale next year – as a low-cost alternative to helicopters for humanitarian missions.

The Pégase has a propeller at the back and an extendable parachute, rather than wings. It is a similar design to the US Maverick, which is already commercially available. Both can take off and land in less than 100 metres, have a range of around 200km flying at up to 5,000 metres and carrying two people plus a load of 300kg

"The vehicle is a breakthrough technology," Vaylon's co-founder, Jérémy Foiche told SciDev as reported in the Guardian. "We are interested in working with the humanitarian sector to determine exactly how it could be used in the field," he said.

For the humanitarian sector, we could imagine such adaptations as replacing the passenger seat with a stretcher or putting in the front compartment a small camera for field reconnaissance, or a fridge to keep vaccines in, and the vehicle could also carry a doctor to give the vaccinations.

Inevitably, the military are also interested with the Pégase being tested by French special forces. And both companies are targeting the leisure market.

The Pégase is expected to cost around $100,000 while the basic Maverick sells for $94,000. The video below is of the Maverick in action and you can see more on the company's YouTube channel.

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