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Flying car: coming to a school yard full of kids near you

Freaky Maverick accident shows the pitfalls of mixing blacktop with thin air

19/05/2013 06:59 |  Comments: 


Our heavyweight champion, Balázs, or better known as Assur on the premises is the news writer of the mother site, Oh yes, he’s an automotive engineer too. They say there isn’t a data that has ever escaped his mind, all we know is that he can drop into any conversation about any car that was made after the war, and he’ll be able to add a ton of details you won’t ever be able to find in books. He has been thinking of selling his longserving Volvo for years, so he always has some used car adverts open on his computer, just in case. Has a wife and two (almost grown-up) children.

A Canadian customer and devout supporter of a flying car project has experienced that there is more to three-dimensional driving than ’getting there faster’. No one got hurt this time but we should start realising that putting cars in the atmosphere does have its deadfalls, pun intended.

Ray Siebring is a responsible man. He's been all over the place spreading the love of God and helping those in need, which is exactly why he fell (I stop, promise) for the Maverick project when it was first outlined. Essentially a combination of a paraglider and a car, albeit not a very sophisticated one, the Maverick has the potential to get you where no one has gone before, or at least not by car – remote third world locations where this contraption could be a viable solution to deliver food and other resources.

All of this is fundamentally irrelevant regarding the crash that unfolded early this week in British Columbia where said flying car lost considerable altitude following an unexpected manoeuvre and ended up crash landing into the trees lining a school yard, ultimately injuring none but amusing quite a number of pre-schoolers watching from a distance. Irrelevant, yes, except for one important thing: the vehicle was not being driven, or flown (how about 'flive, flove, fliven'? I'll give that a try) by some irresponsible teenager texting away at the steering wheel.

What happened was probably an unfortunate combination of rudimentary fliving skills, a chance change of wind direction, and a dash of bad luck. Even Mr. Siebring claimed the car is safe, and it was a driver (fliver) error which caused the accident.

Yeah, shit happens. Except, when they are up there, and your kids are down here, it shouldn't.

Whether elaborate like Terrafugia's winged car or basic like the Maverick or the similarly built ParaJet, these amphibious vehicles are bound to wreak havoc because when they fail, as all machines eventually do, they don't just stop – they fall.

Believing you can control them in an edgy situation is nothing short of self-delusion. Most people can't even control an oversteer. Most people don't even know what oversteer is. When flying cars become an accessible reality they will certainly not be fliven by Ray Siebrings. They will be fliven by George Jetsons. Worse yet, they will be fliven by Judy Jetsons. And that does not bode well at all.

Sources: The Globe and Mail

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