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The Maverick flying car

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July 30, 2010

I-TEC's Maverick flying car

I-TEC's Maverick flying car

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We’ve certainly seen some high-tech wonders over the past week at AirVenture 2010, but sometimes it’s the relatively low-tech aircraft that are the most inspiring. That’s certainly the case with the Maverick, a flying car from Florida’s I-TEC (Indigenous People's Technology and Education Center). The Maverick could fairly accurately be described as a combination dune buggy and powered parachute, not unlike the Parajet Skycar. While I-TEC initially plans on raising funds by selling Mavericks to recreational users, they ultimately hope to put the vehicles to use in impoverished African nations, where missionary pilots can use them to deliver medical supplies.

As a car alone, the vehicle’s performance is pretty impressive. Its 140 hp, fuel-injected, 16-valve Subaru EJ22 engine sends it from 0 to 60mph in 3.9 seconds, it has a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h), and the whole rig weighs less than 1,000 pounds (454 kg).

I-TEC's Maverick flying car

When it’s time to fly, the Maverick’s central telescopic mast raises and acts as a wing spar for its chute, properly known as a ram-air wing. The flip of a switch diverts engine power from the rear wheels to the rear-mounted five-blade propeller, which propels the car across the ground, up to its take-off speed of 40mph (64km/h). Thanks to its ram-air wing design, the Maverick can take flight in only 300 feet (91 meters).

Once in the air, the vehicle’s electronic fly-by-wire system allows the pilot to steer it with the steering wheel, just like they would on the ground. According to I-TEC, existing sport pilots can learn to fly the Maverick within 12 hours. A dash-mounted Garmin GPS allows for both aerial and ground-based navigation. In flight mode, it has a maximum payload of 330 pounds (150 kg).

I-TEC's Maverick flying car

Work began on the first version of the Maverick in 2008. It was completely rebuilt this Spring, however, with current version officially known as the Maverick Sport. It is licensed by the US Department of Transportation for ground travel, and is presently classified by the FAA as an experimental aircraft - I-TEC is trying to get it into the light-sport category.

The company claims that It should be available for purchase within a year, with deployment in Africa to follow.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
13 Comments

why oh why do I have a problem with the missionaries in this, they tell people how to have sex, picture if you will two young Mormon males in this, bicycle helmeted black suit,white shirt, black straight tie flatlanders ROFL, I loathe flatlanders religion is nothing but social control from the BRONZE age that has survived from brain washing youth. Best Regards, Bill

Bill Bennett
30th July, 2010 @ 08:22 pm PDT

I'm not sure WHY you have a problem with missionaries? I know some, and they're good people who've helped a lot of other people. There is always some sort of religion, such as the global warming religion going on, only now it's not God it's "mother earth" and instead of Satin it's "evil man" and we should all be dead except the elitist eco-boors! As for this little car I think it rocks! In fact I think it's better then most of the high tech flying cars that I'm seeing right now. This one is a better car and it seems to fly pretty well too!

mrhuckfin
31st July, 2010 @ 05:43 pm PDT

I'm kind of with Bill on this. I don't want to see damn missionaries using it.

But on the other hand, I want one so bad. I would use it every day to get to work, until the police took it away. This is freakin' cool. I found myself thinking about ways to move to Africa just to justify flying it. Seriously.

Facebook User
31st July, 2010 @ 09:53 pm PDT

Outstanding! Maximum versatility with minimum weight! But I am puzzled why delivering medicine to those who need it is considered evil by the above commentators. I am also puzzled why the theory of global warming, (supported by facts) would be considered a religion .

Stretch@StiltWalker.com
2nd August, 2010 @ 09:53 am PDT

Oh yea of great prejudices! They are for Missionaries because they are from a missionary organization. Perhaps they are also against relying upon fossil fuels that can be pricey, hard to supply and the target of thefts. Whats wrong with that? Sounds like my crew bnack at the compound. But some might call that a religion too! hah.

Some seem to think the only religion is "I WANT ONE TOO!" (so fn cool, etc.. ad nauseum) well, you are what made america what it is instead of what it could be and gave us the indearing tag "ugly americans." I see as many of them on the left as the right so don't even start that false dichotomy on me today!

As for me, I gonna talk to them ... my un-xtian self is gona do that...

waltinseattle
2nd August, 2010 @ 12:20 pm PDT

Its very strange when the inventor of this flying car is thinking in a different and strange direction. Such a transport could be better used for survailence, for emergency resque operations, flood monitorring, as an air ambulance or to reach the place where ground transport is tatally paralised....there are n number of applications one can think of using this aerogadget ! This is certainly not for the missionaries....what the hell they have to do with this ? Will they do baptisms in AIR ?? and that to in Africa...better to use it as air Safari !!! Crazy stuff indeed !

God bless those missionaries !

Lokesh Tripathi
2nd August, 2010 @ 01:31 pm PDT

I think there may be a niche for this, and it may involve humanitarian or "missionary" projects; but it could also involve adventuring, vacationing, or nefarious activities, like drug smuggling.

It's a tool; it could be used for good or evil, it could be productive or wasteful, but I'm certain it's not intended to be a political tool- as some posters have hinted.

William H Lanteigne
2nd August, 2010 @ 08:06 pm PDT

Not good for surveillance - it's pretty noticeable and attention-grabbing. :-)

Not good for emergency rescue or air ambulance operations - can only carry 330 pounds when aloft; that means you're probably limited to two people max.

I think both Rana and the original designers agree on getting medicine to hard-to-reach places though.

Stretch, the problem with the example of missionaries delivering medicine is not the medicine. It's that the primary purpose of a missionary is not delivering medicine; it's converting people to their religion. The medicine is an attempted means to an end to win favor. This was going on in Iraq when one preacher set up a very large pool in the sweltering heat, but was only offering dips to U.S. soldiers who would agree to be baptised in it (the preacher was reported to higher ups for this, but I don't know what happened). I don't think people would have a problem if the example read Doctors Without Borders volunteers delivering medical supplies. There's no ulterior motive there. Me, when I think missionaries and this vehicle, I'm imagining them carpet-bombing villages with religious tracts and mini-Bibles, Korans and Books Of Mormon. :-)

Anyway, I hope the designers have success both with selling this as a recreational vehicle and achieving their main goal of seeing it bring relief to rural areas in Africa.

alcalde
2nd August, 2010 @ 11:10 pm PDT

Let's not forget this is being developed by a religious group specifically for there own use, it's just that by offering it to the general public they are trying to finance it's development and ultimately can support it for there needs. I still have no problem with anybody using this with a religious purpose in mind. Oh and "Global Warming?" WHAT facts?

mrhuckfin
3rd August, 2010 @ 04:28 am PDT

The missionary purpose proposed was not for Mormons. I went on a Mormon mission and LDS missionaries are not allowed to fly sport aircraft for safety sake. Many other Christian organizations send relief and medical missionaries to Africa with the sincere desire to help people and follow the example of the Saviour Jesus Christ. Some of these missionaries already use small aircraft in Africa and this could be a cost effective and practical form of transportation for them, especially since it is all terrain ground drivable. This vehicle has many uses for many people, it looks like a lot of fun, I wish Gizmag would have listed more specs like airflight range/speed and price to buy. I guess a link to the makers website would help.

[There's a link to the Maverick website in the last paragraph of the article. -Ed.]

aquasparky007
5th August, 2010 @ 03:22 am PDT

First of all,who\'s the more prejudiced and anti-social here?What are you people doing to make things better for the needy?At least these people are trying.Second of all,if they wanted to make money so they could drink and chase prostitutes would you still complain?It\'s their money.They\'re trying to help people without bothering anybody for money like the TV preachers so what\'s wrong with that?Also,these people have one of the most amazing histories of sacrificial love and devotion to tribal people anywhere-they aren\'t trying to Americanize them-while you are so quick to criticize them and lump them in with the parasites and the wolves in sheep\'s clothing,they not only serve,medically and otherwise, all who ask without restriction regardless of beliefs they have a proven track record of being outspoken proponents for tribal rights and justice against the encroachments of the abuses of TECHNOLOGY(mining,petroleum and other forms of landclearing)destroying tribal lands and even killing people.Nate Saint,his relative,died in service(on the ground) but pioneered aviation techniques and devices which are still used worldwide today to serve and save lives.The abuse of technology by overindustrialization is currently far more of an immediate threat to tribal people,along with the ongoing spread of militant communism throughout Asia,Africa and South/Central America,than the abuse of religion.Most long term missionaries have servants\' hearts towards their people-there\'s just not a lot of money or other motivations to it.Sure there\'s been abuses but isn\'t there the good,the bad and the ugly everywhere in this world?Lastly,this group works more in South/Central America than in Africa and I do not believe that they\'re that concerned with native clothing,housing styles or sexual positions.Again,before you criticize-what are you doing to ease suffering and make the world a better place for others?I know what I\'ve been doing and I know what I will continue doing while you sit back and ignorantly criticize those you obviously know nothing about.

Griffin
31st August, 2010 @ 03:26 pm PDT

I don't get why it bothers everyone, that it is the main topic, that the inventors are religious. So what? The Maverick is a cool vehicle and could do a lot of good anywhere in the world. Leave religion out of it and concentrate on the vehicle.

Brett George
22nd January, 2011 @ 01:07 pm PST

I am certainly very much in favour of flying cars and would even like them and flying saucers to displace the conventional aeroplanes and helicopters altogether, except perhaps for special occasions.

Now that the Maverick seems to be referred to as the flying car that does, how about other manufacturers entering the fray by producing their own models and using the same technology as the Maverick? After all, I don't suppose the Ford Motor Company was the only motor company back in 1903.

Jeremy Keller
29th August, 2012 @ 08:25 pm PDT
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