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Flying car crosses the English channel

Mobility & Transport

French company Vaylon has successfully managed to cross the channel with its flying car - the Pegasus.

Almost 50 years after Dick Van Dyke took to the skies in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a French company has successfully managed to make a flying car capable of crossing the English channel. Vaylon – a young startup that was backed by a EUR 700,000 Defence Military grant – has developed Pégase (Pegasus) with military in mind and has had help from French Special Forces developing and testing it.

French pilot Bruno Vezzoli was given the daunting task of flying the car from Ambleteuse to Dover, a trip which took about 50 minutes. The vehicle itself is an off-road buggy that’s attached to stealthy paragliding gear, the idea being it can fly into otherwise unreachable territory, detach the gliding gear then traverse difficult terrain. The flight itself is a mixture of powered flight and, when closer to the target and stealth is needed – a silent glide. It was something that appealed to the French military after a 2013 operation in Somalia to rescue a spy went bad due to the helicopter’s loud noise alerting the enemy to their presence – two French commandos died as a result.

The company is planning to sell the vehicle to a multitude of militaries, including the US, and are looking into possible civilian applications (it could be incredibly useful for humanitarian aid missions). It’s one of a number of innovations designed to evolve military technology – a bullet proof goo is close to going into production, and Project Telepathy uses ultrasound to let users whisper to each other while 30 metres apart – handy if you’re SAS or CIA and on a mission. What other applications could this flying car be used for?



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