A FRENCH company is developing a prototype flying car that it hopes will be on the market in 2015.
The Pegasus, developed by Vaylon Strasbourg, is part all-terrain buggy and part microlight aircraft, and has attracted the attention of the French military.
The vehicle, which runs on 98 unleaded fuel, is capable of reaching up to 100kph on the road. In the air, it can fly for up to three hours at between 60 to 80kph and at heights of up to 3,000m.
The company hopes to start selling Pegasus vehicles commercially next year - though there are two minor stumbling blocks for potential customers.
The first is the price - €100,000. It is about the same price as a new microlight aircraft, said Vaylon’s boss and Pegasus’ inventor Jérôme Dauffy.
The second is the fact that owners would have to undertake a paramotor pilot’s training course, and would not be able to fly until they have a certificate confirming they have 20 hours’ flying time.
“But these are very easy to to get,” Mr Dauffy said, adding that he hoped security services, NGOs and wealthy professional people might be interested in the vehicle.
The military is already interested. The Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has invested more than €60,000 in the project, as part of a fund supporting innovation by Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
In 2013, the fund was used to back 64 SMEs to the tune of €40million.
"Pegasus is less expensive and more discreet than a helicopter,” a spokesman told Le Figaro.
“Pegasus would allow us to conduct reconnaissance but also allow easier access to rough or inaccessible terrain.
“For example, it could allow us to cross a river where infrastructure has been destroyed."
A military prototype of the vehicle will be ready for testing by the end of the year.
Other potentially economically viable flying cars include the US-based Terrafugia's "Transition" flying car, which is expected to be launched on the market within a year, while the helicopter-type Dutch PAL-V gyrocopter could go also on sale in this year.