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Skyrunner flight buggy: off-road extremist learns to fly

Off-road extremist learns to fly
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D he topic of flying cars has kept tinkerers around the world busy for decades . Most previous designs have a special shortcoming: the wings. It is not possible to stow these in any way that is practical in road traffic. Skyrunner approached the topic from a different perspective and took up the paraglider to let the fun car take off.

The base vehicle is an off-road buggy that is remotely attached to a modern side-by-side vehicle remembers, but is significantly larger - among other things because the two passengers at the Skyrunner sit one behind the other. The stable tubular frame and the sturdy chassis with long suspension travel ensure that there is no boredom out in the field and that even harder jumps can be mastered without complaint. With a length of 4.26 meters and a width of 1.95 meters, the Skyrunner is roughly the size of a VW Golf, but is much higher at 1.83 meters.

Skyrunner with two motors

A tricky problem with such designs is often how to use the driving force of the engine for different types of drive. The manufacturer found a very pragmatic solution for the Skyrunner: two motors! The propeller for flight operations is powered by a Rotax aircraft engine. A four-cylinder boxer with a turbocharger that generates 115 hp from a displacement of 1.2 liters. When it comes to the 'earthbound' drive, Skyrunner also relies on specialists, the Prostar two-cylinder with a displacement of one liter comes from the ATV pioneers of the US manufacturer Polaris. The practical thing is that Polaris also supplies the complete ATV drive train with continuously variable automatic transmission and reduction gear for off-road use. Standard is pure rear-wheel drive, but the Skyrunner can be equipped with all-wheel drive for an additional charge. The table data of the Prostar in-line engine: 952 cubic centimeters, 89 hp.

In order to operate the various drives without confusion, the pilot's workstation is divided into two parts. On the right side there are controls and displays for the driving functions, on the left the counterparts for flight operations. The steering wheel, like the accelerator and brake pedals, only works while driving. If you want to get off the ground, relatively little preparatory work is necessary. TheThe propeller must be installed, the paraglider spread out and its connection to the base vehicle established. The Skyrunner doesn't need a large area to start. Because the paraglider already carries at very low speeds. A runway length of just 90 meters is sufficient to go into the air. The ground drive can be used to take off, which is then simply switched off in the air.

225 km flight range

The Skyrunner reaches a maximum of 43 knots, equivalent to 80 km /h, in the Air. That doesn't sound like much, but thanks to the 'beeline' it allows you to cover considerable distances in a very short time. Nevertheless, the manufacturer sees the Skyrunner more as a recreational vehicle and not as a serious business aircraft. The cruising speed of 64 km /h allows a range of 225 kilometers with a full tank. The good thing about it: The paraglider makes the whole thing very safe, because even if the aircraft engine fails, you can safely descend into a descent. The direction and altitude of flight are controlled in the classic way using control lines.

Of course, all this fun needs to be paid for. The base price of the Skyrunner is 139,000 US dollars, 5,000 dollars have to be paid down, and there are around two to three months between ordering and delivery. A street legal in Germany is rather unlikely.


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