A British adventurer is due to set off this week from London to Timbuktu in a “flying car”. The SkyCar is a modified rally car which can take to the air with the help of a parachute.
Neil Laughton, an ex SAS officer, will travel 4.000 miles through Europe and Africa. He will fly over parts of the Sahara desert on his journey to the West African city - Timbuktu.
Mr Laughton told the BBC: “I like variety and thought this would be an interesting challenge”
“Also Timbuktu is an iconic and quirky destination.”
UK manufacturers of the SkyCar, claim it will be the first high performance, road legal, carbon neutral flying car which will be capable of providing sports and rally car performance both on and off the road and light aircraft performance after just a few minutes of wing preparation. The SkyCar ‘Parawing’ can be folded and stored in the boot of the car and takes three minutes to convert the car into an aircraft.
The SkyCar car has been designed so that it is capable of take-off from a field or airstrip in less than 200 metres. In the event of catastrophic failure during flight an emergency reserve parachute can be deployed.
Designing a flying car has been the childhood dream of 29 year old inventor, Gilo Cardozo. Mr Cardozo told the BBC: “The inspiration came from realising we can drive and we can fly, so why can’t we do both? The problem all along has been the wing technology, which we think we’ve cracked with the SkyCar.”
Mr Laughton will be joined by Mr Cardozo on the African leg of the trip. Depending on the success of the Timbuktu expedition Mr Cardozo plans to sell the SkyCar to the public at a cost of £50,000 per vehicle.