SkyRunner, the World’s First Flying Off-Road Vehicle, has Arrived
I went around the station this morning showing the other announcers pictures of this product. All of us had pretty much the same reaction, which was amazement at first, and then uncertainty on whether or not we'd be brave enough to try it out. The SkyRunner, "the world's first flying off-road vehicle," has been announced.
The Skyrunner uses a Polaris ProStar 1000 engine when it's on the ground, and a Rotax 914 UL light-sport aircraft engine allows it to fly. SkyRunner, LLC says that the vehicle can reach air speeds of 40 mph for a distance of 120 nautical miles.
"We set out to build the ultimate adventure vehicle but have since discovered it fills tremendous gaps as a tool," said SkyRunner CEO Stewart Hamel. "Designed initially as a toy, the market has translated SkyRunner to be a low cost, high utility multimodal tool for ranchers, law enforcement, border security, and even department of defense agencies. With operating costs of approximately $50 an hour, SkyRunner will take you places no pickup truck or UTV can go and at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter."
The wings that the SkyRunner uses look kind of like a big parasail. SkyRunner, LLC says that they are ram-air parafoil wings, which fold into a bag that rides behind the rear passenger. According to the company, the ram-air parafoil wing technology is "renowned for its safety due to inherent stability, control, and resistance to stalls."
The SkyRunner is classified as a Special Light-Sport Aircraft, "targeted to recreational pilots who primarily fly for fun. LSA's are designed to be affordable and easy to operate. SkyRunner is factory built and a ready-to-fly aircraft. An off-road enthusiast can earn a Sport Pilot's license in 8 days and just 12 hours of flight training (weather permitting). Sport pilots can legally and safely use 98 percent of US airspace without having to talk to air traffic controllers (ATC). No Airports are required with SkyRunner."
It's pretty awesome, if you're the type of person that loves thrill-seaking. You also have to be the type of person that would spend more on a toy than you would on a house. The base model SkyRunner retails for $139,000.