The Sideshow

Flying car crashes outside elementary school

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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An image of the Maverick during one of its successful test flights (Maverick)

The flying car has long tantalized the imaginations of people everywhere. And a recent successful test flight by a Massachusetts company came with the promise that their prototype could go on sale to the public beginning sometime in 2014.

But another company’s airborne vehicle had a much different experience on Friday, when their flying car crashed into a tree just outside a Canadian elementary school.

The Globe and Mail reports that the flying car, dubbed the Maverick, is produced by a company in Florida.

Police spokesman Gord Molendyk told the paper that the two passengers inside the flying car were injured in the crash but are expected to recover. No one else was hurt in the incident, which reportedly occurred just before 9am, local time.

The Maverick is far different than the other flying car that made headlines last month. Instead, this vehicle is more like a dune buggy with a parachute and giant fan attached to the back of the vehicle.

And while this particular flight did not end well, the company that produces the Maverick has in fact conducted a number of successful test flights. They've chronicled several of these flights on their website and they are fascinating to watch.

"The idea is to go beyond roads," Maverick's Raymond Siebring said in an interview last year. "We'll be using it to fly medical supplies and humanitarian aid in places that roads don't reach."

After gaining momentum on a runway of about 3,00 feet, the fan and parasail then combine to life the vehicle off the ground. It needs about an equal distance to safely land.

Molendyk told the paper that after the Maverick took after, it attempted to gain velocity but crashed into a fence and several trees before coming to rest.

In an email sent to the website Jalopnik, reporter described how the Maverick’s inventors intend to use their unique vehicle:

“From what I know, pilot Ray Sebring designed the car to be used in 3rd world countries for missionaries. The idea is when the road ends, they put up the "Wing" and fly until there is road again.”

Maverick’s website describes their vehicle as: “The Maverick LSA design has been developed as an easy-to-operate – air, land, and snow craft. It is intuitive and safe to fly, drive and maintain by people in frontier areas of the world enabling them to use this unique vehicle in missions and humanitarian applications – in the world “beyond roads.”

Though, for the time being, they may have to ignore the final line from Doc Brown in “Back to the Future.” Because it would seem that where they are going, they do in fact, need roads.

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