Page last updated at 08:31 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Flying car adventure team return


Flying car reaches new milestone

A team of adventurers have returned to Wiltshire after a 4,000 mile expedition across the Sahara Desert to Timbuktu in a "flying car".

The bio-fuelled flying vehicle - known as Skycar - was designed by Dorset engineer Gilo Cardozo.

He said: "It's the first Skycar to fly over Europe to Africa. We even did a ferry trip which normally takes a car two hours - we did it in 15 minutes."

The team hopes to have it on the market with a price tag of 50,000 by 2010.

The two-seater Skycar was developed by 29-year-old inventor and self-taught engineer Mr Cardozo in his workshop in Mere, Wiltshire.

'Extraordinary experience'

His firm, Parajet, manufactures the industrial paramotors that propel the Skycar once it is airborne.

The team set off five weeks ago in January. Former SAS officer Neil Laughton was the pilot for the expedition for the African leg of the trip.

The 42-day expedition travelled through France, Spain and Morocco, and then across the Sahara by way of Mauritania and Mali, before returning home via Senegal.

Mr Cardozo said: "Flying over the desert in a flying car is absolutely surreal. It's an extraordinary experience.

"In the right environment, when you've learnt to fly, it's very safe."

The team has invested about 250,000 - with help from sponsors - in the development of the vehicle and is keen to start commercial production.

Mr Cardozo said: "We're intending to have production Skycars evolved - with all the things we've learnt from this last five weeks of expeditioning with it - by the end of this year.

"Hopefully in 2010 we'll be able to say they're available for people to buy."

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