The I-Tec Maverick, a roadworthy dune buggy powered by a Subaru engine, has won the first certification from the Federal Aviation Administration for a flying car. Its first mission: Saving the Third World.
Steve Saint runs i-Tec, which stands for ” indigenous people’s technology and education center.” A Christian missionary, Saint started the firm to resolve technological problems for remote tribes of Central and South America, and spent six years working on the Maverick.
With a 170-hp, 2.4 liter Subaru four-cylinder built into a canvas-covered frame, the Maverick can run up to 60 mph in lower than 4 seconds. But its real trick comes when it deploys a material wing on a 22-foot mast and takes flight. After years of testing, the FAA in September certified the Maverick as a ” powered parachute.” That’s different than the Terrafugia and similar vehicles which might be classified as roadworthy planes.
Saint says since the Maverick needs just 100 yards to take off, it is able to help missionary pilots and jungle tribes become self-sufficient while not having to abandon their standard of living . His current estimated price for a production Maverick is $80,000, but hopes that sales to recreational pilots drive down the fee.