By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
The Maverick "flying car" has received ASTM approval as a Special Light Sport Aircraft, the company said this week. I-tec, based in Orlando, Fla., has been working on the vehicle for about six years, with the goal of creating transportation for indigenous people who live in roadless areas. The vehicle also has commercial potential for sport flyers, search and rescue, fire spotting and other uses, the company says. The Maverick looks like a rugged off-road vehicle but it can reach highway speeds and in most U.S. states it can be driven on public roads under "kit car" rules. It can be quickly transitioned to flight mode by erecting a mast that carries a wing similar to those on powered parachutes. The pilot can control the vehicle in flight with the gas pedal and steering wheel, the company says, so controls are intuitive and easy to learn even for novice pilots.
The aircraft will sell for $84,000, design manager Troy Townsend told AVweb this week. The first 10 copies, however, will be sold at a $5,000 discount as E-LSAs, with a quick builder-assist program. "Our goal is to get these out into different countries and usages, such as Alaska pipeline work, ranchers and farmers checking fence lines, special forces, and get feedback about what's working for the buyers, or not working," Townsend said. The company has not been taking pre-orders but Townsend said about 100 people have expressed interest in buying a Maverick. He added that commercial sales will subsidize the production of the aircraft for humanitarian use in South America, Africa and elsewhere.