Feeds

Jetpod 'flying taxi' inventor dies in prototype crash

VQSTOL city-hopper pranged in Malaysia

Security for virtualized datacentres

The inventor of a potentially revolutionary super-quiet "flying taxi" has died in a crash while test-flying his prototype in Malaysia.

That Jetpod range in full

Any colour you like.

Michael Dacre, MD of British-headquartered Avcen, was at the controls of a "Jetpod" aircraft at Tekah airstrip near Taiping when it crashed shortly after takeoff yesterday. Mr Dacre reportedly suffered severe burns and injuries and died at the scene. He was said to have been the only person aboard the aircraft and no-one else was hurt in the incident.

The Jetpod was intended to initiate a new class of Very Quiet Short Takeoff and Landing (VQSTOL) aeroplanes, able to get airborne after a run of just 125m while making no more noise than city traffic, then make a low-level flight at speeds greater than 300mph. Mr Dacre believed that it would thus be possible to offer rapid short-hop transits in and around major urban areas for comparatively modest fees - perhaps as little as £50 for a four-minute trip to or from places such as Woking to central London.

The six-seater Jetpod design featured small jet engines mounted above the wing to reduce noise. Some of the engine exhaust could be directed downward by special flaps, so allowing the little craft to get airborne fast.

Mr Dacre liked to characterise the design as a "flying taxi", but didn't care for the term "flying car" - he informed the Reg in 2005 that "the aircraft is not at all a car". This stance may have been motivated by the reflexive and mostly poorly-informed hostility towards the term "flying car" which has come to permeate much of the internet hive-mind in recent times. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.