Flying car hopefuls were meant to take off at a competition on a NASA airbase, but no team claimed the prize after a string of crashes and no-shows

Flying car hopefuls were meant to take off at a competition on a NASA airbase, but no team claimed the prize after a string of crashes and no-shows

By Mark Harris
Pete Bitar and his Verticycle
Mark Harris
With a forceful buzz, Pete Bitars home-made personal aircraft takes to the skies above Silicon Valley, his aluminium pilots chair glinting in the morning sunlight above four spinning propellers.
Dubbed the Verticycle, it wobbles to a height of about three meters before tipping sideways and plunging back to the runway with a loud crash.
Fortunately, Bitar is piloting the vehicle remotely today, from a wireless controller nearby. The craft’s battery packs were damaged in another crash the week before, and replacements could not generate enough thrust to lift him and the …

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