Air Taxi Prototype Crashed

Disaster scene: Fire and rescue personnel checking the wreckage of the Jetpod which crashed during the test flight in Taiping yesterday

A prototype of the ‘flying taxi’ belonging to British-based Avcen Ltd crashed and burst into flames during a test flight from Tekah airstrip, killing its inventor Michael Robert Dacre.

Avcen Limited Malaysia is based at Patimas Technology Centre, Technology Park, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and Dacre had intended for the eight-seater flying taxi to be ready in 2010.

According to Avcen’s publicity materials, the Jetpod’s maximum speed is 550 km/h (350 mph, 300 knots). It would need only 125 meters (135 yards) to take-off or land, allowing runways to be constructed close to the center of major cities, and would be sufficiently quiet to not be noticeable above city traffic. The trip from Heathrow Airport to central London would take about 4 minutes and cost about $100.

The Avcen website is here

From the promotional animation at the corporate website

2004 coverage of Avcen plans at Gizmag Avcen has plans for an air taxi, a military model and an air ambulance.