Meet Runflier Stalker: Russia Introduces the World’s First Airborne Car
The “Runflier” Stalker," which is an advanced version of the earlier model Evolution, looks like a four-wheeled car with wings that can be folded along the body of the vehicle. It is, however, a lot more than that; it is a landmark airborne vehicle second to none in the world. The Runflier’s designer is a graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute and a former aviation test pilot. His name is Alexander Begak, and he is also (among his many other hats) the chief designer of Skarabei Laboratory. He proudly claims that in the air the Stalker can travel up to 200 kilometers (about 124 miles) per hour.
The Runflier can take off from a limited runway and can cover the distance of one and a half thousand kilometers (932 miles) without refueling. The vehicle is made of super light coal plastics and Kevlar (a strong, light synthetic fiber) and weighs only 140 kg (about 300 pounds).
A gifted aircraft designer and inventor, Alexander Begak has designed over 15 air-borne vehicles. In 2005 he set an absolute record flying in an ultra-light micro-aircraft of his own construction at the height of 3,701 meters (about 12,000 feet) above sea surface. He said of his air-borne projects most of which were conducted at the Moscow Aviation Institute:
“We want to restore the fleet of ultra-light aviation, the project, which aviators turned down in the 1950s for the benefit of strategic defense goals.”
His ultra-light aircraft can be designated for military purposes as well. The plastic equipment makes it invisible to radars and therefore perfect for reconnaissance maneuvers. It can also patrol frontiers, conduct day and night photography, mapping and monitoring.
So the next time you look up in the sky and see something odd there, remember the words of that old television show:
“It’s a bird! It’s a Plane. No, it’s a car!”
Just don’t tell Superman. Even though he’s been dead for years, he just might not be able to take it.
M Dee Dubroff