Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Brunel Flying Car (in conjunction with BBC Top Gear)

Here is previously unreleased BBC Top Gear footage of the Brunel University Flying Car. Over the summer of 2004, the production team came to Brunel to ask about the feasibility of making a car fly (just like Scaramangers flying car in the James Bond film, "The Man With The Golden Gun"). The formula student team spoke with the BBC Personnel and suggested that it might be feasible - months later and sort of out of the blue the producers turned up with P276 CEG - a 1.4 liter Rover Metro Kensington edition. We had two grand to spend and three weeks to turn this motor from a standard road car into a flying machine. whilst trying to make a formula student car. and trying to do a masters degree.
Fortunately, an old boy crashed his glider in the weeks before we commenced "flying car club": the coffin dodger was fine but the fuselage of his plane was not - that left a perfect set of wings, flaps, tail and elevator for us then!
The car went on an intense diet and lost around 500kg of weight - the fitment of a full driver safety roll cage, and flying apparatus kept the car below weight targets..... however time was not on our side.
The three weeks came and went - and the day of filming arrived. The car was finished with an all nighter (that had already lasted 3 weeks) - the car was taken to an airfield near Cirencester where we were met by James May, the Top Gear crew..... and THE STIG!!!
Well the car ultimately failed to take off, the tight time schedule meant that on the 1st run, an underdesigned rear flap control system caused the rear flap to flap off: the only fix that can be done in an airfield in mid november with barely 2 hours filming time left was to fix the flap in place - ultimately compromising take off potential.
The car failed to take off.......
Hence Top gear felt it was poor television....
hence it was never broadcast.

But it looks soooooo stupid it must be shown!!!!


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