London - It could be the ultimate vehicle for super-rich James Bond fans – an Aston Martin micro-plane.
007’s favourite carmaker plans to create a drone-like three-seater craft, costing between £3 million and £5 million (R52m-R87m), which would fly at speeds of up to 360km/h for 480km.
The ‘Volante Vision’ would take off and land vertically thanks to three propellers, carrying the pilot and two passengers in a Perspex cockpit. In flight, the nose-cone would drop down – like Concorde’s did – to give the occupants a near all-round view.
Expanding on technology from Aston Martin cars, it would be constructed of super lightweight carbon-fibre compounds with ‘green’ hybrid electric-gas turbines to power the propellers.
The project is being carried out by an all-British consortium of Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Cranfield University, with Government support.