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Monday, August 17, 2009

British pilot killed in Malaysia testing 'flying taxi': reports - MSN

A British pilot killed in a fiery crash in Malaysia was an aviation entrepreneur conducting a test flight of his Jetpod "flying taxi", reports said Monday.

Michael Robert Dacre, 53, died Sunday when the prototype aircraft crashed and burst into flames shortly after take-off from a landing strip in the northern town of Taiping, Malaysian police said.

The Star daily said Dacre was an inventor and the managing director of British-based Avcen Ltd. which planned to have the "Jetpod" eight-seater flying taxi in production by 2010.

It quoted witnesses as saying that the aircraft attempted to take off several times before soaring into the sky and then abruptly veering to the left and crashing to the ground.

The Jetpod was designed to have a cruising speed of 350 miles (550 kilometres) per hour, be quieter and quicker than a helicopter, and require just 125 meters to take off and 300 meters to land.

In interviews when plans for the dual jet engine aircraft were unveiled, Dacre had said he hoped the Jetpod would transform inner-city transport.


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