On the market later this month will be a truly unique, but otherwise baffling flying machine, the AirBouyant VertiPod 2 (VP2).
AirBouyant bought design from Virginia-based Performance Aviation Manufacturing as the PAM 100B individual lifting vehicle in 2008, with plans to "aggressively" build and market the personal air vehicle (PAV).
On its website, Indiana-based AirBouyant at the time had said the VertiPod 2 would carry two people and fly at 60mph, though the company admitted the design "will require a lot of refinement to make it a viable, supportable, and safe product for the general flying public". The intent was to begin selling the twin-engine, contro-rotating propeller driven PAV in kit form for $60,000 some time in 2009. "We intend to take our time to do it right, but we will not string the market out indefinitely in R&D delays," the company stated.
Here's some video of a PM2 test flight that didn't go so well...
Improvements over time have included a protective pilot's "cage", "simplified" controls, new rotor blades, and a new, improved main frame. Operators control the PAV by using the throttle for altitude and weight-shifting for forward and aft motion control. It also has two propellers, one on either side, for yaw control.
In its announcement, AirBouyant says the VP2 can "skim over flat or rutted ground, grass, sand, or water, at speeds of 20mph or more; and its useful load allows full fuel plus 400 pounds, making it possible to add instrumentation or equipment in further development".
There's one requirement on the prospective new owner however. AirBouyant president Pete Bitar says he's looking to sell the prototype to "someone or some museum that will appreciate it".