Here's a sobering reminder of the very real risks that people undertake in the name of science and progress. Michael Robert Dacre, the inventor and test pilot of the Jetpod flying taxi, has died in a crash during testing of his latest prototype. Reports from Malaysia indicate that the twin-engine aircraft went out of control shortly after takeoff before spiraling to the ground. It is unclear where the Jetpod's future lies now, but the original plans of a 2010 release seem extremely unlikely in light of such tragic news. The short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft was intended primarily as a futuristic ferryboat between airports and city centres, and we certainly hope its development continues -- if for no other reason than to honor the vision of its fallen inventor.

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Avcen Jetpod inventor killed in test flight crash