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.