UPDATE. You couldn’t come up with this one if you were a Hollywood screenwriter. A man named Steve Saint just got the first flying car certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. Saint, a Christian missionary, runs i-Tec, a firm that stands for “indigenous people’s technology and education center” but whose name suggest nothing but technology.

The I-Tec Maverick is, a road-ready dune buggy outfitted with a Subaru engine proof that Saint takes his “Saving the Third World” mission seriously, and i-Tec is not just a front. He founded the company in an effort to solve the problems of isolated tribes in Central and South America, and the Maverick is the result of six years worth of work.

From zero to 60 mph in under 4 seconds, its 170-hp, 2.4 liter Subaru four-cylinder takes the canvas-enclosed frame into the skies when a 22-foot mask and cloth wing are deployed. It needs just 100 yards for takeoff, and Saint claims it will help missionary pilots and tribes become self sufficient.

How that will pan out exactly, with a vehicle that doesn’t have high weight or personnel carrying capacity, remains to be seen. It remains however the first air-worthy car, as the FAA has classified it as a “powered parachute”, not a “roadworthy plane”, as previous attempts were classified.

Update: Let’s not forget the Parajet Skycar

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