Paradise Papers: PH guide

In his latest jovial pop video, Mancunian dirgemeister Morrissey is advising us to 'stop watching the news' as it 'contrives to frighten you'.

That may indeed be the case for certain news stories, and for those of a more delicate constitution, but for powerfully-built PH Director types who like to pick up useful (and ideally free) investment advice, this week's Paradise Papers revelations have been essential viewing.

The creative PHer with funds to invest, hide, or burn will always try to sink them into enjoyably solid objects like cars. The problem is that smarter spenders don't like to advertise their ownership of expensive items. People might go running off with the idea that they're rich or something, when in actual fact they technically have no money of their own.

Over the years, our Show Us Your Real Estate Pawn thread has uncovered many inspired garaging solutions, but for the ultimate combination of massive floor space, dinner-clean floors, heavy engineering and furtiveness, few can rival this setup on the shores of California's Lake Tahoe.

This vid was a sales promo back in 2012, so we assume there's a new owner now enjoying this property's Tracy Island-made-real features, safe in the knowledge that even snooping taxmen tooled up with camera drones won't be able to spot their guilty secret.

If some nosey bloke off Panorama somehow does get wind of it though, and the authorities then come knocking on your reinforced door, the best place to put your money is not offshore, but offland, in a flying car.

The big problem with just about every flying car since Popular Science began publishing in the late 1870s is that none of them really fly. Well, some of them do, but the tradeoff is that you have to look past some pretty big design compromises ranging from gopping on-road styling to inadvertent pedestrian incineration and/or beheading.

The Terrafugia TF-X is different in that it appears to be a) serious and b) stylish. Terrafugia has the usual team of award-winning MIT-trained aerospace engineers behind it, with one goal: "to make general aviation safer, more convenient, more fun, and more accessible."

'Accessible' in this context being a relative term. This four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) hybrid electric aircraft is expected to be priced in the bespoke supercar bracket. Still, the spec does have a certain allure. The semi-autonomous TF-X has electric motors, a 304hp recharging engine, a 500-mile range, an air cruise speed of 200mph and the sort of styling that won't have people throwing stones at you. On this otherwise believable video, only the in-flight cruising mode with the vertical props disengaged looks a trifle unlikely.

TF-X testing begins in 2018, and a production date of 8-12 years from now is being talked about. Applying the normal standards of flying car development, that'll take us up to 2045 or so, by which time it's entirely possible that rich people might not want to go out much at all.

For a shorter-term solution to flight, either recreational or enforced, you can have a Maverick right now for $96,000. Strictly speaking, the Subaru WRX-powered Maverick is not a flying car but a paraglider. On the road, it does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, and by the looks of it it's quite handy off-road too.

Twenty minutes after you've been shopping for poop sacks at Lidl or roosting up the dirt on your farm you can be up, up and away. Here's a rather touching vid of spunky TV reporter Polly doing just that, showing plenty of gumption (and filling up a bit) on a 2016 Maverick flight. Presumably nobody showed her this 2013 vid of the Maverick not doing quite so well.

Flight always seems less dangerous when it's only a few inches off the ground. That doesn't really solve our traffic problems, but you can't criticise this Volkswagen hovercar on pedestrian friendliness. It floats along using nothing more than blue light coming out of its bottom. Unfortunately we can't quite read the technical explanation, but why oh why are we wasting our time with all these other alternative power sources when there's free blue light to be had?

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (5) Join the discussion on the forum

  • V8 FOU 07 Nov 2017

    The Maverick is scarey! But imagine peoples faces seing it flying!
    You would need to have a method of removing the prop on the road, though......

  • Fury1630 08 Nov 2017

    Yeah OK - but this one actually WORKS!

  • non_linear 08 Nov 2017

    ..and as we all know, blue light is emissions free. biggrin

  • unsprung 08 Nov 2017

    non_linear said:
    ..and as we all know, blue light is emissions free. biggrin says Volkswagen AG

  • 172 09 Nov 2017

    Surely making a helicopter drive is easier than making a car fly.

    Replace the skids with large scooter engine at the back and 2 steering wheels at the front.
    Folding rotors and its job done

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