In January 2009 the Parajet Skycar expedition team, led by former British army officer Neil Laughton and Skycar inventor Gilo Cardozo, successfully completed its inaugural flight, an incredible journey from the picturesque surroundings of London to Tombouctou.
Supported by an experienced team of overland adventurers using an assortment of all-terrain vehicles including, 4x4ís, off-road motorbikes and a specialist 8x8 truck to carry supplies, bio-fuel and water, the 42-day expedition travelled through France, Spain and Morocco, and then across the Sahara by way of Mauritania and Mali, before returning home via Senegal - an intrepid maiden voyage of some 9000 km.
Alongside the inhospitable terrain and challenging weather conditions, the team were warned about the threat of kidnap in volatile parts of Africa and the possibility of negotiating minefields in Mauritania.
Take a look at this video showing a daring flight across the Straits of Gibraltar.
(Daring flight across the straits)
I'm reminded of the imaginative kite-copter car from Jack Vance's remarkable 1952 short story The Kokod Warriors:
The observation vehicle was of that peculiar variety used in conveying a large number of people across rough terrain. The car proper was suspended by a pair of cables from the kite-copter which flew five hundred feet overhead. The operator, seated in the nose of the car, worked pitch and attack by remote control, and so could skim quietly five feet over the ground, hover over waterfalls, ridges, ponds, other areas of scenic beauty with neither noise nor the thrash of driven air to disturb the passengers.