July 24, 2010

Flying car for Amazon Indians

Mission organization’s flying car may be just the ticket for indigenous people

By Clint CooperWhen Steve Saint asked the Waodani Indians of Ecuador—the same tribe that killed his missionary father in 1956—how he could help them some years ago, they mentioned the concept of a flying machine.

He never forgot the idea and earlier this week drove through Chattanooga with the Maverick Sport Flying Car he helped engineer and which he intends the South American tribe will have one day.

“It’s meeting people where they feel the need,” said Mr. Swift, who established the nonprofit Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center (I-TEC) that assists the “hidden church” toward independence, self-sustenance and maturity.

The flying car is just that—an actual road legal car with a wing deployment system like a paraglider that would allow it to fly over the Amazon River Basin jungles to reach the area in which the Waodani live.

“There are no roads,” said Mr. Saint, author of “The End of the Spear” and inspiration for the 2006 movie by the same name, “and they have 30 feet of rain a year.”

Ultimately, he envisions indigenous people everywhere having such a craft—they can learn to operate it in six hours, he says—that would allow them to fly their sickest people into areas where they could receive medical help.
Comment:  For more on Amazon Indians, see Indiana Jones and the Stereotypes of Doom.

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