ADVANCE VEHICLE ENGINEERS (AVE) "MIZAR"
Oxnard Airport - August 1973
Very few people ever heard of this unusual experimental aircraft -- or much less even seen one -- but I happened to be at the Oxnard Airport one day while they were out performing tests on it. The AVE Mizar was the latest attempt at the creation of a viable flying automobile, or roadable aircraft, a commuter aircraft design that has fueled the imagination of aeronautical engineers for decades. (The flying surfaces are to detach from the vehicle, allowing the pilot/driver to use the vehicle as it was intended.) However, this particular design -- a Ford Pinto outfitted with full flight controls and attached to the wings, rear engine and tail assembly of a Cessna Skymaster -- failed during a flight test on September 11, 1973, and was destroyed.