The innovative vehicle has many features and mechanisms to help it overcome difficult situations. For instance, in case of emergency in the air, the parachute system can help the aircraft reach the ground in one piece, where it can continue to travel. When traveling on the water’s surface, the pilot can use the inflatable emergency device so that the Evolution will not drown. An experienced driver is said to be able to switch modes - from land to air to water quite easily.
The Evolution is made of strong Kevlar and coal-plastic, which are light and allow simple transportation. Weighing only 60 kilograms, one can easily push the Evolution and even load it onto a truck. According to its creator, Alexander Begak, it can fly at a height of 4,000 meters above the ground and cover a distance of up to 400 kilometers without refueling. Moreover, it has a 30 horse-power motor, which allows it to reach speeds of up to 160 km/h in the air and 80 km/h on land. The pilot controls the Evolution through an on-board computer, which can help in navigation as well. The most special feature of this new aircraft is the small take-off distance required: 5 to 50 meters, making it possible to go airborne in no-time.
Begak worked on the Evolution for almost two years, and the vehicle passed over one hundred tests. Specialists from Russia’s major aviation corporations, such as Roskosmos, participated in the research and made sure the Evolution is suited to the global standards. The parts were produced at the enterprises of Roskosmos, Sukhoi and Moscow Aviation Institute.
“We want to restore the fleet of ultra-light aviation – the project, which aviators turned down in the 1950s for the benefit of strategic defense goals,” Begak said. He thinks that the Evolution can accomplish non-civil missions as well, such as reconnaissance, since its plastic equipment is "invisible" to radars. Furthermore, it can patrol frontiers, conduct day and night photography, mapping, and monitoring – several tasks a military unit can benefit from.
TFOT also covered the Individual Lifting Vehicle, which can achieve a maximum height of 20 feet and a maximum airspeed of 25 mph, and the Gyrocopter, a new flying motorcycle that can reach speeds of 125 mph both on land and in the air. Other related stories are Universal Hovercraft's UH-19XRW, which is a combination between a boat, a plane, and a hovercraft, and the Zephyr, a 30 kg solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle.
Alexander Begak is a designer, pilot and parachute jumper. He developed 15 successful aircraft projects. For more information about the Evolution see his website. For a video of the vehicle in action, see this website (Russian).