The "Starcar" roadable airplane, designed by Dr.Steven Crow of Conifer Colorado, has been under development for several years. It is a single place,three-wheeled road vehicle that can be licensed as a motorcycle when used on the ground, but carries two wing panels on the sides that can be attached for flight. A modified Subaru engine supplies power to the rear wheels when the vehicle is on the road, and supplies power to a pusher prop when the machine is aloft.
For control purposes, the vehicle turns by using joy stick steering, both when driven as a motorcycle and when used as an aircraft. The aircraft tail surfaces are also used for flying and driving, the driver/pilot using the rudders to compensate for side loads, and the elevator to adjust vertical loads.
Dr. Crow has conducted considerable research into aerodynamics and into guidance and control systems, using the satellites of the Global Positioning System. He may have been the first person to demonstrate closed-loop GPS control of an automobile.
In 2003, the two-place Starcar design was under development and Dr. Crow advised he has two designs of this new vehicle, each with different engine placements.