03/31/2008. Remarks by Doug Duncan: "I happened to be at the Oxnard Airport one day in 1973 while they were performing taxi tests on this rare airplane.
The Advanced Vehicle Engineers (AVE) company was founded by Henry Smolinski and Harold “Hal" Blake at Van Nuys, California, in 1968. The Mizar was the latest attempt at the creation of a viable flying automobile, a commuter aircraft design that has fueled the imagination of aeronautical engineers for decades.
The flying surfaces could be detached from the vehicle, allowing the pilot/driver to use the car as it was intended. The car, a Ford Pinto with the California vehicle registration 689CXF and fitted with flight controls, was attached to the wings, tail booms and the rear 210 hp Teledyne Continental pusher engine of a Cessna Skymaster.
Nicknamed Flying Pinto, the combination would be available in the USA for ca. $ 29,000 ($ 5,974 for the car and $ 22,974 for the aircraft part). The prototype was shown to the press on May 8, 1973, making low-speed taxi-runs.
The brief first flight ended with flight-engine failure and it was driven back to Van Nuys. Shortly thereafter, on September 11, 1973, this particular design failed in a tragic accident. Just after takeoff the wing struts detached from the car and the wings collapsed. Piloting the aircraft, both company associates fell to their deaths with the Mizar."