We’ve seen them in movies, read about them in novels, and dreamed about them as kids. But did we ever really expect flying cars to become a reality? Well, our childhood dreams might come true sooner than we realise!
Originally conceptualised in the 1990s, Štefan Klein designed one of the first realistic roadable aircrafts: the Aeromobil. A flying car, with BMW, Aston Martin, McLaren, and more prestigious manufacturers being its pedigree, designed for public use. The futuristic flying machine, produced by Slovak company AeroMobil s.r.o, was first flown in 2013, with the plan to have the vehicle available to purchase 10 years later, in 2023!
Design and Specifications
According to the official Aeromobil website, the two-passenger supercar is inspired by the mythical creature, the Pegasus, with an elegant, sleek, streamlined design and an impressive 30ft wingspan. The hybrid vehicle will be “equally at home on the road or in the sky”, and will have an estimated driving range of approximately 320 miles, and a flying range of 320 to 460 miles, depending on the occupancy
With the vehicle's main feature being its wings, it’s easy to forget that the Aeromobil is still a high-end car, and performance is an important aspect of its design. The car can reach 100 mph and can go from 0-62mph in 10 seconds.
Like all cars of the future, the Aeromobil focuses on safety, and with it being for both road and air use, it is particularly important to make sure the passengers feel in safe hands both in traffic and in the clouds. That’s why the Aeromobil includes all standard safety features included in the cars of today, as well as a ballistic recovery parachute system, a carbon fibre structure, and optional autonomous flight - all with the intention of helping inexperienced flyers feel at ease in their new drive.
You might be wondering how the traffic will look when half the cars are on the road and the other half are floating above them. Can flying cars go anywhere? Won’t it be dangerous? When can I get my hands on one? Well, as you can probably assume, the Aeromobil won’t be cheap. In fact, CNN stated that the ‘air car’ could cost as much as $1.5 million, approximately the same price as the average helicopter! Therefore, it’s very unlikely that the skies will be overcrowded with drivers. We’ll probably see flying cars as much as we see helicopters.
History of the AutoMobil
In 1990, the first official concept vehicle of the Aeromobil was revealed. Showing off the initial design and what we can expect to come in the future. In the 90s, even electric cars were super rare, so not many people believed such an elaborate idea could really become a reality. Little did they know...
Throughout the 90s and 00s, the concept car continued development, with technology adapting to the modern world, the Aeromobil was able to enhance its design, helping make what was just an idea into something so much more!
In 2013 the first official test flight took place, the successful test demonstrated how the Aeromobil’s wings are able to unfold from their snug position in about 3 minutes, and how power shifts from the back wheels to the propeller to activate flying mode.
Following the initial successful test flight, the Aeromobil continued to evolve into a more developed concept. In 2014, the flying car was shown to the public for the first time.
However, disaster struck on 8th May 2015, when the Aeromobil crashed during a test flight at Nitra Airport. Thankfully, because of the ballistic parachute, the pilot was able to escape the vehicle, suffering minor injuries.
With the recent surge of electric vehicles the Aeromobil, which was initially powered by pump gas, was converted to hybrid power - using a Subaru boxer engine - and is now the Aeromobil that we currently have in 2021, two years off the initial release date!
So, would you ever buy a flying car? Do you think that they are the future of driving? Or is it a bad idea? Let us know!
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