Get rid of traffic with two-seater flying car by 2017

While
our ability to communicate and access information is increasing dramatically,
personal transportation has not improved significantly in the past 50
years.  If anything, travel today is more
of a hassle.  While the airlines have an
impressive safety record, commercial air travel is far from convenient.  Cars let you set your own schedule, but
they’re slow and dangerous: the average commuter spends nearly five hours a
week stuck in traffic, and globally, more than one million people die in car
crashes each year.  We need the safety of
commercial aviation, the convenience and flexibility of a car, and the freedom
of the open sky.  We need a new industry
that makes personal aviation safer, as simple as driving your car, and
convenient for everyone.  We need a
practical flying car.

Flying-car
builder AeroMobil revealed its third-generation prototype earlier this week at
the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. The Slovakian company says the transforming
concept will take flight in 2017. We’ll believe it when we see it. Take a look
at the future you always dreamed of. Flying-car builder AeroMobil revealed its
third-generation prototype at the hip South by Southwest (that’s SXSW for
short) festival in Austin, Texas on Sunday. The Slovakian company says the
transforming concept will take flight in 2017. We’ll believe it when we see it.
 

AeroMobil
3.0 flying car (Image credit: AeroMobil)

The
company has been around for about five years now. It officially revealed this
prototype last October, but used #SXSW to talk about the company’s future with
consumer-ready vehicles. The AeroMobil 3.0, according to the company, makes use
of existing infrastructure for “real door-to-door travel.” The vehicle fits
into a standard parking space, can be used in traffic and can take off with
just a few hundred yards of concrete or grass. Yup, it can take off and land
from a well-manicured field.

The
AeroMobil uses a Rotax 912 engine that can motivate the vehicle to 99 mph on
the expressway and 124 mph in the air. This version seats two and has a range
of 435 miles in the air. A second, more passenger-friendly version, which
wasn’t given a timeframe, will seat four and provide a greater range, assuming
no one crashes and burns in these next few testing years. Besides all of that,
there are a still a ton of questions, including how the government is going to
regulate these things, what kind of license you will need to fly them,
convenient places to take off and land, autopilot problems and many, many more.

The
3.0 is built using advanced composites along with avionics equipment, autopilot
and a parachute-deployment system for safety. The wing angle is adjustable,
which leads to shorter takeoffs, while a sturdy suspension lets it land on
rougher terrain, according to AeroMobil. The company is still looking for the
right combination of materials and components to satisfy both flight and road
regulations, but expects to solve these problems within two years. CEO Juraj
Vaculik estimates the initial cost to the consumer to be somewhere around a few
hundred thousand euros (that doesn’t really narrow things down too much). On
the other hand, we’re one step closer to an actual flying car for the public,
which is surely just a few years away.

The
story “AeroMobil debuts flying car at SXSW” originally appeared on
Autoweek.com.

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