The number of new startups and big corporates keen on building a flying car has exploded in the past few years.
Big and small companies including Airbus, Uber, Cormorant, Kitty Hawk are vying to deliver a safe flying car.
The battle for flying cars is on.
In October Uber unveiled Uber Elevate, an ambitious program to get cars—or at least Ubers—off the road and into the sky, according to Time.com.
Airbus Group plans to test a prototype for a self-piloted flying car as a way of avoiding gridlock on city roads by the end of the year, according to Reuters.
After 15 years of development, an Israeli tech firm hopes it will finally get its 1500 kg (1.5 tonne) passenger-carrying drone off the ground and into the market by 2020, according to the Financial Review. The Cormorant, billed as a flying car, is capable of transporting 500kg (around half a tonne) of weight and travelling at 185 km/h.
New York Times reported on Monday that the Kitty Hawk Flyer is one of several prototypes being designed by Kitty Hawk, a start-up based in Mountain View, Calif. The concept is spearheaded by Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Kitty Hawk and a former Google executive.
Watch this all-electric ‘flying car’ takes its first test flight in Germany: The Verge
While many companies have been talking and testing some of their prototypes flying cars they have never invited the public to buy them as they are not ready to be used.
The Future is Coming
Enter a Slovakian start-up AeroMobil that launched its flying car in 2014 but when it test the vehicle in 2015 it crashed. The company has fixed the problems and is ready to take the car to the public as possible the first flying car in the world.
It has unveiled the new model of the AeroMobil Flying Car at Top Marques Monaco, the world’s most exclusive supercar show.
The company said in a statement that this launch fulfills its commitment to deliver a commercially available flying car in 2017 and be ready to take pre-orders for the limited first edition.
It added that the unveiling of the ground breaking AeroMobil underlines its leadership in this innovative field and its determination to transform travel by making the flying car a reality.
“Today is a transformative day for the future of travel as the launch of the AeroMobil means and that everyday flying transportation will soon be a reality,” said Juraj Vaculik, co-founder and CEO of AeroMobil.
“To get to this point has seen us bring together a strong team of the best minds and experts in cutting edge automotive, motorsport and aerospace to redefine the boundaries of what is possible in transportation. From today we are ready to take the first pre-orders and we are honoured His Serene Highness the Prince of Monaco will unveil the AeroMobil today at the Top Marques Autoshow.”
The production of AeroMobil’s first vehicle will be limited to a maximum of 500 units and is priced between R16 million to R21 million (1,2 million – 1,5 million Euro) depending on final customer specifications.
The first 25 vehicles will be a Founders Edition and will contain series specific product content along with an expanded benefits package, details to be announced separately.
Key Facts about the AeroMobil Flying Car
• Full transformation into flight mode in less than 3 minutes.
• Automotive Range -700km (estimated using NEDC cycle)
• Aerospace Max Cruise Range ~750 km @ 75 % (1 200 m, ISA)
• Fuel Capacity 90 liter (95 RON Gasoline)
• Direct Drive variable pitch propeller (speed 2 400 rpm)
• Automotive – Top speed 160 kph
• Aerospace – Vs / Vc / VD – 112 / 259 / 360 km/h
• MTOW Take Off Distance ground roll / 50 ft – 397 / 595 m
• Max Take Off Weight – 960 kg (useable load 240 kg)
Human Machine Interface
While driving, AeroMobil will use a unique glass cockpit system, with a display setup familiar to those in the aviation world. These integrated digital displays will show the necessary information pertaining to the automotive operation of the vehicle and on take-off will transform seamlessly into the perfect display system for use in flight mode.
On the road, AeroMobil is powered by a hybrid electric system. The generator is the same engine that powers the vehicle in the air; this in turn powers a pair of electric motors located in the front axle.