“Mark my word: A combination of airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.” -- Henry Ford, 1940
Ever been hopelessly sandwiched in bumper-to-bumper traffic and fantasized about flying far, far away? As in actually pressing a button that magically releases a glorious pair of wings from your vehicle, escaping the infuriating gridlock below?
Then hang in there, weary road warriors. The car-plane of your wildest dreams could finally be here and taking flight soon. The “ first genuine flying car ” is now a reality, even if only as a prototype -- a fully functioning prototype, one that will eventually even offer autopilot.
The 19-foot-long, steel-framed blue and silver flying sports car (sorry, kid-toting moms and dads, it’s only a two-seater, no carpool for you) weighs just 992 pounds, one-quarter of the weight of a Hummer H3. With a somewhat disappointing top flight speed of only 124 miles per hour, the single Rotax 912 engine equipped Flying Roadster isn’t exactly a speed demon. Its top speed on the asphalt is 99 miles per hour.
Not bad, we suppose, for a car that flies.
All passengers have to do to extend the 27-foot wide (in total wingspan) collapsible wings and start the rear-mounted propeller is press the “transform” button, according to an article in Wired. Pretty cool, right?
For down-to-Earth road travel, the four-wheeled Transformer-like Flying Roadster’s long, lightweight carbon-fiber patented wings neatly tuck away behind its angular, pod-like cabin. Once back to its car state, the sleek airplane-automobile hybrid is compact enough to parallel park on a crowded city street. A single steering wheel, also patented, is used to fly and drive the craft.
Buckle up. Check it out:
AeroMobil co-founder and chief designer Stefan Klein imagined his first flying car 25 years ago as a way to escape the former Czechoslovakia, reports Wired. He has since piloted several concept versions of his dream car-plane crossbreed, along with a pre-prototype. Klein aims to fulfill his initial orders sometime in 2016.
Still, it has a way to go before being as cool as Doc Brown’s flying DeLorean in Back to the Future.
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