The flying car has always captured our imagination ever since we were kids while watching shows such as ‘The Jetsons’, with their flying space cars zooming around in futuristic cities or movies like the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy, with its iconic time-traveling DeLorean.
Now, a Slovakian company is aiming to turn the flying car dream closer to reality with its Aeromobil 3.0 prototype. First unveiled at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, Austria in 2014 and at the SXSW in March 2015 by Juraj Vaculik, CEO and Co-Founder, the Aeromobil is a product of 25 years of research. Stefan Klein, founder of the Department of Transport Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Slovakia, designed the Aeromobil. The personal transportation vehicle runs on standard unleaded automobile fuel. It has a seating capacity of two persons including the pilot. The flying car has a maximum speed of 200km/h as a plane and 160km/h as a car.
The design uses a steel framework and carbon coating with collapsible wings. It does need to have about 200 meters of space in order to take off but only needs about 50 meters to land. The company says Aeromobil will be ready for launch by 2017.
Definitely, a commercially available flying car is an exciting development in the future of personal transportation, however it also poses serious questions that must be addressed. These were articulated by no less than Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
“I’m debating, like, should there be flying cars or shouldn’t there be flying cars? I’m of two minds on that.
If there are flying cars, then, well, obviously then you have added this additional dimension where a car could potentially fall on your head and would be susceptible to weather. And of course you will have to have a flying car that — where it will be like on autopilot, because otherwise forget it.
It’s got to be autopilot, but even on autopilot, and even if you’ve got redundant motors and blades, you are still going from near zero chance of something falling on your head to something greater than that.
And there’s also the noise challenge…
Something that I do think that would help a lot in cities is more tunnels, essentially with flying cars you are talking about going 3D. And there’s a fundamental flaw with cities where you’ve got dense office buildings and apartment buildings and duplexes and they are operating on three dimensions then you go down to the street and suddenly it’s two dimensional…
I think if you were to extrapolate that to cars and have more car tunnels, then you would alleviate the congestion completely… and you wouldn’t need a flying car in that case, and it would always work, even if the weather is bad.
It would never ice up, and it would not fall on your head.”
WATCH: Aeromobil 3.0 Demonstration
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