All together now:
It’s not a flying car, it’s a driving plane.
It will need a runway, and you will need a pilot’s license.
Ah, just what I’ve been waiting for, a drivable general aviation plane with folding wings. Nothing is better for flight safety than having a lightweight plane covered in critical components you can get into fender benders with. You get the best of both worlds: an expensive general aviation plane that has marginal aerodynamics and a crappy, light-weight, awkward to drive and park car that has low crash survivability. And don’t even think about letting it get anywhere near Consumer Reports bumper basher…
“Promises to deliver the world’s first,” do they? People have been promising to deliver flying cars since 1917, and building actual, functional flying cars since 1946. Even when they work, they always flop, because a vehicle that you have to drive to an airport, fly to another airport, and then drive to your destination has very little advantage over a small private plane and a couple of taxi rides.
Jason, I really am trying to be less bitchy in the comments, but please take a few minutes to fact-check before parroting corporate press releases. I like reading about impractical gadgets, but don’t do the PR guys’ job for them.
Am I unusual in thinking that being lightweight is a feature of a car, not a deficiency?
C’mon everyone, lighten up.
It says “For Novelty Purposes Only” right there in the technical specifications.
It doesn’t seem like we’ve come that far from the Aerocar, does it?
That yellow one is a classy looking ride.
that is NOT the flying car i was promised…not even close.
i don’t want a drivable airplane…
these sorts of cars are:
My experience is that a Dahon folder fits well belted in a Cessna backseat and is enough to reach most public transportation especially if you like to cycle. The above comment about a taxi is the more common way to go, or go car rental.
It has been well covered that airplane cars are too light to be a safe car and have unnecessary weight to be a good airplane.
We also will need autopilot slaved to ATC since most people do not want to get their pilots license.
All other things being equal, yes, but in practice you want a certain amount of heavy metal to absorb impacts. It’s okay for planes to be fragile, because they rarely run into things, and when they do no amount of armor will save them. Cars, on the other hand, are expected to shrug off minor fender benders, and take high-speed impacts without crumpling like a kleenex.
Well, based on Back to the Future 2, they have until the end of next year to bring this to market. (Also, they should be looking to power it with a portable fusion reactor)
It’s the Pontiac Aztec of the sky.
Yup, was going to come here to point that out. There’s one on display at the Seattle Museum of Flight for anyone who lives around here and wants to see it up close.
As an owner of an Aeromobil, I can tell you it’s the worst of both worlds: the weight limit won’t let me carpool, and it’s so flimsy any crash would total it. I’ve found a far simpler solution:
How big of a windshield wiper you suppose it should have to combat not just the bugs at road-level, but the geese up higher?
Takeoff speed is listed around 130 km/h. In other words: If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious shit.
I’ll be excited if anyone ever builds a working prototype of a wingless helicopter-style flying car (preferably with noise-reducing blades) that can drive on roads and also take off vertically without a runway, like the Moller skycar which Moller has been talking about for decades but has never actually been able to construct a version that can fly freely (as opposed to some brief hovering when tied to a tether). But as long as a “flying car” requires an airport runway, it wouldn’t really have any advantages over owning a small plane that stays parked at a runway.
I also sometimes like to imagine what kind of flying vehicles would be possible if we had some huge advances in lightweight power generators akin to Back to the Future’s Mr. Fusion…even combined with powerful light superconducting magnets I’m pretty sure you couldn’t do flight via pure magnetic levitation (as mentioned here, you can’t repel against the Earth’s magnetic field since it’s very close to uniform on the scale of any human-scale vehicle, and uniform magnetic fields can’t exert any net force on magnets), but there might be some possibility of a magnetohydrodynamic drive which ionizes the air and then creates lift by pushing on the ions with strong magnetic fields, like the concept discussed here.
The flying cars I was promised were the ones in Blade Runner, Back To The Future II, and a Larry Niven novel I can’t remember the name of at the moment.
When a working anti-gravity system is developed then I’ll be impressed.