It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, It's a Car!
A company from the small and unassuming country of Slovakia has taken the lead in the race to produce what they are calling the “world’s most advanced flying car.”
The company is called Aeromobil and you must see their video (below) promoting their latest version of their “flying car,” the Aeromobil 3.0. It made its official debut yesterday at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna.
The vehicle requires a paved or grass strip of around 820 feet (250 meters) to take off, and just 50 meters (165 feet) to land. Powered by a Rotax 912 engine, it can reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour) on land and 125 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour) in the air. Altitude is limited to 9,800 feet (2980 meters) as going much higher would require pressurized cabins. The fuel is standard unleaded gasoline.
There are other companies around the world pursuing their own versions of flying automobiles, but Aeromobil seems to have a leg up on the competition. According to the company’s executives, they are just finalizing the standardization of the production process, and then they will start taking orders. We might be mere months away (not “5 to 10 years” away as we like to half-joke about emerging technologies on the SGU) from really being able to own a flying car. How the various countries aviation commissions will regulate the Aeromobil is still to be determined.
The vehicle, like several that have come before it, might be considered by some simply a plane that is road-legal, rather than a true flying car. You will need a pilot’s license to fly it, and you still need a fairly long strip to take off like a regular plane.