Flying cars have long been the stuff of sci fi movies and wild dreams, but for wealthy buyers – they will soon be a fascinating reality. AeroMobil, based in Central Europe, has a team of 40 engineers and designers from eight countries who have made real strides in the sector. The team recently presented their version 4.0 of its vehicle at the International Paris Air Show, at Le Bourget Airport.
The AeroMobil concept is designed to work in today’s infrastructure and present drivers slash pilots with an alternative to avoid congestions and heavy ground traffic. On the road, the vehicle can travel up to 100 mph for more than 400 miles. In the air, it can fly nonstop for almost 500 miles and cruising at speeds up to 160 mph. The vehicle can comfortably seat two passengers, and can transform from drive mode into flight mode in less than three minutes, according to a spokesman for the company. One minor inconvenience is that the AeroMobil needs a runway to take off and land, and operators will have to be certified pilots to operate it.
The exterior is made from carbon composites, to increase strength and minimize weight. When airborne, the vehicle is designed to be stable and easy to manoeuvre, the company says. The cockpit is fashioned from a high-strength monocoque structure for safety, and in an emergency, the pilot can deploy a ballistic parachute. This is done to ensure the entire vehicle can be brought safely to the ground.
The ground-breaking vehicles are scheduled for delivery by 2020, with the company taking pre-orders now. Estimated cost for the cutting-edge model is about $1.4 million to $1.8 million.