A Flying Sports Car? Yep. Soon we’ll all McFly

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They can put a man on the moon, why can’t they reduce traffic on the I-405 a.k.a. jamzilla and carmegeddon during maintenance and rush hour? If a few thousand Angelinos could just shift gears into ‘T’ for Take Off it would give the rest of us room on the freeway.

I405

Are we there yet?

Great idea! Someone’s been working on that. Flying cars already exist, and within a year or two will be available commercially, providing the FAA cooperates. [Fingers crossed.] Three companies, a Slovakian company called AeroMobil, a Dutch company called PAL-V and the U.S. Terrafugia all expect to unveil consumer versions of their prototypes by 2016.

In July Tech Page One reported:

Flying cars are coming sooner than you’d think. PAL-V and Terrafugia, visionary companies based in the Netherlands and the United States, respectively, completed successful test flights and are slated to commercialize their vehicles in the next few years.

PAL-V’s plans for PAL-V One

PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) developed a two-seat hybrid car and gyroplane called the PAL-V One, which has blades like helicopters.

The first PAL-V One models are expected to become available in Europe in 2016 and in the United States by 2017. These models will cost between $350,000 and $650,000, and the first 50 models will be special edition.

and The Guardian, today, covered the upcoming debut of AeroMobil’s model that travels at speeds up to 124 m.p.h.

From the Jetsons’ aerocar to the “spinner” in Blade Runner, via Doc Brown’s modified DeLorean in the Back to the Future films, the flying car has been part of visions of the future for so long that it almost feels retro.jetsons

A first patent was registered in 1903 and Waldo Waterman’s “aerobile” went on its maiden flight in 1937. Yet, 100 years later, automobiles are still frustratingly short of options when stuck in traffic.

Things may be about to change: in 2014, talk of the first genuine flying car is setting the tech scene abuzz again. In June, Terrafugia announced that it was two years away from finishing its first “roadable aircraft” , but now it looks like the US company will be beaten to the prize.

Organisers of Vienna’s Pioneers Festival, an annual conference for future technology and digital entrepreneurship, announced on Thursday that they would unveil the prototype of “the world’s most advanced flying car” on 29 October.

An earlier prototype of the Flying Roadster by Slovakian company AeroMobil reportedly took its first test flight in October last year. The latest version will be tested a day before its premiere, on 28 October.

Company co-founder Juraj Vaculik said that AeroMobil had sped up the prototyping process after having seen “enthusiastic reactions of the global engineering and design community”.

Weighing 450 kg, with carbon-fibre wings that fold behind the cabin and a flight top speed of 124mph, the two-seater promises to be more of a flying sports car than a flying family car.

“We want to make personal transportation exciting, more efficient and sustainable. With ever more cars on the roads and ever more crowded airports, travelling is no longer what it used to be,” said AeroMobil’s CTO Stefan Klein, who has been working on developing a flying car for two decades.

At a speed of 124 mph, how long would it take to get from San Diego to San Francisco? Quick, someone in Common Core math, figure it out.

(T)

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