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Title: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Flying car to go on sale
Source: phys.org
URL Source: https://phys.org/news/2017-04-bird-plane-car-sale.html#nRlv
Published: Apr 20, 2017
Author: Milos Krivokapic And Angela Charlton
Post Date: 2017-04-20 15:47:09 by cranky
Keywords: None
Views: 165
Comments: 3

AeroMobil display their latest prototype of a flying car, in Monaco, Thursday, April 20, 2017. The light frame plane whose wings can fold back, like an insect is boosted by a rear propeller. The company says it is planning to accept first preorders for the vehicle as soon as later this year.

A Slovakian company called AeroMobil unveiled on Thursday its version of a flying car, a light-framed plane whose wings can fold back, like an insect, and is boosted by a and rear propeller.

It will be available to preorder as soon as this year but is not for everyone: besides the big price tag—between 1.2 million and 1.5 million euros ($1.3 million-$1.6 million)—you'd need a pilot's license to use it in the air.

"I think it's going to be a very niche product," said Philip Mawby, professor of and head of research at the University of Warwick.

Several companies are working on flying cars, either like Aeromobil's two-seater that needs a runway, or others that function more like helicopters, lifting off vertically. But not many companies are seriously looking at marketing these vehicles anytime soon, Mawby said.

"The technology is there... The question is bringing it to the market at an affordable cost, and making it a useful product."

Among the big questions is how to control the air traffic if there are hundreds of such vehicles zipping through the air. There is no control except for traditional aircraft, notes Mawby.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, right, and Juraj Vaculik, CEO and co-founder of AeroMobil, applaud after unveiling the latest prototype of a flying car, in Monaco, Thursday, April 20, 2017. The light frame plane whose wings can fold back, like an insect is boosted by a rear propeller. The company says it is planning to accept first preorders for the vehicle as soon as later this year. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

So while vehicles like the AeroMobil could be used for recreational purposes by people who have a large piece of land, flying cars are unlikely to become a mass market reality anytime soon, he says.

The AeroMobil has a driving range of about 100 kms (62 miles) and a top speed of 160 kph (99 mph). When flying, its maximum cruising range is 750 kms (466 miles), and it takes about three minutes for the car to transform into a plane.

"You can use it as a regular car," said Juraj Vaculik, co-founder and CEO of Aeromobil, at the unveiling in Monaco. Though it is not legal —yet—to take off from a highway.

AeroMobil display their latest prototype of a flying car, in Monaco, Thursday, April 20, 2017. The light frame plane whose wings can fold back, like an insect is boosted by a rear propeller. The company says it is planning to accept first preorders for the vehicle as soon as later this year. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

The previous AeroMobil 3.0 prototype made news in 2014 when it was presented in Vienna, but no test-flight took place then. It crashed during a test flight in Slovakia in 2015 with its inventor Stefan Klein on board. He escaped largely unharmed.

AeroMobil display a rear view of their latest prototype of a flying car, in Monaco, Thursday, April 20, 2017. The light frame plane whose wings can fold back, like an insect is boosted by a rear propeller. The company says it is planning to accept first preorders for the vehicle as soon as later this year. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

AeroMobil display their latest prototype of a flying car, in Monaco, Thursday, April 20, 2017. The light frame plane whose wings can fold back, like an insect is boosted by a rear propeller. The company says it is planning to accept first preorders for the vehicle as soon as later this year. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

AeroMobil display their latest prototype of a flying car, in Monaco, Thursday, April 20, 2017. The light frame plane whose wings can fold back, like an insect is boosted by a rear propeller. The company says it is planning to accept first preorders for the vehicle as soon as later this year. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (6 images)

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#1. To: cranky (#0)

The previous AeroMobil 3.0 prototype made news in 2014 when it was presented in Vienna, but no test-flight took place then. It crashed during a test flight in Slovakia in 2015 with its inventor Stefan Klein on board. He escaped largely unharmed.

These flying cars have a Frankenstein history of killing their inventors.

There are a number of other flying cars on the market already (Terrafugia) or nearing production.

I still say quadcopters will win. Probably battery powered and used as autonomous taxis in high-density urban areas or for commuting to a city center. And then someone will build a city without streets, just with these flying taxis and maybe a few subway lines.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-04-20   15:55:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: cranky (#0)

"I think it's going to be a very niche product,"

Ya think?

The light frame plane ..."

Who's going to drive around a $1.6 million "car" that would lose in a head-on collision with a bicycle? Who would park it on the street in Chicago?

misterwhite  posted on  2017-04-20   16:09:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: misterwhite (#2)

" Who's going to drive around a $1.6 million "car" that would lose in a head-on collision with a bicycle? Who would park it on the street in Chicago? "

LOL, good questions.

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.

Never Pick A Fight With An Old Man He Will Just Shoot You He Can't Afford To Get Hurt

I am concerned for the security of our great nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within." -- General Douglas MacArthur

Stoner  posted on  2017-04-20   21:34:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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