Flying car debuts at Frankfort Auto Show, costs $1 million

As a child, I always enjoyed the cartoon “The Jetson’s” with their futuristic robot housemaid and flying cars. Now a childhood dream is soon to become a reality, if you’re a millionaire anyway. This flying car by AeroMobil built in Slovakia only carries two passengers but looks pretty cool and aerodynamic. It still needs a runway to take off, and during flight, it appeared a little shaky in the video, but it appeared to land safely and smoothly.  What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and share with others.

The Aeromobil  flying car is being built in Slovakia

It’s A long time since Bond villain Scaramanga escaped from 007 by taking off in his flying car. But experts believe we could be the closest we’ve ever been to being able to commute to work in our very own private flying machines.

The AMC Matador taxis down the road in the Man With The Golden Gun
The AMC Matador flying car taxis down the road in the Man With The Golden Gun

The Aeromobil, which is being built in Slovakia, is seeking certification as both a car and a plane, and if all goes well, it could be certified just in time for the release of the next Bond film.

AeroMobil flying car on display during the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show
AeroMobil flying car on display during the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show  CREDIT: KRISZTIAN BOCSI/BLOOMBERG

The latest model, which is currently being displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is the fourth version of a concept originally developed in the Nineties.

It looks a more sophisticated outfit than the one used by the Bond villain – a Matador sports car fitted with wings, which the assassin used to evade the MI6 spy during 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun.

Inspired by a “perfectly aerodynamic teardrop shape”, the cars have a glass cockpit with an interior swathed in the “finest leather” for style and comfort.

Costing €1.2m (£1.1m), the car is 5.9m long and 2.2m wide, and can seat two people. There’s also space under the bonnet for luggage weighing up to 20kg – enough for a small suitcase or two.

And if you’re worried about plunging from the sky, never fear: it also has “the very latest in vehicle recovery ballistic parachutes” and “pyrotechnic seat belt technology”.

CREDIT: AEROMOBIL

It isn’t the only company fighting to be the first to send a car into the skies. Many companies have created cars which are capable of becoming airborne. Earlier this year an electric flying car made its maiden test flight in Germany.

Lilium’s jet-propelled vehicle takes off and lands vertically, in the same way as a helicopter, and the company says it will be able to fly up to 186 miles using an electric battery.

Japanese engineers are working on small flying cars with the aim of using one to light the Olympic flame at the 2020 Games, which will be hosted in Tokyo.

And if you don’t have £1m to hand, Dutch company Pal V has created a vehicle which converts from a motorcycle into a gyrocopter in ten seconds. It is due to sell for between $399,000 and $599,000 (£300,000-£440,000).

The propeller hides behind an aerodynamic shell
The propeller hides behind an aerodynamic shell

Getting a vehicle regulated and registered as both a car and a plane is more difficult – and that’s before you consider the air-traffic control issues potentially raised by having thousands of domestic flying vehicles in the sky.

Prodrive’s development has not been entirely smooth – the company suffered a setback in 2015 when one of its prototypes crashed during its maiden flight in Nitra, west Slovakia, sending the pilot to the hospital with minor injuries.

The Aeromobil still requires a runway to take off, too, making it impractical for drivers without an airstrip in their back garden. And drivers will need both a pilot’s license and a driver’s license to fly it.

 

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