Back to the Future fans rejoice! The new Slovakian flying car prototype was recently unveiled at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, and it’s awesome! Although the two-passenger vehicle won’t be used anytime soon for time travel, this limousine sized winged wonder mimics Optimus Prime and transforms from plane to car with a touch of a button in just two minutes. The company began working on the project in 1990 and has released four prototypes.
Designed by founder and head of the Department of Transport Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Slovakia, Stefan Klein, this vehicle can reach speeds of 160 km/h, and as a plane it can travel at 200 km/h. Speaking at the Pioneers Festival, a two-day entrepreneurship and digital technology conference, AeroMobil’s chief designer, Stefan Klein, and CEO, Juraj Vaculik, said their innovation could “change personal transport on a global scale”. Their flying car, Vaculik said, could eventually become a regular mode of transport for commuters and middle-distance travellers, especially in countries with underdeveloped road infrastructure.Imagine going on a trip where you pull out of your garage, drive to the airport, and without getting out of your vehicle, fly to your final destination.
The AeroMobil 3.0 that looks straight out of the Jetson’s cartoon will require a sports pilot license. The dream of overcoming borders, said Klein, had always motivated his work on the vehicle: “In the Czechoslovakia, we got very good training as pilots, but we didn’t have the freedom to go anywhere. Nowadays I can use an app to check in my flight on the way to the airfield and I’m in Croatia in ten minutes. For me the freedom to move is really in the DNA of this project.” The Vehicle can be parked in regular city parking spaces, has sturdy suspension that allows it to take off and land on rough terrain and variable-angle wings that shorten take-off distance and improve efficiency. All the
AeroMobil 3.0 needs to take off is 250 meters of open grassland or a paved runway, and 50 meters of either to land. In airplane mode, the AeroMobil has a 27-foot wingspan, and drive is switched from the rear wheels to the propellers via controls in the cockpit. In flight, AeroMobil says its flying car can reach a top speed of 124 mph and achieve a cruising range of 430 miles. On the ground, the top speed is 100 mph and total driving range is roughly 310 miles. It is also said to have a low cost of maintenance, and runs on standard gasoline.
The company says the current prototype is "very close" to what will eventually be sold, to be made of many of the same materials and include features such as avionics equipment, autopilot and an advanced parachute deployment system. One thing for sure is that the unveiling has brought much excitement to many vehicle enthusiasts but the release to the market is still tight lipped with no announced future dates.