Slovak makers of flying car press on after crash

June 5, 2015
The AeroMobil 3.0 prototype flies over Nitra
The AeroMobil 3.0 prototype flies over Nitra

Slovak tech firm AeroMobil is working on a new prototype of its flying car, weeks after the vehicle of the future spread its wings and crashed during a test flight.

"Sometimes you have to push the vehicle to the limit, to see how it behaves," AeroMobil chief strategy officer Martin Bruncko told AFP about the May 8 incident.

Inventor Stefan Klein was flying the blue-and-white airborne automobile 900 feet (270 metres) off the ground when he was forced to deploy a parachute to slow its descent.

Klein escaped unharmed but the flying car was damaged in what the company called an "". AeroMobil would not say what prompted the crash.

The company is now back at the drawing board and hopes to see pre-orders in 2017 before delivering its first to clients in 2018.

It still needs to obtain a green-light from the European Aviation Safety Agency for commercial .

Klein said the company has seen interest from countries including Indonesia, Russia and South Africa for the cars that could cost around 500,000 euros ($560,000) or more.

The prototype that crashed will be displayed at the Milan Expo 2015.

The vehicle for two is six metres long so it fits neatly in a parking space or garage and tanks up at any filling station. But once it reaches an airport it can unfold its wings within seconds and become a plane.

Once airborne, it can reach a top speed of 200km/h (120 mph) and travel as far as 700 km (430 miles), consuming 15 litres (4 gallons) of petrol per hour.

"It integrates two utilities in a similar way as a smartphone, which is a good phone and internet browser in one," said AeroMobil spokesman Stefan Vadocz.

"In the past you needed two separate products."

Explore further: Flying car spreads its wings in Slovakia

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15 comments

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gkam
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 05, 2015
We do NOT need goobers in their flying cars, banging into each other and falling on the rest of us.

This is just another poorly-thought-out idea.
Mayday
3.3 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2015
Of course, potential buyers must realize that once they're out on the road, they can't even think about letting an auto mechanic touch this thing. I think I'll wait to pick one up off the used car lot.
Nik_2213
3 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2015
IMHO, his comparison with a smart-phone was most unfortunate, given their oft-clunky interfaces, ravenous power and credit consumption, mishap potential and general inability to do anything *really* well...
baudrunner
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2015
From an engineering standpoint, this looks to be one big gas guzzler. The designer opted for comfort over efficiency. Bad call. Look at your currently manufactured private planes, most are very sparse inside and aerodynamic outside. This one is neither.
adam_russell_9615
5 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2015
30 mpg is pretty good for a plane isnt it?
ab3a
4 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2015
30 mpg is pretty good for a plane isnt it?


If it is real, it would be pretty good. Other aircraft such as some of Mooney's M20 can do about 20 to 22 MPG while flying at speeds in excess of 200 knots. This thing can barely manage 110 knots.

The take-off speed of this aircraft is quite fast. It suggests to me that the wing loading is high. However the cruise speed is surprisingly low, which gives me the impression that is underpowered. It probably needs a lot of runway to take-off and land.

So, for that efficiency you lose a lot of safety margin. I think I'll continue to fly conventional aircraft.
stripeless_zebra
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2015
Buy a used Cessna for $60K, invest the rest $500K in stock and for the interest earned you can have a rental car in every airport you visit and also cover the maintenance cost. Safe, cost effective and probably in 10 years you can still save enough to replace the plane.
tear88
5 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2015
stripeless_zebra: But it's cool!
.
Stop making sense. (Although, the word you should use is "dividend", not "interest". The Fed has squashed interest down to zero).
gkam
5 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2015
It does not take much in an aircraft crash to kill those inside and outside as well. Just watch a few, and the blush will be off the rose.
antigoracle
3 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2015
Look up! ... It's a bird ... It's a plane... It's a carrrr...shhh!
Moebius
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2015
A flying car is about as useful as an amphibian car, a terrible car that is also a terrible boat.
gculpex
5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2015
OR, an amphibian flying car!
winthrom
1 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2015
Take a look at this:

http://www.samson...rks.com/

Mayday
5 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2015
Someone should create a cash-prize challenge for flying cars. I see an oval track where half the track is on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and the other half on the south rim. Complete five laps with two passengers and a weekend's luggage and you win. The ground portion would have a mix of normal driving challenges: toll booth, parking garage, potholes, speed bump, gas station, tight city streets, car wash, and a valet parking attendant.
winthrom
1 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2015
@Maday; "... create a cash-prize challenge for flying cars."
Should include airfields since most of these are FAA certified and require a pilots license.

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