Would you buy a flying car? How about one from Slovakia?
This Eastern European country isn’t known for its car industry, which might explain why it birthed such an outlandish vehicle.
The Aeromobil 2.5 made its first test flight this week, a culmination of more than two decades of development. Aeromobil co-founder and chief designer Štefan Klein started with the 1.0 back in 1990, and hopes to begin selling the 3.0 production model (rendering above) soon.
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Like the Terrafugia Transition, the Aeromobil is more plane than car. After landing, the wings fold behind the cabin, along a boom that houses the propeller shaft.
The rear-mounted propeller is driven by a Rotax 912 aircraft engine – the same one used in the Transition. In the air, the Aeromobil will reach a top speed of 124 mph. That top speed, however, drops to around 100 mph when the wheels are on the ground.
Terrafugia says the Transition will top out at 100 mph in the air and 65 mph on the ground. It looks like the Aeromobil is the sports car of the pair.
The chassis (fuselage?) is composed of a steel frame with carbon fiber bodywork. Aeromobil says its creation weighs 992 pounds empty.
Maximum flying range is 430 miles, or 310 miles in driving mode.
Since the production Aeromobil 3.0 is still a ways off, the company isn’t talking price. Buyers will have to factor in the cost of flying lessons if it ever make it to the United States, though.
According to science-fiction, flying cars are a harbinger of the future. Road-legal aircraft like the Aeromobil and Transition will help us find out if that’s a future we actually want.
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