While the practical challenges to a flying car are myriad, Slovakia's Aeromobil has steadily tried to overcome them. The company plans to unveil a production-ready version of its 'Flying Roadster' at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, Austria on October 29.
The latest version—Aeromobil 3.0—is the result of continuous work by designer Štefan Klein that dates back to 1990. The Aeromobil 2.5 prototype made its first flightabout one year ago.
That prototype consisted of a steel chassis and carbon fiber body, weighing about 992 pounds empty. Power came from a Rotax 912 aircraft engine like the one used in the other modern flying car of note, America's Terrafugia Transition. Aeromobil hasn't discussed any changes made for the production version.
The Aeromobil transforms from plane to car by folding its wings behind the cockpit. They fit alongside a boom that houses a shaft for the rear-mounted propeller, and serves as the mounting point for the flying car's tail.
Despite all of the extra bodywork, the Aeromobil will supposedly fit in a standard parking space, and run on pump gas. However, given that the Transition's Rotax 912 engine runs on 91 octane, Aeromobil owners may have to splurge for premium as well.
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, top speed is 100 mph and total driving range is roughly 310 miles.
Look for more details on the updated Aeromobil after its unveiling later this month.