Posts Tagged ‘flying car’

Your flying car will be ready soon

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

AeroMobile 3.0Yeah, right. The Sovakian AeroMobile 3.0 flying car has made another splash in the news by appearing at another trade conference, the most recent one being the Pioneers Festival at Vienna’s Hofburg Palace. The first public presentation was in 2007 at Aero-Friedrichshafen in Germany.  You can see a video about the car here  (four minutes, cue the eerie music). The prototype actually works, doing 100 mph on the ground and a promised 124 mph in the air. The price (you can’t get one yet) is said to be like that of a super luxury car, which leaves one guessing. A 2014 Lamborghini is $200,000 if you get the one intended for poor people, or $548,800 if you get the Lamborghini Aventador which of course would be first choice for most of us. I’ll bet the AeroMobile would fit aboard your private luxury Boeing 747, which actually WILL be ready soon (April in Hamburg). Anyway, good luck AeroMobile, and while I’m at it, good luck Terrafugia, Maverick, Parajet SkyRunner, Pegase (from Vaylon in France) and Fresh Breeze  (flying motorcycle) of Germany. And a final shoutout to the good folks at Martin  Jetpack in New Zealand. Best of luck to everyone.

Flying motorcycle for Christmas?

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

PAL-VHere’s something no one on your list will have, especially since the PAL-V company isn’t delivering it yet. (I have an inquiry out to the company, and will update here as needed.) It’s the PAL-V Helicycle that is a roadable gyrocopter. When I wrote about it in 2012 it went only 68 miles per hour, but now it appears in the current Hammacher Schlemmer catalog as capable of 112 mph. Also, it was $250,000 when I reported on it a year ago, but the new price is $295,000 (that includes $6,770 in training and the rest must be a price increase). The company says it really doesn’t know anything about the gyrocopter and interested customers should contact the Netherlands company. (Hmm, I reported it as a French company in 2012.) Polite Hammacher Schlemmer reps won’t tell you on the phone the name of the company or where it is, but their Web advertisement includes a video that clearly announces the company name. The catalog ad says it weighs 1,499 pounds when it is a motorcycle. It claims you’ll need a sport pilot certificate to fly it, which no doubt will be yanked when the FAA discovers it weighs more than the 1,320 pounds allowed by the light sport aircraft category. When you Google the helicycle name, up comes a single-seat helicopter kit made by Eagle R&D in Nampa, Idaho. A representative there said they have no ties to the Netherlands (French?) company. Here are additional media photos.

Terrafugia car flies at Oshkosh

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Here are the two Terrafugia Transition flying car demos you missed at Oshkosh.

Take your flying car out for coffee

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Here’s a much easier way to get a favorite cup of coffee–in the next town–without all that traffic. Maverick is the only successful powered parachute and flying car on the market ($94,000). There are five flying.

Maverick “flying dunebuggy” in production

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The company called Itec/Beyond Roads has delivered four of its “Maverick” powered-parachutes with a driveable dunebuggy used as a cockpit. It is approved as a light sport aircraft, a category the includes powered parachutes. One is going to Dubai, and factory reps may travel there in a few weeks to provide training to the new customer. Deliveries are cautiously made only to experienced customers until fleet time for the vehicle increases. There are nine in various stages of construction at the factory in Florida. While dubbed the flying car by the press, it is actually intended as a jungle dunebuggy that can hop a stream when it needs to. It can drive faster than the 40 mph it achieves in the air, if there is no headwind. You can see the latest video here. Insurance has proven to be expensive, and AOPA Insurance Agency is contacting the company to help with the problem. The current premium is $8,000 a year for the factory to cover its personnel and give demonstrations. The company cleverly received government approval for the “car” aspect of the vehicle by getting it approved as a kit car. That move has stunned other companies trying to pass highway crash standards for the car portion of various “flying car” concepts. A flying car has to be strong enough to survive road rage, yet light enough to fly.

Terrafugia plans flight for Oshkosh

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Will there be a flying car at AirVenture 2011? Terrafugia officials are building two prototypes and hope one of them will be done in time to fly for the big EAA Oshkosh show. It is hoped, assuming all goes well during testing, that production can begin by the end of the year. The Terrafugia Transition, as it is called, is intended to cruise at 93 knots carrying a useful load of 460 pounds. Useable fuel is 23 gallons. On the road, the company predicts the two-place car, with its wings folded vertically like a bird, will get 35 miles per gallon. The high center of gravity created by the folded wings will bring interesting challenges when driving in high winds. A Rotax 912S powers it, and a full vehicle parachute is available.

Update 6/10: Schedule slips — Terrafugia said it will not have one of its prototypes done in time to fly for EAA AirVenture. Instead, the earliest a test flight could occur is March 2012, and deliveries will occur no earlier than late 2012.

Guardians of the Aerocar

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The Sweeney family came together in Auburn, Ca., today, quite by accident, to discuss their historic Aerocar. Eric Sweeney runs Auburn Aircraft Works, specializing in unusual airplanes, and is the current caretaker of the Aerocar. Brother Sean brought his company’s Cessna 310 in for modifications and takes care of it in Kissimme, Fla. Aerocar owner Ed Sweeney from Colorado Springs, Colo., was in town for personal business after educating the public on the Aerocar at Reno. Sean has 20 hours in the Aerocar, an hour for every year his dad has owned it. Eric started flying it more recently and has a few hours as well. Check out my reports on Twitter.com. Try here first. The Twitter site is having technical difficulties, but search under altonmarsh.

Chitty Chitty Thud Thud

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Glenn Curtiss gets credit for the first flying car with his 1917 Autoplane that married a flivver (resembling a Model T) to a biplane–make that triplaneAerofiles.com found the photos and drawings. The car, patented in 1919, was capable of short hops–bunny hops, to be exact. It tried but never achieved sustained flight. By the way, if you think the old Curtiss company is long gone, meet today’s Curtiss-Wright Corporation, the same company formed in 1929 with the merger of 12 Wright and Curtiss affiliated companies. It’s still there, and still in aviation.

An airplane for a clunker?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

In the `70s a California Ford dealer (still in business today) offered a Flying Pinto that had only one problem; it wasn’t fully developed yet. It needed a bracing strut across the bottom of the car, linking the two wing struts. A wing later came off the car used for this 1970s video , killing the pilot and the inventor, but another Pinto prepped to fly remains with the dealer. Some people doubt that the Pinto actually is flying in the video. The video runs 10 minutes, so if you are short of time move the slider to these time spots: between minute 5 and minute 6 you will see a complete description of the Mizar Flying Pinto; at time 7:27 you will learn that an option is a parachute to float car and wings to the ground. Those are the highlights. Backing up a bit, at time 3:05 you will see how frustrated the pilot is with an airplane that can’t convert to a car. At time 2:11 you will notice that when the wife flies with her husband and family, she always knits. At time 1:34 you will learn that there are 1.5 million pilots, or about double the total today. (There’s no sound until 26 seconds into the video.)