But could this ever work?
Slovak company (automaker?) AeroMobil really wants to put average people behind the yoke of a flying car. The goal is to have its now-prototype vehicle in the hands of consumers in 2023, which isn’t that far away. People have been dreaming of flying cars for a long, long time and while we’ve seen plenty of prototypes, they haven’t become a force in the consumer market.
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There are some good reasons why flying cars haven’t caught on. First off, they’re expensive. Secondly, with a fixed over wing design, they’re not exactly practical to drive on roads since they’d exceed the marked lane lines. AeroMobil has its wings on hinges so they fold back, but the car is still pretty long. And finally, flying a plane requires special certifications, authorizations, and other regulations which would keep most people away from buying one of these things. Despite these challenges, the Slovak firm thinks it can attract enough consumers to make its venture worthwhile.
Now, for some fun specs about the AeroMobil. It cruises at about 160 miles per hour, slower than your average supercar, but you’re not having to weave through slower traffic. With a range of about 460 miles, you’re also not going to be doing any crazy cross-country flights, at least not in one leg. The takeoff distance is about 1300 feet, which throws some cold, hard reality over the heads of people who envision themselves taking off from their driveway. Also, the rate of climb is 1200 feet per minute, ensuring taking off somewhere like Manhattan would be impractical. Pretty much everything we’ve seen in movies pertaining to flying cars is inaccurate, which shouldn’t shock any adult.
AeroMobil claims this flying car is “suitable for inexperienced pilots.” We wonder what the FAA and others have to say about that. However, there is a complete aircraft parachute safety system, so apparently you won’t fall out of the sky as rapidly if you do get into trouble.
One thing’s for sure about AeroMobil: whatever vehicles it produces will be collectable. After all, flying cars have proven to be highly impractical and so will be extremely uncommon. Rarity favors collectability, especially when it’s something wildly visionary, even bordering on completely impractical.