Apr 17, 2017 12:13 PM EDT
Spending almost 30 years in development, the first ever production-ready flying car is set to be unveiled at the Top Marques car show in Monaco on April 20.
AeroMobil is a two-seater that "transforms" from a land-based vehicle to an airborne mini-plane. It is powered by a hybrid propulsion system, which seamlessly combines aero and car functionality and touted to be the first commercially available flying car.
The AeroMobil is a Slovak roadable aircraft, designed by Štefan Klein and was first flown in 2013. According to the company's website, the Aeromobil is a completely integrated aircraft that is also a fully functioning four-wheeled car giving its owner the option to simply drive on land or cruise the vehicle in the air.
The Slovakian AeroMobil was first conceptualized back in 1990, coming out with AeroMobil 1.0; its fourth iteration is the AeroMobil 3.0 in 2014. Though it would be possible to bring flying cars to commercial reality this year, one obvious barrier would prevent it from actually utilizing it flight function - regulations.
However, with the coming official launch of its latest model next week, the AeroMobil team said that their new iteration was built in compliance with existing regulatory frameworks for both cars and airplanes, the Daily mail reported.
According to AeroMobil spokesperson Tatiana Veber, the company has been developing the concept of the flying car since 1990. The first model (AeroMobil 1.0) looked quite bizarre and would have problems in regular use, she said. However, the concept was further refined for the vehicle to be legally allowed into regular road traffic. Additionally, they got positive feedback from several avionics experts, which appreciated the designs and technical solutions during the process of transformation.
Although the dramatic transformation of the flying car is evident, one aspect of the vehicle the company is proud of is its ability to fold and tucking away its wings once the vehicle touches the ground, which would then make the vehicle capable of seamlessly pulling in traditional parking slots.
The two-seater AeroMobil can be fueled at regular gas stations, for its Rotax 912 ULS engine. The vehicle is built from lightweight steel framework and carbon coating, weighing in at 992 pounds. In plane mode, it measures 26 feet wide and 19 feet long. It can take to the air by running at 90 mph with a flight range of 430 miles.
The company stated that the latest iteration of the AeroMobil has been subjected to a regular flight-testing program in real flight conditions since October 2014. The company aims to sell AeroMobil 3.0 in 2017, according to AeroMobil CEO and co-founder, Juraj Vaculik. Additionally, Vaculik also stated that the company is developing a self-driving (flying) version. Perhaps it would be rivaled by Airbus and Italdesign's Pop.Up, once their concept gets developed further.
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