For many years, engineers and scientist are working on the flying cars development, but only today they seem to be close to their final goal as never before. Just a couple of years ago these machines have finally received wings and gyro rotors, that are strong and functional enough to lift themselves above the ground.
Answering the question “Is there a flying car yet” – we can finally state that they do exist thanks to the hard work on development and engineering of two independent companies PAL-V and AEROMOBIL. There are two functional flying car prototypes, that successfully performed test flights:
- AEROMOBIL – a flying car with retractable wings
- PAL-V One – a hybrid of a motorcycle and helicopter
- Fresh Breze – a para-car
The first flying car ever made
People are attempting to build a flying car for almost a hundred years now. American engineer Glen Curtis is considered to be the first one to create a first flying car. His vehicle performed the first flight back in 1917. Even though that was a short and not really successful flight – he was the one, who set it on the map for the first time. His idea was extremely engaging and people just couldn’t stop catching on till our todays. Israel is currently developing an Air-New, United states of America are working on their Terrafugia, and Europeans are busy with their Pal-V One. So the main question of the new age is who would be the first one to let the drivers lift their vehicles to the sky and will there ever be flying cars available for public use? Who will be the winner in this historical race of high technologies, and what does it feel like to be the one in this chase? In this article we will closely look at the main competitors and see what are their chances to win this race!
Para-car first German flying car
Our first contender is Michael from Hannover, Germany. Being an experienced racer and world-class engineer he launched his flying machine project over 10 years ago. It’s called a Para car, which is basically a hybrid of a Para plan and a three-wheel motorcycle equipped with 130HP engine and a total weight of about 300kg with. The three wheel construction allowed the engineer to successfully register it as motorcycle and receive the license plates to get the freedom to use it on public roads. It can achieve the maximum speed of 200km/h, which is much more than required for a takeoff. It takes only 7 minutes to install a detachable rotor and a parachute to take this little tricycle up in the sky. It’s basically a flying motorcycle and it doesn’t give a direct answer to a question Is there a flying car invented, but proves that bigger machine will be able to take off the ground as well.
Originally, it was created for the fans of active lifestyle who enjoy flying and driving at the same time, however today the company receives many preorders from the police and the government.
Pal-v one of the first flying car from Netherlands
We often meet a question: Is there a flying car coming out in 2017? This mysterious concept seems to be the closest to the mass production line.
Next contender is the Pal-V which stands for Personal Air and Land Vehicle, and it is probably the most successful European hybrid of a roadable aircraft, which is just a tiny bit away from a production line. It’s also based on a three wheel motorcycle platform and features retractable wings and helicopter like rotors, which makes it very compact for a normal usage on the city roads. It’s lightweight carbon fiber body and the frame protect a pilot and one passenger from the weather conditions on and off the ground. The weight of PAL-V equals 800kg and the maximum speed is 180km/h. Runway distance 150m and a flight range 35-400 km. It has not been approved by a local department of transportation for the usage on the road because of a missing windshield wiper (as per the information online). Interesting fact: in Netherlands, the home country of this unique vehicle, it’s forbidden to use public roads for a takeoff, however it’s not the case in many other countries like Germany or UK, which will give an unlimited freedom to the future owners.
The government of the Netherlands takes the PAL-V very seriously and already thinking about the forward road regulation for such vehicles, as in the end it’s just a matter of time when the first units will land on the highways and city streets of this progressive country. There are flying cars already and it’s the right time to think about making them civil. The road regulation authority offered to create side lines of about few hundred of meters aside the public roads to give flying cars an ability to safely land and takeoff without actually interacting with the traffic.
Even though the cost of development of PAL-V One is about 6million euro, it’s estimated that a single unit will be available for sale at about $300.000.
Will there be flying cars in the future
If you’ve been asking yourself: will there be flying cars in the future – we hope that this short video has finally justified this fact.
Obviously even the smallest helicopter requires some serious piloting skills, because even the smallest failure in the air can cause fatal consequences unlike driving on the ground.
Mass production of the flying cars may hardly be achieved today because the complicity of driving.
It’s not enough to design a car that would be capable to lift up from the ground, it’s vital to create one that could be safely handled both in the sky and on the road. Therefore we should change the entire concept of handling and maneuvering in the air which will be comprehensive for a wide range of users.
The institute of Mark Plank is successfully working in this direction. A helicopter is considered the most complicated machine from the point of handling. It requires a very serious techniques and concertation. The main idea of new flying concept is getting rid of complicated helms and delegating these functions to a computer. In the end a pilot would only have to steer an aircraft on the vertical or horizontal axis, all other manipulations will be performed by a computer algorithm.
With all this in mind a combination of the latest innovations in handling and aircraft building will make a civil flying car possible in observable future.
We hope that our post helped you to find the answer on the most interesting question of today Is there a flying car in the world.
P.S. Pilot license is required to drive a flying machine, which involves the knowledge of the aerodynamics, navigation and metrology.