Auto technicians working today haven’t had a need to learn aircraft mechanics. That’s mainly because any attempts to build flying cars in the past have failed miserably—but that doesn’t stop numerous inventors from trying. Now, it’s possible that students who become a mechanic in the near future will learn how to fix airplane engines as a part of their standard auto mechanic training.
That’s because all reports are showing that we may have a flying car on the market by 2017. While regulators may think it’s way too soon, and fans of Back to the Future II may think it’s two years too late, Slovakian automaker AeroMobil sees that as a realistic date to launch their AeroMobil 3.0. Read on to find out more.
What is the AeroMobil 3.0?
AeroMobil first announced its flying car to the world at the Montreal Auto Show back in 2013. Earlier this month, they re-introduced the model at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Panel, where they also announced their two year timeframe for a commercial release.
The vehicle can drive on the road and fly through the air, and these accomplishments have been proven through test flights. This is no Sky Commuter—there are no myths or secrets here. Some of the features of the AeroMobil include:
- 700 km flight range
- Maximum speed of 200 km/h
- Wings that fold in when in driving mode and extend out for flying mode
Professionals with car sales training should take note: this isn’t going to be a vehicle everyone can afford, at least not at first. The initial model is expected to cost several hundred thousand dollars a unit, which is supercar pricing. Except with this car, you’re also getting the added bonus of a small plane.
If it’s successful, AeroMobil founder and CEO Juraj Vaculik told the SXSW press that he would like to see a network of grass runways alongside and connected to highways so the 3.0 can land, re-join traffic, then take off again with ease.
Vaculik has said that the next version of this flying car will be a four-seater, with a hybrid drivetrain and twice the range. He also hopes to one day see a model of the AeroMobil which can function without a driver or pilot controlling it.
AeroMobil made a video showing the 3.0 in action. Have a look:
What About Regulation?
While AeroMobil seems to have accounted for everything, the one factor the company itself admits it can’t control is how this vehicle will be regulated, and how drivers will earn their licence. Will the owners behind the wheel be required to have both a driver’s license and a pilot’s license? While it’s likely, there has so far been no word. The company ultimately hopes that their new vehicle will require a completely new license unique to flying cars.
“We need to match 100 years of bureaucracy in the air and 100 years of bureaucracy on the ground. It’s not easy.” Vaculik told the panel at South by Southwest (SXSW).
Do you think flying cars will be a success? Are you excited to work on these vehicles?