Flying Car: Soon to Become a Reality

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We are seeing flying cars in sci-fi movies for long. Probably starting from ‘Back to the Future’ first part in 1985. And until recently there have been lot of development and news coming out in media of various semi-successful experiments being conducted to make a flying car. We know that it will come, we just have to wait for it to appear in a consumer sector. 

A french Franky Zapata had recently made a successful fly over the English Channel in his home-made Hoverboard. Looking like a superhero, Franky Zapata successfully completed the famed 35-kilometer (22-mile) journey in just 22 minutes on 4th Aug 2019 morning, reaching speeds of up to 177 kilometers per hour (110 mph) on the flyboard that has made him a French household name. Though it is not a flying car but anything that can fly a human safely from one place to another is what is needed in this time when road traffic is just unimaginable. 

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After decades of promises, personal air vehicles are finally getting close to commercial reality. Companies around the world are racing to be the first to launch self-flying vehicles. Japanese electronics giant NEC tested a drone-like prototype yesterday inside a cage at one of its facilities in Abiko, Japan. It hovered about 3 meters (10 feet) above the ground for a minute. It didn’t have any passengers on board and was powered by a battery, Bloomberg reports. NEC engineers spent about a year developing the model, which weighs about 150 kilograms (331 pounds) and is 3.9 meters (12.7 feet) long.

Behind the somewhat underwhelming, drama-free demonstration lies a bigger ambition: Japan’s government wants the country to become a leader in flying cars after missing out on advancements in technology such as electric cars and ride-hailing services. The country’s technological roadmap calls for shipping goods by flying cars by around 2023 and letting people ride in flying cars in cities by the 2030s.

A number of companies, including BoeingAirbus, and Uber, are working on autonomous flying. It’s not quite clear who the target market is yet, though, beyond the super-wealthy, not to mention whether driverless “flying” taxis will be economically viable

Flying cars currently in development
Name & manufacturer Type First manned flight* Expected delivery
Aeromobil 4.0 Folding-wing STOL 2014 (3.0 model) 2020
Aeromobil 5.0 Folding-wing VTOL N/A 2025 or later
Pop.Up Next (Airbus/Audi) Quadcopter 2018 (scale model only) ?
Vahana (Airbus) Fixed-wing VTOL 2018 2020
Aurora (Boeing) Fixed-wing VTOL 2019 2023 (for Uber)
Ehang 184 Quadcopter 2018 2019?
Volocopter 18-rotor copter 2016 Trials in 2019
Joby Aviation Fixed-wing VTOL N/A ?
Lilium Fixed-wing VTOL 2017 Before 2025
Moller Skycar Fixed-wing VTOL 2003 ?
Pal-V Single-rotor gyrocopter 2012 2020
Terrafugia Transition Folding-wing STOL 2009 2019
VRCO NeoXcraft Quadcopter with tilting rotors N/A 2020?
Kitty Hawk Cora (formerly Zee.Aero Zee) Fixed-wing VTOL 2016 ?
Opener BlackFly Fixed-wing VTOL 2018 ?
Karem Butterfly Fixed-wing VTOL N/A 2023 (for Uber)
Bell Nexus Hexacopter with tilting rotors N/A 2023 (for Uber) or 2025
Embraer X Octocopter with rear propeller N/A 2023 (for Uber)
Pipistrel Fixed-wing VTOL N/A 2023 (for Uber)
* Where known, first flight of a pre-production model

Stay tuned for more updates on flying car.

Also Read – 

How to Build a Drone – A Quick Guide

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