Flying Car: Soon to Become a Reality
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.
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 Boeing, Airbus, 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.
|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)|
|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||?|
|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.
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