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Flying Cars : Future of Transportation
Flying car has been a long sought-after dream that remains to be realised
Many mobile giants have been working of late on the concept.
Terrafugia, a American company has already built a prototype that has
been tested - Terrafugia Transition.
Notwithstanding above, a Slovakian Company AeroMobile has also
designed and successfully tested its flying car prototype AeroMobile 3.0.
German brand Volkwagen had also worked on a little different concept
called hover car.
Zee.Aero backed by NASA scientist and Aeronautics expert Ilan Kroo has
designed a prototype of VTOL vehicle.
Flying cars- Future of Transportation
Besides, some people intend to built a flying car that can back military and
rescue operations. X-Hawk designed by Urban Aeronautics is the example.
In a significant development, both AeroMobil and Terrafugia Transition
have done successful maiden flights in the previous decade.
AeroMobile has announced its intentions to launch its semi-autonomous
prototype in 2017.
A parachute-powered model of a flyable car – Skyrunner is actually
available now after a deposit of $ 5000.
Both AeroMobile and Terrafugia intend to upgrade their designed
prototypes to more autonomous version with better computer controls
and pre-assigned destination.
Flying Cars- Future of Transportation
Terrafugia is accepting pre-orders on making of flying car model and the
total estimated cost for Terrafugia Transition updated in 2011 was $
AeroMobile has also hinted on the availability of AeroMobile at initial
launch at a formidable cost that could be afforded by rich who have a flair
Zee.aero has developed a model which can be seen in some American
patents with desirable features (US 20130214086 A1) but more of
fabrication technology and creative designing is being worked on it.
X-Hawk may be used for medical evaluation and rescue missions for
civialian operations besides being used for executive transport.
Some features of Terrafugia Transition
Light sport aircraft that is roadable.
Flight range 425nmi, 787 km.
Carbon-fibre body, length 6.02m, wingspan length 8.08m
Powerplant consists of Piston-powered engine Rotax 912ULS
Prototype Sensenich 3 BladeRotax Ground Adjustable Propellers.
Maximum speed on road 110km/h, cruise speed172km/h, stall speed is 62
Certifications required by owner – FAA and FMVSS.
Selective feature Of Aeromobil 3.0
Vehicle can accommodate 2 passengers.
Length 6 m, wingspan 8.2 m.
Powerplant consists of engine with 1* Rotax 912 four cylinder horizontally-
opposed liquid with air-cooled piston.
Engine power 75 kW (100hp).
Maximum speed 200km/h and stall speed 60km/h.
Range is 700 km.
Flight-fuel consumption 15l.
AeroMobil s.r.o. is expected to be launched commercially by 2017.
Features : Skyrunner
Developed with the assistance of Britain based Parajet International.
Gets converted to flight mode in 3 minutes.
1-litre boost engine
Range 500miles on road and 200 nautical miles in air.
Maximum altitude 10,000 feet above sea level.
Speed 60mph can be attained in 4.3 seconds.
Flight control- ( 2 ‘intuitive controls’) left and right steering via handheld
toggle and a throttle pedal to ascend to descend.
Requires 12 hours of lessons and above 17years age.
Parachute-powered technology for car very safe and convenient to handle.
Canard wing arrangement- a design with payload area surrounded by front
and rear set of wings.
Mutiple vertical lift-rotors and forward thrust propellers.
Horizontal stabiliser fitted in front .
Battery-powered electrical engines running propellers.
Carbon-fibre has been used as primary building material.
VTOL capable flying car capable of being parked in standard parking zone
of a shopping complex.
Volkswagen’s Concept of Hover Car
Volkswagen has been working on concept of Hover car.
Looks like a doughnut and can adjust two passengers on a self-driven pre-
The concept requires electromagnetic plates fitted in roads to be workable,
thus it did not pick off though it was very cool in design and functioning.
Volkswagen included this in people’s car project along with 2 other car
projects- Hover car, Music Car, Smart key.
Music car could change the music played in the car with the change in
colour of clothes of the driver.
Smart Key is a car concept wherein a smartphone could be used to control
functions of a car.
X-Hawk: Rescue Operations and
Military Support Vehicle
Flying car concept used to help military and rescue needs
Design patented as ‘Fancraft.’
VTOL enabled vehicle with shrouded rotors, tandem fans with turbine-
Maximum speed 249 km/h
Altitude reached 3700m, endurance limit 2 hrs flight time.
Various models for different purposes have been proposed and being
worked upon- X-Hawk LE Law enforcement and X-Hawk EMS for
Emergency Medical Services.
X-Hawk can accomodate nearly 10 people and is expected to work at
places where helicopter functioning is impracticable.
Cost Price and Commercial Availablity
of Flying Cars
Terrafugia Transition had a scheduled expected launch between years 2015
and 2017. Its estimated price in the initial stage was US $ 194000. But in
December 2011, the price was upgraded to US$ 294,000. After successful
maiden flight by Transition, the company wants to build a semi-
autonomous version which can fly on a pre-determined path and have
more safety in bad weather and low visibility conditions. The company has
named it Terrafugia TF-X and if built successfully till scheduled time of
2018, would undergo extensive testing for a launch till 2025 at an
obviously higher price.
Earlier it was expected that the Transition model would be launched with
an upgraded price in 2016.
Skyrunner is very affordable as compared to roadable aircrafts being
available for $19,000 and booking price of $5000.
Airspace: Countries where the airspace is already crowded, the flying cars
may not be permitted as they would not prove useful there./moreover, the
introduction would cause increase in nuisance and reduce the safety
standards of air-travel.
Flying cars use lower altitude to navigate, thus imminent dangers of
obstructions due to long trees, high-tension wires, towers are present.
Take-off and landing in flying cars require at least 2 meters long runway in
most cases. Also, the runway should be obstruction-free. Thus avoiding
traffic jams by putting on flight mode is not feasible. Even for any VTOL
vehicles that may develop in future (just a speculation), the idea of multiple
VTOL vehicles all-of sudden trying to take-off from a traffic jam is not a
welcome idea. It would make air-traffic scene unsafe, bizarre and
Bad weather conditions : For pilot driven flying cars, bad weather, low-
visibility, and night-time conditions are definitively limiting conditions.
Even trained pilots find it difficult to handle bad-weather conditions during
Huge maintenance: The flying car requires intensive maintenance for being
in a perfectly workable condition. Also, the technical failures encountered
in road car management are quite manageable as compared to those in
aircraft. For example if there is depletion of fuel in aircraft, it is a totally
different condition from depletion of fuel in a car.