It’s official: the future is here. You might remember a few weeks ago when I asked “Where’s my flying car?!” I detailed many of the past and present designs that have tried to take the automobile skyward, but I missed one example that has just made its first flight – and it’s a seriously stunning machine!
This new roadable aircraft is called the Aeromobil. As the slick video shows below, the vehicle can park in a standard car-sized parking space, and after you drive it to the airport just the push of a button unfolds the wings. That’s far easier than the designs of the past, and employs far simpler mechanics than other flying cars being proposed today.
This design has another thing going for it too. It’s seriously attractive. That’s thanks to Stefan Klein, the vehicles designer from the Slovak Republic. He’s spent the past 20 years refining his design, bringing it from a boxy canard (tail-first) design, to the folding-winged version we see today. He has degrees in both mechanical engineering and fine arts, originally studying to be a sculptor. That came in handy with this design and as he worked professionally as a car designer with Audi, BMW and Volkswagen – even winning a national design award for a three-wheeled electric scooter that he still drives to work each day.
On the technical end, the Aeromobil uses a 100hp Rotax 912 water cooled engine linked to both the rear mounted propeller and the front wheels for driving on the street. Unlike most planes that require expensive aviation fuel, this machine can run on much cheaper auto gas. Just drive it to the pump.
The whole car/plane has a minimalist carbon coated steel structure and weighs in at a feather weight 980 lbs (450 kg) empty, much less than your standard automobile. It’s projected performance specs are very respectable, claiming a top speed of over 124 mph (200 km/h) in the air and 100 mph (160 km/h) on the ground, with a projected range of 430 miles (700 km) in the air and 310 miles (500 km) on the ground.
Klein’s latest prototype, Aeromobil 2.5 is the version you see flying in the video below. He’s using it as a proof of concept for the even more refined Aeromobil 3 in the renderings below. He’s hoping his new prototype will attract the attention of potential manufacturers and investors. I’ve got my fingers crossed. Find out more about the design at aeromobil.com.
Designer Stefan Klein sits inside the steel framework for Aeromobil 2.5