AeroMobil Aims To Put Flying Car In The Air By 2017

AeroMobil's announcement at SXSW Interactive 2015 of the company's plans to get a flying car in the air by 2017 has been all the buzz this week in Austin. After all, it is the rare person among us who has not at some point imagined hopping into a zippy little number in the driveway, dropping foot to pedal, and taking off into the sky, giddy and content in our H.G. Wells reality (or, perhaps, "The Jetsons"). Of course, a bit closer to earth, the idea of flying cars no doubt also played into the fantasies of certain SXSWi participants, especially among the many who had to endure Austin's epically bad traffic throughout the event. But we are discussing flying cars...


At SXSWi, AeroMobil CEO Juraj Vaculik stated his hope that within two years the premier model of his flying car would be in the garages of "wealthy supercar buyers", marketed to luxury car and aircraft shoppers with a "couple of hundred thousand Euros" to spend. He shared his dream with the audience at SXSWi, saying he first envisioned such a vehicle over 25 years ago as a student looking for a way to escape the oppression of life in Czechoslovakia. He continued, calling forth three "prisons" that affect commuters today: the "traffic prison", the "airport prison", and the "prison of bad infrastructure". All three of which can be escaped by taking to the air in your very own personal transport vehicle. 

Last October, AeroMobil (based in Slovakia) took the veil off of its latest prototype, the AeroMobil 3.0, displaying a roadworthy vehicle with wings that can be stowed away. According to Vaculik, speaking on CNBC, the first commercial model of the AeroMobil will seat two, have a range of 435 miles on a full tank, and be capable of reaching an air speed of 124 miles per hour, with the ability to take off and land on grass. Of course, due to the AeroMobil's position at the car-plane crossroads, driver-pilots will need to be both licensed drivers and certified pilots qualified to operate light aircraft. 

AeroMobil has been making prototypes of their flying car since the early 1990s, attaching models to the front of cars and driving fast to make up for the lack of a wind tunnel in which to perform tests. Now, though, Vaculik says his company is in a position to "not only showcase that it is possible to marry together a plane and a car, but to really commercialize it."

Tags:  Car, SXSW, Austin