Date
20 October 2017
Visitors view the AeroMobil flying car at the Top Marques Monaco supercar show in Monaco on Thursday. Photo: Reuters
Visitors view the AeroMobil flying car at the Top Marques Monaco supercar show in Monaco on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

Flying car costing more than US$1 million unveiled in Monaco

A Slovakia-based company unveiled the commercial design for a flying car priced at more than US$1 million, saying it was ready for pre-orders with first deliveries expected by 2020, Reuters reports.

AeroMobil said on Thursday its teardrop-shaped AeroMobil Flying Car, displayed at the Top Marques Monaco, could switch to flight mode in less than three minutes.

The wings fold away for driving on roads and swing out for flying.

The company, one of several developing such flying vehicles, aims to make up to 500 units of its first commercially available edition, priced at 1.2 million to 1.5 million euros (US$1.29 million to US$1.61 million).

To fly, the car would need an airfield or another approved place to take off, while owners would require driving and pilot licenses, AeroMobil chief communications officer Stefan Vadocz said.

AeroMobil said deliveries to customers of the flying car, which Vadocz said would comply with air and road regulations, was expected to start by 2020.

Meanwhile, a Bavarian start-up is developing a five-seat “flying taxi” after successful test flights over Germany of a smaller version of the electric jet, Reuters said.

Munich-based Lilium, backed by investors who include Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, said the planned five-seater jet, which will be capable of vertical take-off and landing, could be used for urban air taxi and ride-sharing services.

In flight tests, a two-seat prototype executed maneuvers that included a mid-air transition from hover mode – like a drone – to wing-borne flight – like a conventional aircraft, the company said.

Lilium said its jet, with a range of 300 km and cruising speed of 300 km per hour, is the only electric aircraft capable of both vertical take-off and jet-powered flight.

Potential competitors include much bigger players such as Airbus, the maker of commercial airliners and helicopters that aims to test a prototype self-piloted, single-seat “flying car” later in 2017.

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CG

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