While millions of Ugandans are running crazy over a first-generation Iphone, other people are seriously thinking of flying; and I don’t mean from an airport in a Boewing nor in a helicopter. The plan is to fly from one’s home to their workplace or wherever, in a car. Well, because they can.
In 1940, Henry Ford, an American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company predicted a combination of a car and an airplane. “Mark my words,” he said. “a combination airplane and motorcar is coming.”
“You may not believe it,” he added, but he insisted it was coming. His words then were considered rather too extreme and, of course, he received his fair share of ridicule. 75years later, we are comfortable to say that the world has flying cars now. Ford should have been alive!
According to Wikipedia, a flying car is a personal vehicle that provides door-to-door aerial transportation. And it is promised that by 2017, Aeromobile, a Slovakian automobile company, will include a production version on sale as their next milestone.
In October 2014, Aeromobil unveiled a prototype which was dubbed Aeromobil 3.0; it showed off its driving and flying abilities at a festival in Vienna.
With its wings tucked in, the carbon fiber drives the streets seamlessly with other cars. Then, it makes its way to the parking lot, unfolds its wings, and takes off from a grass runway. It soars leisurely over the buildings in Vienna before touching down in a green field. This demonstration indeed marked the dawn of a new era.
Speaking about the future of flying cars, Juraj Vaculik, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aeromobil, he predicted a world ahead in which vehicles would easily merge with the existing forms of transportation.
For him and his team the goal was to make medium-distance travel, much less of hassle and apparently, to do that the company aimed to put the vehicle on the market in 2017. The announcement also highlighted the company’s next revolutionary venture in this field, which is the self-flying car. Aeromobil says that now that flying cars have been found to be a possibility, it is just time to make them drive and soar to the skies on their own.
The Aeromobil 3.0
AeroMobil flying car, at a glance, is a beautifully crafted car. It is beautifully integrated, and transforms in seconds from an automobile to an airplane. It simply gives you freedom to move.
AeroMobil is a flying car that perfectly makes use of existing infrastructure created for automobiles and planes, and opens doors to real door-to-door travel. As a car it fits into any standard parking space, uses regular gasoline, and can be used in road traffic just like any other car. As a plane it can use any airport in the world, but can also take off and land using any grass strip or paved surface just a few hundred meters long.
The current flying car prototype AeroMobil 3.0 incorporates significant improvements and upgrades to the previous pre-prototype AeroMobil 2.5.
It is now finalised and has been in regular flight-testing program in real flight conditions since October 2014.
The AeroMobil 3.0 is predominantly built from advanced composite material. That includes its body shell, wings, and wheels. It also contains all the main features that are likely to be incorporated into the final product, such as avionics equipment, autopilot and an advanced parachute deployment system.
AeroMobil 3.0 also implements a number of other advanced technologies, such as a variable angle of attack of the wings that significantly shortens the take-off requirements, and sturdy suspension that enables it to take-off and land even at relatively rough terrain.
As it appears the science fiction of yesterday is today’s reality. If things go at the predicted pace, some Ugandans could be just about to donate and relegate their escades and hammers to the museum as they hop on to the flying cars. It is just a matter of time.
First Published in the Red Pepper.