George Jetson, Jane (his wife), their daughter Judy, and son Elroy, lead me to believe that in the not-too-distant future we’d all be living in high-rise, bubble-shaped apartments and travelling around in our own flying cars.
Then there was Back to the Future Part 2, which also had me thinking a flying four-wheeler was something I could enjoy when we reached the year 2015 (the year they travel to in the film). We are now six years further into the future and we don’t even have real hoverboards.
While the “hover-boards” we did get a few years ago were highly disappointing – as they didn’t actually hover – it appears that the flying car might be closer to a reality, and it even looks kind of cool.
The AirCar is capable of flying around 1000km at a height of up to 2438mand a prototype recently completed a 35-minute flight between two airports in Slovakia. The vehicle runs on normal petrol-pump fuel and is powered by an engine by BMW, with a cruising speed of 190km/h.
After landing at Bratislava airport, its inventor, Prof Stefan Klein, drove it straight from the runway into the city.
As you’d expect from a flying car, its wings rise up and then fold along the sides of the vehicle, it takes less than three minutes for it to transform from a car into an aeroplane. One aviation expert described its look as the lovechild of Bugatti Veyron and a Cessna 172.
According to Klein Vision, the company behind the project, the vehicle took about two years to develop at a cost of around $3.36 million. So far, the AirCar, which can carry two people, has completed around 40 hours of test flights, but it is not yet certified for commercial flight.
In 1940, Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company said, “Mark my words – a combination aeroplane and motorcar is coming.”
For Ford, and those Back to the Future and Jetson’s fans, it’s better late than never.