Slovakian engineering company AeroMobil saw its dreams of launching a flying car literally crash almost three years ago, but the company is back at it again. They’ve got a new electric four-seater vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) concept vehicle that also serves as a traditional road vehicle when not in the sky.
The flying car, the AeroMobil 5.0, was revealed this week with motors on the wing tips and an improved suspension system for a smooth landing. Unlike other VTOLs in development, this all-in-one vehicle becomes a car that can drive on regular roads before or after flying up to about 200 miles, no special landing pods necessary.
A previous concept car, known as AeroMobile 4.0, is a short take-off and landing vehicle — that means it requires a short runway. That vehicle is still in testing, and can travel up to 400 miles on a charge since it’s more energy efficient than the VTOL. (The flying car will have airbags and a parachute to really encapsulate its dual capabilities.)
Is it a plane or a car — or both?Back in 2015 (before the crash) AeroMobil was aggressive about launching its “Ferrari with wings” by 2017. That didn’t happen, but now the company is saying the 4.0 version will be available “in a limited series to private owners” in 2020. The 5.0 e-VTOL will follow, with vehicles available within the next seven to 10 years.
This is quite the ride. Or is it a flight?