There have been about 20 attempts around the world to manufacture a flying car that can sell on a commercial market. Slovakian engineer, Stefan Klein, has come closer than anyone else. The Aeromobil 2.5 can cruise down the highway with a top speed of 88 miles per hour and can spread its wings and go airborne with just a flick of a switch.
Stefan Klein got his inspiration from being stuck in traffic. Klein, an amateur pilot himself, worked on his prototype while working for a Bratislava based university. Before hand he designed cars for major auto manufacturers such Audi and BMW. He believes that the flying car’s purpose is for medium distance traveling. Especially for areas with limited infrastructure like Russia and China. For a local example, it would be ideal for quick travel between St. Louis and Chicago. Currently, Klein and his team are designing the Aeromobil 3 which should be more suitable for a commercial market.
As a car, the Aeromobil 2.5 is about 20 feet long, a little bit longer than the average sized car. The car can still fit in an average parking space. Gas wise the car gets 35 miles to the gallon. The cab seats two people, one pilot and passenger. To start the propeller mounted in the back of the vehicle, the pilot just shifts gears. As a plane, the vehicle can reach speeds of 124 miles per hour. Flying, the vehicle uses four gallons an hour. Currently, the farthest one can fly is 430 miles on one tank of gas.
So far, the Aeromobil 2.5 has had a few successful test runs. The only draw back in the air is that it flies very wobbly. Currently the vehicle is street legal, but Klein and his team are working to make it legal to fly. For a consumer to be able to fly drive and pilot, the consumer must have both a drivers and pilots license with 25 hours of fly time. Klein expects the Aeromobil 3 to be commercially available within a few years. Right now the believed cost is around $240,00 American. His only other competition is a Dutch helicopter type car, and the US Terrafugia’s Transition flying car. In my personal opinion, Aeromobil looks a lot cooler than the others.