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Transportation Technology

A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month 203

cartechboy writes It's 2014. Where the heck are our flying cars? We were promised flying cars. We should be living like The Jetsons, right? Well, we aren't, but we are about to take one step closer: a production-ready flying car is debuting this month. Slovakia's Aeromobil is planning to unveil its "Flying Roadster" at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, Austria on October 29. The latest iteration is called the Aeromobil 3.0, and work on it dates back to 1990. The Aeromobil 2.5 prototype made its first flight about a year ago. The Aeromobil transforms from plane to car by folding its wings behind the cockpit. Supposedly, the Aerobmoil will fit in a standard parking spot and run on pump gas. In less than a month, our dreams could become a reality.
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A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

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  • Crash Test? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by weilawei ( 897823 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @07:19PM (#48078901) Homepage

    Bet you'll not see this in the US any time soon. I wonder what its crash test ratings would look like.

    • Pipe Dreams (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Monday October 06, 2014 @07:49PM (#48079151)

      Bet you'll not see this in the US any time soon. I wonder what its crash test ratings would look like.

      It could be licensed like an experimental aircraft.

      But... "I'll believe it when I see it."

      Folks, we have heard this before, and "flying cars" have been around since the 50's. It's not practical in any sense of the word. Blade Runner is a fantasy that will not be realized for many, many years. It this point in time, "flying cars" solve no problems and create man oth

      • Experimental aircraft don't get to ride on the roadways.

        I think that is one of the biggest problems. In order to be street legal, it would be almost too heavy to take off.

      • by jc42 ( 318812 )

        Folks, we have heard this before, and "flying cars" have been around since the 50's. It's not practical in any sense of the word.

        Actually, out in the wide-open rural spaces of the western US and Canada, "flying cars" are rather common and quite practical. Of course, they're usually called small planes, typically 2- or 4-seaters with some cargo space. And you'd usually want a ground car, too, since aircraft can be somewhat impractical on days of high winds, thunderstorms, etc. It's common for small-town shopping strips in that area to have a runway that's parallel to the main street, with stores in between, for the benefit of peop

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Moller's Air Car is "production ready" and flew something like 10 years ago, but hasn't got either FAA or NHTSA/EPA certifications. So it's illegal to fly, illegal to drive, but has flown and is production ready.
      • by jcr ( 53032 )

        Has he ever flown it off of the tether?

        -jcr

      • Moller doesn't have a flying car of any kind. He has a camera, some editing tools, and a hat turned upside down.
      • What a load of BS. Moller's "flying car" is a joke -- a bit like Stan Meyer's water-powered car was. It's always easy to create a conspiracy to cover up a complete lack of substance when you're busy trying to milk gullible investors!

        As for the flying car referenced in this article/video -- it's just like all the others and will never "fly" from a commercial perspective because:

        - it's a crappy car (too many compromises in order to make it fly)
        - it's a crappy plane (too many compromises in

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Simple truth is that it would be a bad airplane and a bad car.

    • by richlv ( 778496 )

      of course you won't see it any time soon. if it's presented in the nonexistent city of "Vianna", it's clearly a scam.

      (or more like an indicator of the extreme intelligence of some)

    • Like this vehicle, it folds the wings away for driving on the road. But unlike this vehicle (at least from what I can see), they have both a weight exemption from the FAA so it can be classified as a "light sport" aircraft and flown on a "sport pilot license" (which is much easier to get than a full regular pilot license) AND an exemption from the NHTSA to use lightweight motorcycle tires and a lightweight polycarbonate windscreen to keep weight down instead of the heavier automobile tires and safety glass

  • ...as disused by Dante and Randall.

    http://youtu.be/YsSCBxzlDbU [youtu.be]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2014 @07:22PM (#48078943)

    In case you don't drive much, its already too scary with cars on the ground. Can you imagine some of these idiots flying around? The horrendous crashes? Care to think about what it would be like when someone careens into the top floor of an office building and explodes into a fireball? Thankfully flying tech has not progressed to reality.

    • Well, ok, you have a point I guess, but adding a third dimension gives one a lot more room to maneuver, and it would seem that it would reduce the chances of collision. Visualize, you're not flying at 70 MPH less than 20 feet behind another hurtling piece of metal on exactly the same vector, just a few feet from similar hurtling pieces of metal at exactly the opposite vector. Where air traffic gets dangerous is around the choke points, usually airports.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        When you increase density, the laneless becomes vastly more dangerous. And a cheap and accessible flying car would increase air traffic density greatly.
        • Add to that, the low-density is mostly true when you get away from the ground. Aircraft density around airports is already sufficiently high that you need a very alert team of air traffic controllers to ensure that there aren't collisions and stories of near misses make the news every year. Flying cars would want to land in places that are convenient for people, so there would be similar density issues, no air traffic control (unless you require them to have an automated landing system that coordinates wi
        • by Twinbee ( 767046 )
          Two flying cars needn't get close though. The higher the speed, the less a car will be able to get close to another flying car or object. The repelling force will be proportional to the distance from that other object, and also both of their speeds (so you could go at 5mph at be very close to another flying car, and that would be okay).
    • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @08:14PM (#48079275)

      In case you don't drive much, its already too scary with cars on the ground. Can you imagine some of these idiots flying around? The horrendous crashes? Care to think about what it would be like when someone careens into the top floor of an office building and explodes into a fireball? Thankfully flying tech has not progressed to reality.

      Obviously manual controls would only work outside of restricted airspace; within restricted airspace, you'd be under the guidance of the airspace control computer.

      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        Funnily enough I think flying cars could be a better target for automation than those disastrous ground-based driverless cars.

        The problem space is much more defined in the air than on the ground and, given that it's difficult for a human to look in all directions at once or judge distances of rapidly approaching objects, should probably be mandatory.

        • Funnily enough I think flying cars could be a better target for automation than those disastrous ground-based driverless cars.

          The problem space is much more defined in the air than on the ground and, given that it's difficult for a human to look in all directions at once or judge distances of rapidly approaching objects, should probably be mandatory.

          With a reserved airspace that has no manually controlled vehicles whatsoever, it's definitely a better target for automation (assuming quadrotor style manueverability). The thing that makes the ground hard is the manually controlled vehicles, the people, trash cans, road surface damage, and other mobile obstacles. Take that away, and you no longer need vision systems or any of it.

        • by rossdee ( 243626 )

          "Funnily enough I think flying cars could be a better target for automation than those disastrous ground-based driverless cars."

          Well for one thing there are very few pedestrians and stray dogs wandering across the aerial 'streets'

      • Obviously manual controls would only work outside of restricted airspace; within restricted airspace, you'd be under the guidance of the airspace control computer.

        I love the aviation consultants on this forum...

        • Obviously manual controls would only work outside of restricted airspace; within restricted airspace, you'd be under the guidance of the airspace control computer.

          I love the aviation consultants on this forum...

          You do realize that we are no longer talking about Cessna's with Hemi's and whitewalls, we are talking about VTOL craft at this point, right? And some of us do have pilot's licenses, so we realize how ridiculous this particular vehicle is, right?

    • Sounds like job openings. Just watch unemployment sink!

    • by richlv ( 778496 )

      "In case you don't ride horses much..."

      there was surely somebody with the same views when cars just started :)

    • As long as humans control the flying cars, they will never become a reality; and thankfully so. Most people who have licences to drive shouldn't have them, but at least when they prove their incompetence in piloting their car the damage is somewhat limited (compared to a Cesna falling out of the sky). I'm all for flying hovercraft cars, but only as long as ONLY ME gets one. The rest of the idiots I meet on my bike ride home shouldn't be allowed to drive in two dimensions, much less three.

      More seriously,

    • by Twinbee ( 767046 )
      Not this again.

      Of all the problems that flying cars actually DO have (relatively poor batteries, and terrible sound/noise pollution both to the occupants and surrounding neighbourhood), and you go on about safety.

      Ignoring that AI may drive instead of humans, or that we could create a lane system in the sky to keep traffic from colliding, another simple solution is to have a 'magnetic'-style repel, where if you get too close to another vehicle or object, your craft would repel and vice versa. This woul
  • by warewolfsmith ( 196722 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @07:27PM (#48078997)
    You can drive with a bent fender, but if you bend an aircraft it is instantly grounded until repaired, this may entail x-raying the superstructure etc. So a small bingle in a flying car means it instantly becomes just a car until repaired and approved for flight. Personally I cant see flying cars becoming a reality any time soon.
    • That's under current law. Given that the populace have voted that it's okay to fail the driving test 59 times as long as you pass the 60th, and you can be half-blind and senile and still drive, current law may very well be revised.

      Of course we're dealing with FEDERAL bureaucrats, who are less accountable to the public than STATE ones, but democracy still works in the long run. Right now only rich weirdos fly their own planes, so we're okay f*ing them in the ass with safety regulations. If everyone, or a

      • by tibit ( 1762298 )

        Being half-blind, a.k.a. blind in one eye, shouldn't be a problem. I know that it's illegal to drive half-blind in some European countries, but that is IMHO just one of the many overreaching, stupid regulations. One thing I like about the U.S. is that being half-blind is not a problem here and you can certainly legally drive a car that way. Binocular vision isn't really necessary for driving a street car.

    • Lots of things are against the law and yet people still murder, rape, kidnap, steal, etc., etc. What makes you think some idiot will follow a law that says they can't fly their flying car if it has a bit of a bend? I followed some jerk whose brake lights didn't work last week. I'm sure that's illegal, too.

      Cheers,
      Dave

      • by Twinbee ( 767046 )

        I followed some jerk whose brake lights didn't work last week.

        You would become that jerk if your lights failed mid-way through a drive, or you didn't check them every single journey.

    • So a small bingle in a flying car means it instantly becomes just a car until repaired and approved for flight.

      Oh, no, because it will be unambiguously proven that flying your car around is a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution.

  • Seen this before. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @07:28PM (#48079003) Journal
    It looks kind of like your average multipurpose tool.

    Sure, it does both both things.

    Just not as good as individual tools it replaces.

    • Of course, however, like the average multi purpose tools, you need to carry around only one instead of two. That's a great advantage in itself. So even though it doesn't drive as easily as a car and it doesn't fly as well as an aeroplane, it still beats having to lug an aircraft around on a trailer behind your car.

  • Perhaps misnamed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MouseR ( 3264 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @07:33PM (#48079035) Homepage

    This isn't so much of a flying car as it is a drivable plane.

    • Exactly! The promised flying car is for when you are sitting in traffic and you hit the big red button that jumps you ahead of the blockage, not this delicate thing.

    • "A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month"

      No, no it will not.

      • That it is "production-ready" doesn't necessarily mean it's being produced.

        • If it's not produced, then technically it isn't "coming".
          • by drkim ( 1559875 )

            If it's not produced, then technically it isn't "coming".

            OK. It's not "coming" ...but it's breathing really fast.

        • That it is "production-ready" doesn't necessarily mean it's being produced.

          Based on your definition, even a "concept car" is "production ready", if that's what you want to produce.

          But in a realistic sense "production ready" means you have all the design features set and are ready to build production dies and molds, have the production wireing peg-board and jigs designed, and have suppliers lined up, and a factory space ready to accept the machines required to build this thing.

          Not the case here.

    • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @08:03PM (#48079219)

      The linked video shows that while it looks more plane than car, it has much more car-properties than plane-properties.

      It flies, but it doesn't look very stable when in the air, and it is only shown flying low above a runway. As this is a promo video, this means to me that this is the best they can do, and that they're not able to fly it above more interesting landscapes - be it due to licensing, or capabilities, or other reasons.

      • by Twinbee ( 767046 )
        Just wait until Tesla / Elon Musk tries to create a flying car. He's the only person I'd trust to get the qualities the average person would expect in a flying car (pure electric, low noise/sound and excellent maneuverability control, as well as VTOL).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This concept is just "roadable aircraft" - basically light planes you drive to and from an airport. And even if the FAA allowed you to takeoff and land on roads, that would be totally impractical since the roads aren't designed for it. Nor would it be safe for human pilots to land in and takeoff from other traffic. So we'll need (1)robocars, (2)redesign of the roads to allow takeoff and landing in some parts, (3)a radical overhaul of the regulatory and air traffic control system to accommodate a drastic

  • Where's my FLYING CA.... oh, ok then.

    Still waiting for that jetpack, though.

  • No. Just no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Monday October 06, 2014 @08:00PM (#48079205)

    A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

    No.

    Slovakia's Aeromobil has planning to unveil its "Flying Roadster" at the Pioneers Festival in Vianna, Austria on October 29.

    They will unvailed a prototype .

  • Despite the prevalent cynicism in the comments, I am simply floored by how cool this thing is. Sure, it may not be a perfect airplane or a perfect car (or a perfect flying car, for that matter), but this is an awesome proof-of-concept. Watching a vehicle travel down the road, pull over to unfurl its wings, and then accelerate down a straight, open lane only to lift off the ground... well, I just think that's downright neat.
    • So it's a plane that looks like a car. Some kids take the chassis of a radio-controlled car an build a humaniform body for it, and then everyone goes, ooh, ahh, a robot! No, it's not a robot, it's a radio-controlled car that looks like a robot.
    • Then watching it be intercepted by a fighter jet and escorted to safety will be all the more neat.

  • This isn't a "flying car", it's a "roadable airplane", just like the Terrefugia Transition: http://www.terrafugia.com/airc... [terrafugia.com]

    It is licensed as an airplane, with many, MANY exceptions when licensed as a ground vehicle. The idea is that you drive it a short distance to an airport, then take off and fly as an airplane. Then drive a short distance to somewhere at the other end. It's not meant to be driven even as much as a high-end sports car on the ground. It's mean as "get to airport, fly, get to destinat

    • Friend did about the same with a Cessna put a couple ultra portable mopeds in the cargo, drove there few and drove the last bit. Not like you need much more when you can get within 10-15 miles of where you going in the northeast and have a small airport.

  • Deja vu... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @08:53PM (#48079489) Homepage

    Googling on 'site:slashdot.org "flying car"' turns up numerous references to flying cars, ALL in very advanced stages of development and ready for production, flying your way soon.

    Terrafugia... "Flying Car Passes First Flight Test..."

    PAL-V One, "Finally, a flying car for the masses" made its first maiden flight...

    M400 flying car "more economical than SUV"...

    "the SkyCar, an invention by Moller International" was to be "Ready by end of year." And that year was 1999.

  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @12:44AM (#48080501)
    Somehow it sounds cool to have a flying car, but kinda stupid to have a driving plane. This was an observation made by Tyler Cowen on his blog [marginalrevolution.com]. It's a good point. It reminds me of a survey of priests that emphatically showed priests are ok with praying while smoking, but not with smoking while praying.
  • Someone proposes a flying car every now and then. As they are all only interpretation of past concepts, which did not work or were impractical. There was recently an article on why there will never be an practical realization. I hoped that will be the end of it. But obviously /. still did not get the message and now another lame story on the topic appeared.

  • Much like Duke Nukem Forever, I'll believe it when I can buy it.

    I noticed they don't have a pricetag anywhere. I suspect this toy will be one of those toys that most normal people can't afford.

  • by AC-x ( 735297 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @04:32AM (#48081243)

    I wish they'd stop calling roadable aircraft "flying cars".

    Flying car: Something that allows you to take off from your home and fly directly to your destination.
    Roadable aircraft: An aircraft that you can drive to and from local airports.

    It's good for people who already fly light aircraft (no more worrying about transport once you fly to your destination), useless for the rest of us.

  • Never forget why we don't have flying cars already. After all, strapping wings to a car is not particularly difficult. Doing so and not dying in the process is another matter.

    http://world.std.com/~jlr/doom/blake.htm

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