A personal flying car is perfect for someone always on the move who can’t keep their feet on the ground.
California start-up Kitty Hawk has developed the first flying car and has opened an order book with hopes the idea takes off.
“Our mission is to make the dream of personal flight a reality. We believe when everyone has access to personal flight, a new, limitless world of opportunity will open up to them,” says the company’s web site.
“We’re announcing our first prototype of The Flyer, a personal flying machine that will become available for sale by the end of 2017.”
The company’s video will bring many potential buyers back down to earth.
Prototype is not a good looker
The flying car looks more like a motorbike attached to a raft with floats and pontoons for water landing.
Designed to fly at 25 mph at a height of 15 feet, the Kitty Hawk personal flyer gives a pilot limited options unless they have a lake or a lot of land – or a clear route into working near a landing strip.
Powered by eight rotors like a drone, the vehicle weighs in at about 100 kilos.
The price is yet to be revealed, but would-be pilots must pay $100 to join a three-year waiting list to gain a $2,000 discount on their own personal flying machine, which suggests a hefty price tag.
“The go-to-market flyer will have a different design than the prototype flyer that appears in photos and videos,” says the company.
Foreign buyers can ship the flyer abroad – providing they take delivery in the US and sort out the arrangements.
“The flyer may be flown in uncongested areas of the US and is designed to be flown over fresh water,” says the company. “No pilot licence is needed in the US.”
Meanwhile, a German company is about to bring a five-seat flying taxi to market.
The jet-powered aircraft can vertically take off and and land (VTOL).
With a range of 300 km and a speed of 300 kmh, the developer Lilium, says theirs is the only electric aircraft that is jet-propelled with VTOL capabilities.
“We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point,” Lilium Chief Executive Daniel Wiegand said.