For decades, flying cars and ships have been the thing of sci-fi flicks, but Slovakian-born vehicle manufacturer, AeroMobil, is promising to change that. The company has announced its readiness to launch its long-awaited revolutionary vehicle that – as suggested by its name – will be able to fly. AeroMobil is planning to showcase its product at Top Marques Monaco, the world’s most exclusive supercar show, on April 20.
Following the expo, interested customers shall be able to place pre-orders later in the year, although the cost of the units wasn’t revealed. The transformable vehicle can take up to two passengers, and measures 19.8 feet (6 meters) long and expands to 27 feet (8 meters) when the wings are extended, weighing 1,323 lbs (600 kilograms) when empty. The AeroMobil flies at a maximum speed of 124 miles (199 kilometers) per hour, drives at a maximum speed of 99 miles (159 kilometers) per hour and stalls at a maximum speed of 37 miles (59.5 kilometers) per hour. It consumes consumes up to 29.4 miles per gallon (US) (12.4 kilometers per liter) for driving and 4.0 US gallon (15 liters) per hour when flying.
“We wanted to create something with only one hat on, not a car hat or a plane hat. I don’t like compromise,” says Chief Product Architect Štefan Klein. “It is the most amazing feeling of freedom to be able to drive through the town and five minutes later be up in the air, flying away.” In the late 1980s, as college students, Klein and his friend Juraj Vaculik, who is now AeroMobil’s Chief Executive Officer, used to daydream about freedom in the Soviet-controlled Bratislava.
“During our student years, we wondered if we would ever be able to travel there. Different ideas were created. And one was born in Štefan’s head: why not have a flying car?” Vaculik remembers.
Years later, Vaculik’s romantic passion as a drama student joined with Klein’s scientific mind as a design engineering student, and they joined forces to create AeroMobil.
Other flying vehicles include Terrafugia, which the co-founders claim will be quite different than the AeroMobil. While Terrafugia’s vehicle is designed to be a plane with wings that retract for short driving distances, Vaculik and Klein say AeroMobil’s unique edge lies in the vehicle’s design as a fully transformable vehicle that is suitable to both drive and fly as well as any mono-use rival.