Clouds_in_car's_front_windowThe idea of a flying car is not new at all. From the French authors Jules Verne and Exupery to the Jetsons, the flying machine appears to have caught people’s imaginations for centuries.

The technology is now a step closer. A company called AeroMobil, based in Bratislava, Slovakia has unveiled a production-ready version of its flying car at the Pioneers Festival, an annual conference on innovation, held at Hofburg Palace in Venna, Austria.

The Aeromobil 3.0 is a result of continuous work and has been in development for more than twenty decades. The prototype of the flying car was created by a Slovak designer Stefan Klein, founder and head of the Department of Transport Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Slovakia. He has been working on the concept more than two decades. The Aeromobil 3.0 is the company’s third working prototype.

By starting AeroMobil in 2010, the project was commercialized. Three years later, a previous version of the car was certified for use in Slovakia by Civil Aviation Authority and began testing in real flight conditions.

Juraj Vaculik, co-founder and AeroMobil chief executive, says at a press conference that the technology is available, however “the biggest challenge has always been meeting the standards of regulators” because “nothing is in place to deal with something like a flying car” and the important is that the Slovakian government supports the project.

The latest version is currently undergoing testing certification in Slovakia and according to the company’s officials the Aeromobil 3.0 is close to be commercially available. The previous prototype 2.5 made its first flight only a year ago.

The rear-mounted propeller is powered by a 100-horsepower, four-cylinder Rotax 912 aircraft engine. In the air the flying car can reach top speeds of 124 mph and a range of 430 miles. 19.7 feet long with 27-foot wingspan, the Aeromobil can fly at an altitude of 9.800 feet, consuming 15 liters of petrol per hour.

After landing, the wings fold behind the cabin and the top speed drops to around 100 mph with a range of 540 miles. The Aeromobil 3.0 needs very little runway to take off and it can be refueled at any standard gas station.

There is a dual navigation system inside the two-seat cockpit which allows the driver to switch from steering wheel to piloting mode easily. It has an autopilot and an advanced parachute deployment system.

Built from advanced composite materials, the prototype features a steel chassis and a carbon fiber body that keep it lightweight and at the same time durable.

Only six meters long, it can fit into the average city street parking space. However, keep in mind, if you buy the Aeromobil 3.0, you will need both a driver’s and a pilot’s license.

You can see a video of the Aeromobil 3.0 here.

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