back to article Flying cars will take to the skies in 2017, if government allows

A Czech firm thinks it's finally solved one of the tech world's most desirable objects, the flying car, and says the first consumer vehicles will be ready to lift off by 2017, government regulations permitting. Youtube Video Speaking at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, the AeroMobil company founder Juraj …

  1. andreas koch
    Coat

    Don't

    please.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Won't

      Won't happen.

      Flying Cars are the poster child of lies and broken schedules.

      In a related point, I've just ordered up a cartridge of Flying Car Paste for my 3D printer. Yep, and I went for the fusion-powered option. I can't wait until it arrives so I'll be able to 3D print my new, complete, ready to fly, fusion-powered flying car. It'll even 3D print the tires already inflated to 35 PSI, and the engine already warmed up. Because as you know, you can 3D print ANYTHING...

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Won't

        I can't wait until it arrives

        For ten quid more you could've gone with the matter transmission option.

      2. PNGuinn
        Stop

        Re: Won't

        But can you print frikking lasers now then?

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: Won't

          Yeh, but not the shark to go with it.

  2. Ole Juul

    Crash

    Every flying car venture seems to come to the same end - crashing into government regulations.

    I would love to see one of these flying car stories without the word "if" in it.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Crash

      "Every flying car venture seems to come to the same end - crashing into government regulations."

      And this is why smart investors stay away; there is absolutely no way that flying can ever be de-regulated to the level that some of these companies expect, so their market projections are just pie-(not)-in-the-sky.

    2. Vector

      Re: Crash

      It's because the terminology is wrong. This, like every other concept I've seen, is not a flying car. It's a drivable airplane.

      ...and it looks really cramped too!

    3. PNGuinn
      Holmes

      Re: Crash

      I'd say crashing into gvt regulations is is probably not the main problem ...

  3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    The flying car

    Perpetually "only two years away".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The flying car

      Airplane + Auto = A good laugh

      Similar to:

      Golf club + Pool cue

      Washing machine + Rock tumbler

      Jet ski + Motorcycle

      1. gregthecanuck

        Re: The flying car

        Chocolate + peanut butter seemed to work out OK, though. ;-)

        1. toxicdragon

          Re: The flying car

          As did golf club + hip flask.

      2. AbelSoul

        Re: Jet ski + Motorcycle

        Your post got me thinking that I'd actually quite like one of those and a quick search turned up this.

        1. MrXavia

          Re: Jet ski + Motorcycle

          no you want this

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIzOcJwQ7WA

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Jet ski + Motorcycle

            no you want this

            Yes. Yes I do. Normally I have no interest in quadbikes / ATVs or jetskis, but that amphibious Gibbs number is actually useful. It would go very nicely with my island vacation home, as soon as I get one of those.1

            Is that the same one Clarkson drove in Top Gear, when he raced against Hamster in the Alfa?

            1Actually, here in Michigan, island vacation cabins can be had for very reasonable prices. Though it probably makes more sense to rent one.

  4. gregthecanuck

    I keep rooting for Moller to finally get some decent funding. Lots of decent ideas and lots of basic engineering has been done. Their new rotary engine design looks brilliant!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Musk is a lot like Moller, but slightly better in every way.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I can see the mayhem now...

    The potential for idiots in the air.. taking selfies and texting... But.. maybe the price will keep most of them on the ground.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: I can see the mayhem now...

      maybe the price will keep most of them on the ground.

      There are enough rich "idiots" to darken the skies with swarms of these things. What will keep them on the ground is lack of a pilot's license.

      1. fajensen Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: I can see the mayhem now...

        Or maybe the antique but lovingly restored Flak 34 I keep in my shed just for this occasion?

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I can see the mayhem now...

      The restriction most likely to make them fail is the [sudden] introduction of the need for a CPL + 500hours flying time before you are allowed to buy one.

      That would stop most of the idiots but not all.

      Those who 'pimp' their Fiesta's will still find a way to get airborne. Just a fact of life.

      Second thought, make it easy for them to get flying. They'll soon become extinct.#

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can see the mayhem now...

        "Second thought, make it easy for them to get flying. They'll soon become extinct."

        Exactly! What are we waiting for? I have a similar idea concerning would be jihadis trying to get to Syria, for whom I propose a mandatory sentence of transportation to Syria.

        The only remaining problem is how to get politicians recruited to either scheme.

  6. Stumpy Pepys
    Thumb Down

    Lordy

    Seeing how badly many people drive in two dimensions, I shudder to think what havoc they could cause in three (unless these things fly themselves or drivers are required to get pilot's licenses).

    1. frank ly

      Re: Lordy

      "... grass runways could be built beside roads ..."

      Imagine the possibilities. You probably have.

    2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: Lordy

      unless these things fly themselves and drivers are required to get pilot's licenses

      FTFY

    3. The Crow From Below

      Re: Lordy

      You only drive in 2 dimensions? pfffrrrttttt clearly not trying hard enough.

      ***Dixie horn***

  7. werdsmith Silver badge

    I don't believe that draggy airframe will cruise at 125MPH with that pusher prop, more likely 125 is the Vne.

    Also, 81 MPH is a high rotate speed for this class of aircraft, so it is going to need some big fields.

    I suppose it gives the trip option though, to return if the weather changes. Convention flight only light aircraft are easily grounded by bad weather for most private pilots. Which is a real pain if you hop over to Le Touquet on a Sunday morning, to find in the afternoon unforecast low cloud and rain is in the channel. You are left with a few choices: 1. get accommodation and wait for the weather to clear (could be days and your passengers need to get home); 2. leave the aircraft where it is and return by ferry/tunnel/train; 3. Lie to French ATC about your instrument rating and risk the trip back illegally and uninsured with danger of death.

    None of them are very convenient options.

    So folding back the wings and driving on to a ferry would work nicely as a cure for get-home-itis.

    1. stucs201

      Also, 81 MPH is a high rotate speed for this class of aircraft

      Indeed, it's only 7mph off time-travel speed.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Also, 81 MPH is a high rotate speed for this class of aircraft, so it is going to need some big fields."

      Are you assuming only the airscrew is used to get up to speed? Maybe you just shift up to 7th gear to spin the prop once you drive up to speed?

      Personally, I dunno, don't care. CBA to look for the details. Just sayin'

  8. hplasm Silver badge
    Coat

    Don't worry-

    In the Uk they will soon be limited to 20MPH (10 in cities) so won't be able to get off of the ground - if the LibDems get in, of course... pfft.

    I'll get my cape-

  9. Richard 81

    I guess we need to wait for Google flying cars that fly themselves before these things go mainstream.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Ok...

    ...remind me how that going to even get close to UK (and EU) road regulations, let alone aviation ones.

  11. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Where we're going we don't need

    Roads...

    I did wonder if the solution to a lot of the flying car problems would be to use high performance electric drives rather than dead dinosaur juice aka petrochemicals.

    Sure have a small petrol engine as backup but only to recharge the battery and enough failsafes to make it idiot proof such as the ability to avoid storms etc.

    Some sort of comms mode would also be essential and using infrared backup so if the radio conked out then at least drivers could page each other "Turn 60 degrees north" etc.

  12. Sol Kahn

    umm terrafugia?

    nothing to see here, move along right over to http://www.terrafugia.com

  13. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    I picture this..

    Sitting in your living room watching television, when suddenly one of these smashes through and comes to rest, still with its left blinker on, while a surprised driver peers through the windscreen, still clutching their cell phone.

  14. damworker

    Or...

    Or I get a pilot's license, buy a light plane or helicopter and then arrange for a driverless car (only 2 years away...) or a taxi (available now) or a hire car to meet me at the local small (existing) runway near to my destination.

    The carplane is inherently a compromise, not least cost. It will be a rubbish plane and a really, really, rubbish car. If driverless cars become reality they will be much safer than an ordinary car making the idea of these even more ridiculous. If I can afford a car plane, I can afford a car and a plane.

    The only advantage it seems to have is that I don't have to pay storage fees at the local airport, a cost saving I'm sure would be wiped out by increased servicing costs. If you own a carplane you are definitely going to own (at least one) car as well.

    If there was a demand for these things all the local runways would offer onsite hire cars - anyone know if they do?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Or...

      Most grass field airports have at least 2000 by 75 feet of firm sod and a little extra because of the special technique required (soft field) because sod is relatively sticky. Most soft field airports in US don't offer onsite hire cars; they are available at a few thousand hard field airports in the US, but they often have to come out and pick you up. If you are a rock star then the uber limo will know where to pick you up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Or...

      > If there was a demand for these things all the local runways would offer onsite hire cars - anyone know if they do?

      Of course they do, given that there is sufficient traffic to sustain the hire car business (for which you usually need a mix of GA and CAT, mind). In the US it is (or used to be) common for FBOs to *loan* you a car for the duration of your stay. In Europe, it is customary for locals (or anyone else with a car) to offer a ride to visiting pilots, and at many places there will be bicycles to borrow or hire.

      Helps to know the subject a bit if you're going to make any assertions, as opposed to simply asking a question.

  15. fajensen Silver badge
    Trollface

    Google: "Russian Flying"

    It will be great!!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Airborne aviation"

    As opposed to road-bound automobile?

    1. Canecutter

      Re: "Airborne aviation"

      Yep! Just like female woman or male man.

    2. Rasslin ' in the mud

      Re: "Airborne aviation"

      The sub-headline was drafted by the Department of Redundancy Department, don'cha know?

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would hope

    ...that governments everywhere would understand what a horrible situation this would create as far as public safety is concerned and thus prevent this insanity from ever happening.

  19. Canecutter
    Meh

    Wow, I can finally have it.

    Finally! I can have my flying car.

    After all the decades of waiting, I can finally have and own an object that, at the push of a button, can change itself from the second most energy intensive means of conveyance, to the most energy intensive means of conveyance. How could you not like that, all you naysayers?

  20. WereWoof

    The MAJOR obstacle is getting a pilots licence which you WILL need to fly it. Seeing how people ignore rules of the road can you really see them flying these safely?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > The MAJOR obstacle is getting a pilots licence

      Microlight licence. No different from getting a car licence other than the price, perhaps twice-thrice as much.

  21. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

    Lots and lots of risk-averse people here! No doubt you'd still like a man with a red flag to walk in front of cars ...

    1. damworker

      I certainly would . Have you seen my wife's driving?

  22. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    "impressive"?

    As an earthbound car the AeroMobil isn't impressive as its maximum speed of around 99 miles an hour and range of around 545 miles won't excite.

    That's faster than I ever need to go, and further than I want to go without a pit stop. What's the problem? If they'd just get rid of the wings and prop and whole "airplane" thing, they might be able to cook up a perfectly decent car.

  23. 96percentchimp

    What problem does it solve?

    A range of 545 miles on the ground but only 435 miles flying, so you can go a shorter distance a little bit faster, but you'll have to drive to a runway first?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "A Czech firm" určitě to není !

    More like Slovaks, if you ask me: http://orsr.sk/vypis.asp?ID=219238&SID=2&P=0.

    And yes, I've Czeched the check registry too.

  25. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    2017

    Ha ha ha...

  26. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Re. 2017

    Predicted headline sometime in late 2017, "Flying cars banned after another multiple pile-up kills dozens" ...

  27. Rasslin ' in the mud
    Boffin

    Hey Everybody. Watch this!

    What I'm waiting to see is a video of one of these landing in a crosswind greater than 10 kts and at least 20 degrees off straight down the runway. I expect it will be interesting, exciting, and the aftermath will be ugly! Hence, the famous last words in the title.

  28. Shonko Kid
    WTF?

    "he could see the vehicles going fully automatic in a decade"

    Gah! If I'm going to drop $200k on a flying car, I'm going to have the excitement of flying the damn thing myself!

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