2018 might have been the year of the flying car, as a number of companies introduced their plans and models for flying cars.
In July, Rolls Royce announced a new innovation - the electronic vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (EVTOL). The EVTOL can fly up to 500 miles, and has a max speed of 250 mph. The vehicle will use gas turbine technology in order for it to self-charge electronically. Rolls-Royce wants to finalize the engineering operations for this model by the mid-2020s.
Aston Martin announced that it will partner with Cranfield University and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to develop a luxury flying car with a top speed of 200 mph. The vehicle would be hybrid-electric, and capable of vertical take-off and landing capabilities, which could allow it to travel inter-city.
Recently, Uber announced a partnership with NASA to experiment with flying cars. The ride-sharing network plans to complete the project by around 2020. It plans to construct an electric two-to four-seat vehicle that can transport passengers up to 60 miles with a pilot. The partnership with NASA is was initially started to focus on general modeling and simulations. Now, it has progressed into real-world airspace strategy planning.
Kitty Hawk flying car company reached the final stage of completion in June of its Kitty Hawk Flyer, which is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page. It is said that he has invested $100 million in the California-based company, which has already taken pre-orders for the newest model and will be offering test flights for potential buyers. The single-seat, 10-propeller vehicle does not require a pilot’s license. The aircraft can fly 20 mph at 10 feet in the air for up to 20 minutes if fully charged.
Porsche is also trying to produce flying cars. Porsche plans to create a model that allows passengers to have some operative control while in flight, without a pilot’s license. Ideas for this model have been considered in the company’s “Strategy 2025” plan and are still in a very early stage.
Blackfly is a small Venture Capital-backed Silicon Valley startup that has attracted funding from a number of Google executives:
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Written by Koray Williams & Edited by Rachel Weissman & Alexander Fleiss