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It's a Bird. It's a Plane. No, It's a Flying Car (Finally)!

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“Mark my word: A combination of airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.” -- Henry Ford, 1940

Ever been hopelessly sandwiched in bumper-to-bumper traffic and fantasized about flying far, far away? As in actually pressing a button that magically releases a glorious pair of wings from your vehicle, escaping the infuriating gridlock below?

Then hang in there, weary road warriors. The car-plane of your wildest dreams could finally be here and taking flight soon. The “first genuine flying car” is now a reality, even if only as a prototype -- a fully functioning prototype, one that will eventually even offer autopilot.    

Related: Surprising Tricks: How to Sleep on a Plane

Beating Tesla’s Elon Musk, Terrafugia, and even DARPA to the punch, AeroMobil’s “Flying Roadster,” the AeroMobil 3.0, is slated to make its debut later this month.

The 19-foot-long, steel-framed blue and silver flying sports car (sorry, kid-toting moms and dads, it’s only a two-seater, no carpool for you) weighs just 992 pounds, one-quarter of the weight of a Hummer H3. With a somewhat disappointing top flight speed of only 124 miles per hour, the single Rotax 912 engine equipped Flying Roadster isn’t exactly a speed demon. Its top speed on the asphalt is 99 miles per hour.

Not bad, we suppose, for a car that flies.

Related: This In-Flight Gadget Prevents Pushy Passengers From Reclining Their Seats

All passengers have to do to extend the 27-foot wide (in total wingspan) collapsible wings and start the rear-mounted propeller is press the “transform” button, according to an article in Wired. Pretty cool, right?

For down-to-Earth road travel, the four-wheeled Transformer-like Flying Roadster’s long, lightweight carbon-fiber patented wings neatly tuck away behind its angular, pod-like cabin. Once back to its car state, the sleek airplane-automobile hybrid is compact enough to parallel park on a crowded city street. A single steering wheel, also patented, is used to fly and drive the craft.

Related: Hate Flying? This Dreamy (or Dorky) Virtual Reality Helmet Could Help You Escape the Experience.

Buckle up. Check it out:

 

 

AeroMobil co-founder and chief designer Stefan Klein imagined his first flying car 25 years ago as a way to escape the former Czechoslovakia, reports Wired.  He has since piloted several concept versions of his dream car-plane crossbreed, along with a pre-prototype. Klein aims to fulfill his initial orders sometime in 2016.

Still, it has a way to go before being as cool as Doc Brown’s flying DeLorean in Back to the Future.


Related: Elon Musk: 'Maybe We'll Make a Flying Car, Just For Fun'

Edition: December 2016

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