Over 100 years ago at the 1902 world fair, an exhibit predicted that the future of transportation would be flying cars. While most people laughed at that idea back then, others thought by the turn of the century, most transportation would be airborne. While it has taken longer than many expected for that vision to become reality, it looks like flying automobiles are finally here.
Several Manufacturers are Introducing Flying Vehicles
In the last few years, several companies have detailed formal plans to build flying cars. This includes industry giants like Volvo and smaller European and U.S. companies. British firm Vehicle Redesign Company, or VRCO, is planning to develop an amphibious flying vehicle that has a top speed of 210 mph. Even more impressive, the car can take off vertically.
The new start-up perhaps has the most ambitious plans of any of the so called “flying cars” coming to market. The manufacturer, based in Nottingham England, hopes to be the first company to launch a flying car in the next 2 years.
Not only can the vehicle fly, but it can also travel on roads and in the water. This is a design first. Most concept cars that fly can only be operated on the road. The NeoXcraft has taken transport to another level, with a vehicle that can take off and go just about anywhere. It has an aggressive design more like an exotic sports car. Insurers like YoungAmericaInsurance.net and Geico already have plans to add flying automobiles to their business. No doubt the premiums for these specialty cars are going to be expensive.
The NeoXcraft Will Have Folded Wings
The NeoXCraft looks like something out of a James Bond movie 20 years from now. It uses 4 high-powered fans that propel the car-plane to speeds of 200 mph. In a unique feat of engineering, the fans fold down and are used as wheels when in driving mode. The company intends to develop autonomous software, so the plane can drive and fly by itself.
When in plane mode, it will fly at 1,000 to 3,000 feet, for 1 hour. Weight is also carefully controlled. There is a maximum flying weight of about 400 pounds. The NeoXCraft can be parked or docked at your home. With a vertical take-off, there is no need for an airport or long runway. This is what sets it apart from all the other competitors.
The NeoXCraft is not cheap, to say the least. It comes with a hefty price tag of $2 Million. The multi-million-dollar price has not stopped more than 100 people from putting down orders. While the amphibious machine is at the top of the market in both performance and price, other companies are planning to roll out more affordable flying cars.
Volvo Plans to Launch a Flying Automobile
The parent company of Volvo, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is planning on launching a flying automobile as early as 2019. The Chinese company recently bought a U.S. start-up Terrafugia Inc. The small company was founded by 5 MIT grads. The start-up plans to release the first model in 2019, with a price tag of about $200,000. That comes in at a fraction of the price other competitors, like the NeoXCraft offer. The company’s long-term goal is to launch autonomous flying vehicles that can take-off vertically and fly for more than an hour.
With all the congestion on the roadways, flying cars would be a welcome sight. With so many technology changes taking place every day, it really won’t be a surprise when Freshmen kids today go to their senior proms four years from now in a flying limousine.