Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's AeroMobil 3!
Almost every single depiction of the future in science fiction has one thing in common: flying cars. From Star Wars, to the Fifth Element, to the Jetsons, the consensus was that we would all be flying in our cars rather than driving them by now.
But then, rather disappointingly, that never happened.
In some ways flying cars seem to make a lot of sense: they'd completely eliminate traffic, they'd let us travel directly to our destinations and we could get rid of roads. All that and it would be a lot of fun too… But at the same time, flying cars also make no sense. Can you really imagine having cars flying around left right and center? Crashing into buildings and each other and raining down scrap metal on the public below? Fuel emissions would be through the roof and you'd have to constantly duck as they came into land. They'd be almost impossible to regulate… chaos would ensue.
That and the technology is generally not viable.
Despite all these obstacles though, the AeroMobil is poised to become available to the general public and is 100% the flying car we all imagined. But better, because it's a transformer. It was demoed on October 29th at the Pioneers Festival in Austria and it looked frankly incredible.
What is AeroMobil?
AeroMobil is a flying car that can fly for 430 miles on one tank of petrol. At the same time though, the wings can fold down allowing it to drive as a normal car and even to park in regular parking spaces!
What might surprise you is that this is actually the third generation of the craft which has been in development since 1990. This current model looks every bit as futuristic as it actually is though, with a sleek silver and blue paint job and slanted blue windshield. From the front you might be forgiven for thinking it was a regular, if rather unique, looking car. From the back though it looks more like a plane with tail wings and even a propeller. In a video it was seen driving through city streets and then taking off seamlessly into the air. The video pronounces the AeroMobil 3 to be:
'Stylish, comfortable for both the driver and passenger, and with the performance of a sports car with the qualities of an 'ultralight''
That all sounds great, right? So when can you get your hands on one?
Sadly, the dream of a Jetson's style flying car in your garage may still be a little way off. For starters, AeroMobil would need access to an airport for takeoff and landing as it would need a long runway. It would also need a pilot's license in order to fly.
What this means is that your average Joe is unlikely to get a go soon – but it could theoretically be used by commuting short-haul airline pilots as well as by hobbyists who love the idea of taking the kids on a family day out in their flying car. The car will need a little refinement before the latter is possible though, seeing as the wings currently cut into the back seat when folded down.
So, you probably won't be able to fly your own car just yet. That said, it's not completely off the table that you might someday be able to do something close and there's actually a very good chance that one day you'll be able to look up in the air for just a moment, think you've stumbled into a science fiction future…