A flying car developed in the US has been given the go-ahead to take to the skies.
The Samson Switchblade has received the rubber stamp from the FAA, America’s government aviation authority, to start flight testing.
After 14 years of development, the Switchblade is now conducting final high-speed taxi testing prior to flight testing.
Oregon-based Samson Sky say 2,100 people have made reservations for the vehicle, which comes in a DIY kit form.
Each Switchblade Kit includes engine, transmission, avionics, interiors and Samson Builder Assist Program.
The Switchblade is a three wheel, street-legal vehicle that you keep parked in your garage.
You drive it from your garage to a nearby airport. Once there, the wings swing out and the tail extends in under three minutes.
You then fly your registered aircraft to the airport nearest your destination – at up to 306 km/h and 21,000 km.
Then you simply land, transform your flying sports car back to driving mode – the wings and tail safely stowed and protected – and drive to your final destination.
For the high-speed taxi tests, the wings were removed from the vehicle, so there would be no chance that the vehicle would start to go airborne.
Sam Bousfield, CEO of Samson Sky and designer of the Switchblade, explains: ‘Our take-off speed is predicted to be 88 mph, meaning that’s the speed we need to hit, at which point the Switchblade would begin to lift off the ground.
‘Out of the fastest of 10 speed runs, our test driver took the Switchblade to 98 mph, which confirmed what the team saw on the instruments, videos and engine computer data — the Switchblade handled and performed very well.’
Samson Sky say the reservation list for the Switchblade has reached 2100, with reservation holders in 52 countries, and in all 50 states in the U.S..
The company say: ‘Early adopters include NASA engineers, airline pilots, entrepreneurs, etc. The recent FAA approval has attracted 360 new Reservations in just the past few weeks – and it’s notable that 58% of them are not yet pilots.’
‘Artists dream the future, and that future is filled with flying cars,’ says Bousfield.
‘If you share that dream, the Switchblade was designed for you.’
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