It doesn’t matter if they’re practical or safe or reasonable. Everyone dreams of a flying car straight out of Back to the Future. It looked like Aeromobil was about to deliver on those dreams, but they’re facing a setback after the flying car crashed during a test flight on Friday.
The vehicle was being piloted by company co-founder and test pilot Stefan Klein when witnesses say it went into a tailspin. Klein was able to deploy a ballistic parachute system which helped reduce the damage from the impact and was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. He was later released. That’s the good news.
The bad news is the flying car. It didn’t fare as well as Klein with photos from the crash showing a seriously mangled vehicle that’s not going to be flying anywhere anytime soon.
Aeromobil has been in the news a lot recently for its promise that this isn’t some pipe dream, but a real product that’s in the final stages of testing before being available to the public. The Slovakian company has already made several prototypes and even filmed a successful takeoff and landing. Plans were to have the vehicle for sale as early as next year.
The vehicle has collapsible carbon-fiber wings which tuck back against its body when it’s on the road as a car. All the operator needs to do is push a button and it switches from driving to flying mode. It needs about 656 feet of open space to get up to the minimum takeoff speed of 80 MPH and then the flying car becomes a reality.
This crash is not good news, but the people at Aeromobil say these setbacks are to be expected as a part of the testing process for an experimental vehicle. In their official statement, they say they’ll be analyzing all the data from the 900-foot crash to figure out exactly what went wrong.
Once they’ve evaluated all that data, they’ll make any necessary improvements and keep right on testing the same vehicle. Damaged parts will be replaced, adjustments will be made, and the Aeromobil 3.0 prototype will be right back on the road and in the air.
Your flying car is coming, it’s just going to take a little while before they work out all those pesky kinks.