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Watch a science fiction film and you’re sure to see a flying car. We’ve been dreaming of flying cars since before there were even cars. But it’s always been just a bit out of reach. Today, several companies are working on using drone technology to create personal flying vehicles. Here’s some of the most promising.
The PAL-V Liberty is a gyrocopter that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018. You need a pilot’s license to fly it, and it can’t lift off and land vertically, you need a little forward momentum to drive. It runs on regular gasoline and can get 37 miles per gallon on the ground and 310 miles in the air.
The company Kitty Hawk, financed by Google co-founder Larry page, has introduced the Kitty Hawk Flyer, which is basically a giant jet ski featuring 10 open rotary blades and pontoons instead of wheels, so you have to land on water. It’s a battery electric vehicle that’s computer controlled so that literally anybody could fly one of these things.
The Flyer will be followed up with the Cora, a 2-seater vertical take off and landing vehicle (VTOL) that works like an air taxi. It’s also fully electric and can carry 400 pounds of people and cargo at a max speed of 110 miles per hour.
The Terrafugia Transition has foldable wings that spread out when it’s time to fly. Changeover from driving takes about a minute, and it costs around $400,000. You also need a pilot’s license to fly the Transition.
DeLorean Aerospace is run by the nephew of the famous John Delorean of Back to the Future fame. They’re working on a VTOL vehicle with a cool design.
Urban Aeronautics out of Israel has a couple of models they are working on, including the X-Hawk powered by two ducted fans carrying only two passengers. The Cityhawk is a larger variant that could be used for urban rescue missions.