Flying car still in development...



Slovak tech firm AeroMobil won't be giving up on their mission to create a Jetsons-esque flying car, despite the crash landing of a prototype during a test flight last month.

The company hasn't disclosed exactly what went wrong with that May 8 flight, but after reaching an altitude of 900 feet (270 meters), inventor Stefan Klein, who was piloting the vehicle, had to deploy a parachute to slow the descent of the car in an "emergency landing"

But the inventors remain undaunted and are already developing a new prototype. AeroMobil says they hope to take preorders for their blue-and-white flying cars in 2017, with the first deliveries in 2018. They expect the cars to cost 500,000 euros ($560,000) or more.

In the meantime the company will have to obtain permission for commercial flying from the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The current model is six meters long and can fit in a garage or parking spaces, but once it reaches an airfield it can spread its wings quickly to convert to a small plane.

"It integrates two utilities in a similar way as a smartphone, which is a good phone and internet browser in one," AeroMobil spokesman Stefan Vadocz told AFP.

"In the past you needed two separate products."

The AeroMobil 3.0 — the prototype that crashed — will still be featured at the Milan Expo 2015.

That version runs on gasoline and seats two. It can reach a top ground speed of 99 MPH and has a range of 545 miles. In the air, that goes up to 124 MPH with a range of 435 miles.

It only needs about 650 feet of grass to take off, and 160 feet to land.

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