The Terrafugia flying car is perhaps the best known plane-car hybrid of recent times. Buy we have to admit it is not the most good looking or futuristic looking of vehicles. Also, full scale production is still several years away. Meanwhile, yet another flying car has entered the scene which not only promises the garage to the sky experience, but looks the part.
Not surprising, considering the Aeromobil 2.5 flying car is the creation of a Slovakian engineer who also happens to be an award winning designer. Aeromobil 2.5 has not reached the development stage the Terrafugia has achieved, but hopefully we'll have it on our roads in the future.
Aeromobil 2.5 is the third version of a concept flying car that has been in development for some 20 years.
Co-founder and chief designer Stefan Klein first started work on his Aeromobil design as back as 1990, though the design has gone through much change since then.
As you can see the Aeromobil 2.5 looks much like an advanced alien aircraft we see in the movies. One of the most appealing design feature is the elegant (not to mention, cool) way the wings are deployed and retracted. They are swept back to become part of the rear hang.
The Aeromobil 2.5 is front wheel driven, with two smaller wheels supporting the long rear hang.
The front cocoon or cockpit seats two, including the driver/pilot.
There are two sets of steering wheels, one within the other. The larger one is for driving on the road and the other for flight control.
Automobil 2.5 has a steel frame covered in carbon fiber body. This helps by limiting the weight to a mere 450 kg.
The engine powering the flying car is a 100 HP Rotax 912 unit mounted in the tail of the vehicle.
The rear mounted engine drives the front wheels via a shaft that runs the length of the vehicle. For flight the engine powers a propeller at the back.
Exact performance numbers have not been established yet, but its developers say the Aeromobil 2.5 has top speeds of 200 km/h and 160 km/h in flight and on-road respectively.
The claimed range is 700 km while flying and 500 km while driving. Automobil 2.5 has a claimed fuel economy of 15l/h and 13.3 km/l in flight and on-road respectively.
Aeromobil quotes a famous saying by Henry Ford from 1940 - "Mark my word: A combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile. But it will come."