When it comes to cars, the human imagination has always gone beyond the ordinary and conventional. The future of transportation has moved much above the ground level literally, welcome to the new generation cars that are capable of flying. What once was a dream of many has finally become a reality; human beings can imagine themselves flying a car in the future. This idea of flying car that was merely restricted to cartoons and animated films is now steadily taking form of reality. Flying car is capable of flying as well as running on road; it is a roadable aircraft. The two modes can be operated manually as well as automatically, these cars might be a little out of budget for many, but the idea of flying car is priceless and very exciting. Thus, to floor the few already excited flying car buffs, we have listed bellow the five best flying cars closest to becoming real, and the technology behind them.
The Terrafugia Transition is a flying car to look out for- it has the looks, power, and beauty that the owner can always admire. This flying car was under development by Terrafugia since 2006 and now finally the production has started. This roadable aircraft has a flight range of 787 kilometer and can reach up to a speed of 172 km/h. This invention runs on automotive grade gasoline. On road, it can go up to the speed of 105 km/h on any road surface whereas as far as flying is concerned, it requires 1700 foot of runway to take off. The transition time between driving and flying is just 20 seconds, the wings of this aircraft are fold-able and thus it can fit inside any standard garage. The cost of Terrafugia’s Transition is about $250,000, but this is not a deterrent for people interested in buying the machine; it already has about 100 bookings.
Technology behind the Terrafugia Transition
Terrafugia Transition has a sleek carbon-fiber body powered by a Rotax 912S piston engine, which is a 100 hp (75 kW) engine. The engine is water and air-cooled, has four cylinders, four-stroke, gear reduction-drive engine, all of which are used primarily in a certified aircraft. The car has 1.98 meter high, 2.29 meter wide and 5.95-meter long fold-able wings, thus it can fit into a standard garage easily. The engine tends to power the rear wheel drive during the driving mode and as far as the flying mode is concerned, the engine drives a pusher propeller. The propeller is placed at the rear side of the fuselage. The propeller and engine of Transition can be easily mounted in the wings of the road-able aircraft. The technology used in Transition has earlier been used in many aircrafts.
Moller M400 Skycar
Moller M400 Skycar has been developed by Moller International; this was the first and the only possible Personal Vehicle Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) vehicle in the world. Moller M400 has a top speed of 375 miles per hour and can go for 20 miles on one gallon of ethanol fuel. The price of this mighty car is estimated to be anything around a whopping $1 million, but it still is in the developmental stage. However when the mass production will start, the price might come down to $60,000. Moller M400 will have a sitting capacity of four people. The length of Moller M400 will be around 5.9 meter and 2.3 meter in height. The width of the wings of this flying car will be around 2.6 meter only.
Technology behind the Moller M400 Skycar
The Moller M400 has two hand-operated controls through which the pilot can guide the computer control system about the desired flight maneuvers. This vehicle does not use the traditional fixed wing airplane technology. For the purpose of take off, the air is deflected in vertical direction by the ducted fans. For the forward motion of the flight, the wind is deflected sideways. The vehicle gets its power from the eight small 120 horsepower Rotapower engines. These engines have a direct drive to the propulsion fan, which contains Kevlar-lined housings. Moller M400 also has four engine nacelles, each of which has two computer controllable Rotapower engines, which tend to perform independently. The Rotapower Wankel engine will come with added incentives, as it will be able to operate on any fuel.
The lightweight Parajet Skycar has looks to die for; the size of this car is quite an incentive. It has dynamic handling facility and thus offers the user peak performance. This car is essentially for drivers looking out for a purist's driving experience and is a great adventure vehicle as it offers ultimate performance on sand dunes and rocky terrains as well as the city roads. It needs a runway of only 200 meters to take off. It has ram-air wings and is much safer to fly than the other aircraft as in case the engine fails this vehicle will gently glide down instead of diving and bumping on the ground. The transition of Parajet Skycar from a car to aircraft would require a time of only three minutes. The maximum speed of Skycar is 100 miles per hour and the flying speed is an impressive 200 miles per hour.
Technology behind the Parajet Skycar
This amazing roadable aircraft makes use of a paramotor and a parawing, thus offering a sustained level flight. In case the engine fails, the aircraft will slowly glide to the ground ensuring safety of passengers. There is also a ballistic reserve parachute, which would deploy in case of any system failure. The frame of skycar comprises of motor, propeller, harness (with integrated seat), and cage. The vehicle is powered by a Parajet XT aero single cylinder 2 stroke, 22hp @ 7,800 rpm, air-cooled, 172 cc engine. Single point ignition system is used in Parajet skycar.
The easy to use I-Fly Maverick is designed and developed by I-TEC. I-Fly is capable of being driven on public roads and can also fly easily. Courtesy the innovative wing deployment system, the flight preparation is easy and quick. It also has unique maneuvering capabilities. This road-able aircraft weighs about 1100 pounds and has airspeed of 40 miles per hour. The best part is that this car is capable of going 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. The price of I-Fly Maverick is expected to be anything around $84,000.
Technology behind the I-Fly Maverick
The Maverick is equipped with the "largest powered parachute" certified by the FAA and is capable of interstate speeds on the pavements. This vehicle has a buggy like frame made up of tubes of an alloy of chromium and molybdenum, which provides this vehicle great strength. The I-Fly Maverick is capable of deploying a parafoil and can fly easily like a powered parachute. Thanks to its unique wind deployment system, Maverick is capable of taking off and landing easily along with the crosswind. Maverick is powered by a Subaru 2.5L 190 hp fuel injected and water-cooled engine that utilizes normal gasoline fuel.
DARPA’s four-seater flying car by AVX
AVX Aircraft has come up with an amazing four-seater flying car that has a dual rotor and ducted fan. This vehicle will be able to fly at 10,000 feet at the speed of 80 mph, covering a distance of 250 miles on single fuel. The road speed of this flying car would be around 140 mph. As far as the transition time from a car to aircraft is concerned, it will be less than 60 seconds. This concept car will also have non-pilot mode with a very high intuitive level. Propulsion will be provided in air as well as on ground, thanks to the dual ducted fans of AVX (TX).
Technology behind AVX (TX)
AVX (TX) has a unique helicopter configuration; it is loaded with dual ducted fans and coaxial rotor. It has great aerodynamic efficiency, range, speed, fuel efficiency and is at par with any conventional helicopter. It has a RRC30R/3 engine and OH-58/AVX main rotor having a pair of three bladed counter rotating rotors positioned vertically; the blades have a diameter of 42 inches. The coaxial rotor helps in making this car a stable and easy to fly aircraft. As far as the directional controls and the longitudinal acceleration are concerned, it is taken care of by the two-ducted fans that rotate in clockwise direction.