An experimental copy of a flying car was unveiled in California by a company called Opener, the BBC writes. The BlackFly, according to the manufacturer, can do 40 kilometers at a time and have a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour. It is propelled by a total of eight small engines on two wings, and can accommodate one person in the passenger compartment.
The Opener is funded by Google co-founder Larry Page, as is a company called Kitty Hawk, which runs on a flying engine. It would be more accurate to talk about the development of both companies as a drone capable of transporting people, in the traditional way, i.e. they cannot even be used on the road, only in the air.
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The company says you won’t need a license to use BlackFly, but passenger pilots will have to do a training before they dive in and fly with it. This will certainly not hurt, because the vehicle can be steered manually in all three directions of the space, but it will also be able to drive on its own, according to CEO Marcus Leng.
The first BlackFly models will still be expensive, but the company says over time they won’t cost more than a sports car.
Of course, for a while, most of these vehicles will not be very much encountered in practice. In reality, however, this whole aerospace industry is not as far away as we might think: experts say new, lightweight materials, stronger batteries, and more advanced computer controls could be realized in as little as two decades. And the business model could be freight sharing, which can help with the problem that once they’re done, flying cars will be hellishly expensive at first, with one person just taking a university.
The other question is what little things need to be figured out by how to operate such a car reliably (it is basically inconvenient for the engine to stop, but it is more macular in the air than usual) or it is not yet clear what the TRAFFIC will do with vehicles flying over people and cities.