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Transport / Mass transit

Flying car prototype unveiled in Vienna

Self-driving cars are all very well and good, if you ignore the fact that they can’t spot potholes or drive in the rain. Today, though, an even more satisfyingly futuristic prototype was unveiled at a conference in Vienna: a flying car.

The “Aeromobil 3.0” is the size of a saloon car, can fit in a normal parking space and fuels up at normal petrol stations. It also features fold-away wings and would draw a few glances on the school run. 

 

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Here’s a rousing video showing the car taking off and landing (includes appropriately grandiose music): 

 

Watch as the plucky Aeromobil gleefully flies past a sad, landlocked plane:

Unfortunately, the car won’t allow you to fly your way out of traffic jams, as takeoff and landing require a 50 metre strip of grass. As a result, owners may also need to invest in their own private field to avoid pissing off local farmers.

The prototype had its first test flight last week. Today, the car’s creators told the Pioneers conference in Vienna that, once on the market, the car could “change personal transport on a global scale”, and could be particularly useful in developing countries with weaker road infrastructure. 

However, Stefan Vadocz, one of the designers, told the New York Times back in August that  the car will be sold as a “superluxury vehicle” for “a few hundred thousand euros”. Not quite personal transport for the masses, then. 
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