A new flying car has been unveiled in Japan by NEC
Corp. While it is essentially a drone with four propellers, the company says it
will be capable of carrying people. Even though the prototype only hovered for a
minute, it did fly and marks another impressive development in the hotly
debated area of future transport.
Over the last few years in Japan, a number of small,
passionate flying car communities have emerged. They believe that Japan has the
engineering knowledge and the right environment to succeed (and lead) a global
flying car industry. Venture capitalists in Japan have set up a fund called the
‘Drone Fund’ which is purely for investing purposes into autonomous aircraft and
flying car companies.
Flying cars are once again a hot topic of discussion but this time it involves Metro Skyways, a subsidiary of Israel’s Urban Aeronautics (UA). The company has announced that they are going into the full-scale development of the CityHawk VTOL flying car. The first manned flights of this hybrid-powered six-seater will take place in 2021 followed by full FAA certification. They plan to convert the CityHawk to run on hydrogen fuel cells after the launch.
Urban Aeronautics Ltd has developed advanced aerodynamic technologies that form the basis of a new internal rotor (ducted fan) aircraft known as Fancraft™. They capitalise on their extensive portfolio through two subsidiary companies, Tactical Robotics Ltd and Metro Skyways Ltd. Both companies are developing unique Fancraft™ for specific markets. The CityHawk, wingless flying car with “land anywhere” technology is their latest project and looks impressive, to say the least. Continue reading →
Flying cars have been in the news all over the world and competition is rife to produce the first commercial model. Besides finding the perfect balance between road and air capabilities, companies need to contend with legal, safety and regulatory issues. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Dutch company PAL-V certainly raised some eyebrows with their road-legal Liberty flying car.
Firmly in the driving seat of innovation, the PAL-V Liberty is set to undergo compliance demonstrations after the Geneva Motor Show. This is the final step in the certification process where we could very well see the world’s first flying car take to the skies as early as 2019. Continue reading →