Ever since The Jetsons teased us with flying cars, we've been awaiting their arrival. Finally, a Slovakian firm has answered our childhood fantasies with a plane-car hybrid that could revolutionize travel.
At a trade show in Vienna last week, AeroMobil showed off an almost market-ready prototype that can zip from the ground to the sky in a matter of moments. Dubbed the AeroMobil 3.0, the two-person vehicle can retract its wings and transform into a sleek roadster. One tank of gas can cover 430 miles in the air or 540 miles on the ground.
Still not impressed? Take a look at this snazzy video.
Compared with the first two prototypes, the 3.0 is especially light and compact thanks to the use of carbon-fiber materials. It can climb up to 9,800 feet and fly as fast as 125 mph or drive at speeds up to 100 mph.
Of course, as soon as we start talking about flying cars, a slew of safety concerns come into play, but AeroMobil's engineers have apparently loaded the vehicle with safety features and fail-safe equipment.
"With installed GPS and autopilot devices, an emergency parachute system, and a complete, street-legal set of LED headlights and turn signals, the revolutionary contraption is now the closest of its kind to be ready for public use," PSFK notes.
The AeroMobil has been "pre-certified" by Slovakia's Civil Aviation Authority, however it's unclear when it will be available for sale.
"What people need to know is that certification can take years and tests can take a lot of time," Stefan Vadocz, head of the company's PR, told the Washington Post. "We are ready to start and if we have to change the headlights because of the angle how they beam, we'll do what we need to. But I think what we have now is pretty close."
Close enough to finally get us excited about the reality of flying cars, at least.