Because the automotive and aeronautical industry are pretty much the same age, there has never been a lack of visionaries considering the benefits of a mix between cars and airplanes.
But as the decades passed no one seemed to have made the breakthrough – though in recent years we can certainly say many have tried. Now aeronautical giant Airbus is ready to join the likes of backyard entrepreneurs or startup companies in the quest to finally resolve the traffic jam – via a flying car. According to CEO Tom Enders, a prototype for an Airbus flying car will actually start trials by the end of the year. The E^3 Project Vahana team – nice name – is working on a trial concept for a ‘piloted flying vehicle platform for individual passenger and cargo transport’, as described by the company.
Rodin Lyasoff, CEO of Airbus’s A^3 branch, is also keen to discuss the trials and tribulations of the Silicon Valley-based A^3 team, “Many of the technologies needed, such as batteries, motors and avionics are most of the way there.” This suggests the prototype will not only fly, but also b powered by electricity. Lyasoff is of course targeting with this product the myriad of mobility schemes planned by car manufacturers and others – let’s remember even Uber has been researching the idea of an autonomous electric flying car.