- A flying sports car that can fly up to 200 mph has received regulatory approval to begin testing
- Switchblade has been in development for 14 years and is currently reserved by 2,100 people
- Each vehicle will come as a kit, costing £145,000, as 51 percent needs to be built by the buyer.
- The pilot will be required to hold both a pilot’s and a driving license and fly from a private or public airport
After 14 years of development, the world’s first three-wheeled flying sports car – the Switchblade – has finally been approved to begin flight testing.
Built by Samson Sky, the prototype vehicle can fly at speeds of up to 200 mph (322 kph) and is built from a DIY kit.
While on the ground, the Switchblade cabs on its three wheels and, at just 16.8 feet (5.1 m) in length and 6 feet (1.8 m) wide, is small enough to fit in a garage.
But once it reaches an airport, its wings fly out and the tail extends in less than three minutes, allowing the ‘Skybrid’ vehicle to take to the skies.
Last month, the Switchblade received a rubber stamp of approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US government’s aviation authority, to begin the testing process.
Sam Bousfield, CEO of Samson Sky and Switchblade designer, said: ‘Our take-off speed is estimated to be 88 mph, which means we need to hit the speed at which the Switchblade begins to lift off the ground. Will be done.
Among the fastest in the ’10 speed run, our test driver took the Switchblade to 98 mph, which confirmed what the team saw on instruments, video and engine computer data – the Switchblade performed very well and very well. Well done.
Last month, the Switchblade received a rubber stamp from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US government’s aviation authority, to begin the testing process.
While on the ground, the Switchblade cabs on its three wheels and, at just 16.8 feet (5.1 m) in length and 6 feet (1.8 m) wide, is small enough to fit in a garage
According to the Oregon-based company, 2,100 people from 52 countries and all 50 states in the US have already reserved a vehicle kit when it is finally approved to go on sale.
- Length in Ground Mode: 16.8ft/5.1m
- Length in flight mode: 20.2 ft / 6.2 m
- Wingspan: 26.9 feet / 8.2 square meters
- Width: 6ft / 1.8m
- Height: 5.1 ft / 1.5 m
- Maximum ground speed: 125+ mph / 201+ kph
- Maximum airspeed: 200 mph / 322 kph
- Range: 450 miles / 724 km
- Take-off Distance: 1,100 ft / 335 m
- Landing distance: 700 feet / 213 square meters
- Features: Premium sound system, Reversing camera, Parachute, Rollover protection, Front and rear crumple zones, Digital instrument display
- Price: $170,000 (£145,000)
The Switchblade can now undergo a series of tests, starting with high-speed taxi testing and leading up to in-air flight tests.
According to the Oregon-based company, 2,100 people from 52 countries and all 50 US states have already reserved a vehicle kit when it is approved to go on sale.
Samson Sky says: ‘Early adopters include NASA engineers, airline pilots, entrepreneurs and more.
‘Recent FAA approval has attracted 360 new reservations over the past few weeks – and it’s notable that 58 percent of them are not pilots yet.’
Taking the Switchblade on the road will require a driver’s license and a pilot’s license to fly it, which must be done from a public or private airport.
This is different from vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles, which can take off from the road.
The purchaser has to make up 51 percent of their vehicle after purchasing the kit, as FAA class aircraft are in the ‘experimental/homebuilt’ category.
Each Switchblade kit will cost approximately $170,000 (£145,000) and include the engine, transmission, avionics, interior and access to the Samsun Builder Assist program.
The latter allows the builder to visit the Samsun Builder Assist Center to get assistance with the construction, which will take about a week.
The Switchblade has a maximum driving speed of over 125 mph (201 km/h), and Samson Sky claims it ‘drives well through curvy curves as a high-performance sports car’.
But when it reaches the skies it can reach 200 mph (305 kph) Altitude of 13,000 feet (4 km).
It is capable of a range of 450 miles (724 km) before needing to refill its 113-litre fuel tank.
Once it lands, it can quickly switch to driving mode, with the wings and tail safely tucked away until the pilot reaches his final destination.
Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /