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IPFS News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Australian startup plans a proper long-range, road-drivable VTOL flying car

•, Loz Blain

With VTOL capability, winged flight mode and a diesel range extender, this thing promises to fly at three times highway speed and offer some serious range.

"Serial problem fixer" Stephen Fries is as sick of traffic as the rest of us, and ready to start commuting in three-dimensional space. Unlike most of us, however, he's not planning to wait for somebody else to make it happen. He believes that practical, road-drivable electric VTOL aircraft are possible today, using existing and proven technology, and he's decided to prove it by building one.

The plan is similar to other electric VTOL aircraft being developed in this space: the Vahana from Airbus, the Lilium, the Joby, but with a few wrinkles of its own. Fries is planning a large cabin with space for five seats and a carrying capacity that'll allow each passenger some 25 kg of luggage.

On the road, it will be fairly limited, with a top speed governed to 60 km/h (37 mph). The design sees an enclosed trike with two wheels at the back and a driven, steerable wheel (or dual wheel) at the front with a modest 70 kilowatts (93 horsepower) of power to get it moving. It's designed for the skyway, not the highway. In road mode, it's compact enough to comfortably fit in a garage or single car parking space.