This Switchblade flying car is ready to take to the skies

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AirCar, Leo Cup, AeroMobilSkyCar… The projects and concepts of flying cars there is no shortage of them, but very few reach the stage of a marketable finished product. This is the case of the Switchbladea car flying boat on which the American company Samson Sky has been working for 14 years. It has just obtained a flight authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the regulatory authority for the air sector.

Equipped with three wheels and a profile that looks more like the cabin of an airplane than the body of a car, the Switchblade has wings and a tail that retract. It takes no more than three minutes for the car to turn into a plane and vice versa. Two people can take place on board for a total carrying capacity of 260 kg. The Switchblade is powered by a 190 horsepower three-cylinder gasoline engine that acts as the generator to power the electric wheel and propeller motors.

The Switchblade flying car uses wings that fold under the chassis.  © Samson Sky

A flying car to assemble yourself

On the road, the machine can reach 200 km/h. In the tunes, Switchblade can travel up to 720 km, fly at an average of 257 km/h and reach an altitude of 16,000 feet. The footprint in car mode of 5.1m x 1.8m would be equivalent to that of a family sedan. For takeoff, you need a runway measuring at least 335 meters. For landing, 213 meters will be enough. As a three-wheeled vehicle, the machine can be registered as a motorbike in some US states. A private pilot license will be required to fly.

With the fire green from the FAA, Samson Sky will be able to begin its test flights which will lead to certification. A step that could take several more months. The manufacturer announces a price of 150,000 dollars (147,000 at the current rate) and says that it has already recorded 1,670 reservations. Accuracy that is important, the Switchblade will be delivered as a kit to be assembled. It will take 2,000 hours of work before you can put the ignition on. Samson has nevertheless planned an assistance center for the construction supposed to allow the assembly to be carried out in a week.

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