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Flying Car Prototype Takes Off

Slovakian Aeromobil tests its first prototype

Flying cars may be closer than you think. (Bob Jagendorf/Flickr)
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In 1940, Henry Ford said: "Mark my word: A combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come." And it may be here.

A prototype for a commercially available, street-legal flying car made its first flight recently. Called the Aeromobil Version 2.5, this sleek, 992-pound "rodable aircraft" comes from Aeromobil, a Slovakian company. A veritable flying car, the Aeromobil doesn't require special aviation fuel, and its petite frame allows it to fit into a standard parking spot. This steel and carbon fiber design helps it go up to 124 mph with a range of 430 miles.

Its lead designer, Stefan Klein, has worked on projects for Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen and has been working a car with lofty aspirations since the early 1990s. But there are a handful of start-ups also developing flying cars around the world. The US-based Terrafugia has a prototype with wing folding vertically like a Lamborghini's doors. PAL-V, a Dutch design, is a three-wheeled car that turns into a gyrocopter at the airport.

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