Flying cars have more often than not piqued our imaginations for the past few decades or so. Considering the horrendous traffic jams experienced by people all over the world, who doesn't want to be in a flying car to able to get to their destination faster? Unfortunately though, flying cars are still just a thing of science fiction for now.
Boeing however, could soon turn the idea of flying cars from concept into reality.
The aerospace company has recently completed the first successful test flight of their flying car prototype or 'passenger air vehicle' (PAV) as they call it. The vehicle was able to complete a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during its first ever test flight. At the same time, they also tested the vehicle's autonomous functions and ground control systems. While it may seem like a small achievement, it is still considered by Boeing as a big step in building actual, working flying cars.
“In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype. Boeing’s expertise and innovation have been critical in developing aviation as the world’s safest and most efficient form of transportation, and we will continue to lead with a safe, innovative and responsible approach to new mobility solutions,” said Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop.
According to Boeing, future test flights are scheduled to follow and will include forward, wing-borne flight as well as the transition from vertical to forward flying modes. The transition phase is often said to be the most challenging part in engineering a high-speed vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft/vehicle.
The passenger air vehicle is built by Boenig NeXt, which leads the company's urban air mobility efforts and developed in collaboration with Aurora Flight Sciences, which will be working on the electric VTOL systems.
Considering how far Boeing has got in just a year, we could actually soon see flying cars on the road and in the air in the not so distant future.