Joining the ever increasing list of companies which are offering cars which can be used as an airoplane as well is the American maker namely Samson Motors. Its offering, called the Switchblade is a two-seater car-plane with two-seats and three wheels. The aero-car is powered by a 190 hp 1.6 litre V4 engine. It’s a street legal machine, which you will have to drive from your garage to the nearest airstrip. Once there, the wings of the car will emerge out of the boywork with the tail extending out in less than 3 minutes. You can then fly it as an airplane with a speed of about 305 km/h at up to 13,000 feet. Of course, the driver / flyer needs to have a flying license and all the necessary training that goes with it. Once back on ground, the car transforms again into a car, back to driving mode with the wings safely stowed and protected and you can drive it back to your final destination.
In flight mode, the engine drives a propeller at the rear, making the switachable take to air with a length of 6.3 metres and width of 8.2 metres. On the ground, as a car, the Switchblade is 5.1 metres long and 1.8 metres wide. Transmission duties for the road are taken care of by a five-speed unit. The car / plane has a 724 km operating range, with a top speed of more than 200 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of around 6.5 seconds.
Inside the car, you get luxuries and creature comforts such as HVAC, adjustable leather trimmed seats and a hi-quality infotainment system. From a safety perspective, the car comes with roll-over protection and also a parachue, which will be a literal life saver if something goes wrong while the car is in the air.
The car will make its first public flight next year, and is expected to be priced at US$ 1,20,000 (Rs 77 lakh). The users will have to assemble the parts by themselves, or they can pay US$ 20,000 (Rs 13 Lakh) extra to have it done by Samson. Expect the deliveries to begin by late 2018. The car will be available in three variants
Winterized version including heated pitot tube, re-locatable ski racks, large capacity windshield de-ice and heated seats.
Ruggedized version including all standard features, all Snowbird features, beefed up landing gear, Garnet Tread Tires, reinforced frame, high-lift wing for Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) operation, and extra mounts for holding cargo in rugged terrain.
This ruggedized version includes all standard features, added ground clearance, beefed up landing gear, reinforced frame, high-lift wing for Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) operation, extra mounts for holding cargo in rugged terrain, and large-capacity radiators for hot climate
- Some other features of the Switchblade are provided below
- Extendable wings and tail
- Wings fully protected while driving
- Redundant ignition and fuel systems
- 5-speed transmission for driving
- Dual ground / air lighting systems
- Digital instrument display
- Premium sound system
- Heating and air conditioning
- Adjustable leather seats
- Complete vehicle parachute
- Front and rear crumple zones
- Roll over protection
- Front and rear disc brakes
- Safety glass front windshield
Infotainment system highlights
- Navigation radios
- ELT (Emergency Location Transmitter)
- Video rear view monitor and cameras
- Turn-by-turn Ground GPS
- Mp3 player
- Glass cockpit (flight instruments)
- Custom dashboardDynon 7″ Skyview digital display
- iPad Mini
- Dynon radio and transponder
- Dynon Intercomm and GPS 2020 receiver compass
- AOA (Angle Of Attack) gauge
This isn’t the first car to promise flight though. Many companies have working prototypes or concepts which they expect to bring to mainstream in a short perios of time. Notable mentions among the big companies include Airbus and Uber, who are looking at commercializing this mode of transport. Mainstream carmakers like Toyota and Geely have also been buying companies in the space namely Cartivator and Terrafugia repectively.
Check out some images of this flying car in the gallery below, along with a video