Twin-fuselage Carplane prototype makes public debut
April 28, 2015
By David Szondy
We've been teased with the prospect of a flying car for years now, with many designs, like the Terrafugia Transition, having been under development for some time but yet to arrive in garages or hangars. The Braunschweig-based company, Carplane hopes to square the circle with a twin-fuselage roadable monoplane that made its first public appearance in prototype form at the recent AERO show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. A regular fixture on science fiction and engineering magazine covers, the flying car is more than just an escape fantasy for frustrated commuters trapped in the sixth traffic jam of the week. There's also a business case for such vehicles, which would make private plane travel more practical for greater numbers of business people.
Small planes operating from local airports can greatly speed up business travel, but it often isn't practical because of the problem of getting to and from remote airfields, which aren't noted for being booming markets for taxi services or hire car agencies. A flying car could fill this gap, but there's a catch; cars make poor aircraft, and aircraft make poor cars. This is a problem that has plagued what Carplane puts at the over 2,000 flying car projects of the past century. Carplane uses a two-fuselage design, has road certification, can park in a standard car parking space, and stows its wings between its hull sections.
Developed with money from the EU and the German state of Lower Saxony, Carplane says it is aiming to have its vehicle certified both as a light aircraft (in the very light aircraft (VLA) category) and as a passenger car, without any exemptions in either category. Its creators also claim that it will fly at least as well as a trainer plane and drives as well as a compact car.
For more information: http://www.gizmag.com/carplane-flying-car-debut/37190/