It might sound like something from a science fiction film, or at least a James Bond movie, but soon you could be commuting to work in a car that could grow wings and soar into the sky if the traffic got a little heavy.
That’s assuming you had a few hundred thousand pounds to spare.
Yes, the first flying car has been developed and is being exhibited this week at the Top Marques Show in Monaco.
The AeroMobile is a two-seater sports car that can turn into a fully functioning plane. The car is due to enter the market at some point during the next three years, but drivers will be able to buy it earlier as long as they have can meet its awe-inducing price tag.
Motorists with an ordinary driving licence will be able to drive the car on the roads, but if they wanted to soar into the skies they would need a Sport Pilot Licence, for which they would have to undergo 40 hours of flight training.
The idea of a flying car isn’t necessarily a new thing. The first patent was registered in 1903 and in the 1940s Henry Ford was predicting that “a combination of the airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.”
But the AeroMobile company now feel their product could “change personal transport on a global scale” becoming a common method of transport for wealthy commuters and middle-distance travellers, especially in countries with poor road infrastructure.
The car, which can be parked in a normal parking space and refuelled at ordinary petrol stations, can reach a speed of 124 mph on land and fly for up to four hours at a time. The AeroMobile comes equipped with a parachute.
Though the flying car has been developed in Slovakia, the chief technical officer on the project is from the north east. Douglas McAndrew, who was born in Blyth, has previously worked for BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, McClaren and Smith EV.
Mr McAndrew said, “My ex-boss at McClaren contacted me and asked me to take a look at the business and the product, convincing me that he believed in the approach and direction taken to date.”
Mr McClaren visited Slovakia and soon became involved. He said, “This project is definitely the biggest challenge I have taken on and one that I would not have been confident in delivering if it were not for the experience gained in working for Land Rover, McClaren, Mercedes and Smith EV.”
“I believe the product we are now showing in Monaco is a demonstration of its credibility as a means of providing users with operational flexibility and freedom of movement.”