To fly or drive?
In a quest for a breakthrough in air and ground transportation, Samson Sky’s new Switchblade flying car has successfully taken its first flight.
The CEO Sam Bousfield joined FOX Business’ “Varney & Co.,” Monday to discuss the launch.
The three-wheeled, street-legal vehicle, which requires a private pilot’s license to fly and a driver’s or motorcycle license to drive, soared 500 feet above Grant County Airport in Washington and was airborne for about six minutes in its maiden flight.
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The Switchblade flying sports car is classified as an experimental aircraft, seating two occupants side-by-side, reaching a maximum airspeed of 200 mph and driving speed of 125+ mph. It has a flying range of 450 miles, and as a land-based vehicle, with the use of 91 octane automobile fuel, the vehicle gets 33 miles per gallon versus approximately 9 gallons per hour in flight, according to its website.
Although Bousfield is a pilot, he said, a “very experienced” pilot was first to be behind the controls.
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While FAA law prohibits any aircraft from taking off from private or public streets, the Switchblade is designed to be used “now,” according to Bousfield, and can take off from any airport.
“We have 5,000 airports in the U.S., so we can go ahead and utilize that underutilized airport’s infrastructure and be ready now,” he explained.
According to the company website, once you are at the airport, the wings swing out and the tail extends in under three minutes. You can then fly your aircraft directly to the destination at up to 200 mph and 13,000 feet. When you land, your vehicle safely transforms back into driving mode. The flying car also has systems in place to prevent the wings from retracting mid-flight and engaging the propeller without the vehicle set to flight mode.
While demand is high, Bousfield said, you won’t be able to operate these vehicles for another two years. There are already more than 2,300 reservations for the flying car from prospective customers in all 50 states and 57 countries.
“As Elon Musk says, getting in production is the biggest nut to crack. And that’s what we have to do, is getting production at the scale we have for the demand we’re seeing,” he said.
There are two basic versions of the Switchblade to choose from with price tags ranging from $170,000 to $195,000. There are also limited edition models available, according to Bousfield.
While the price does not include final paint, it comes equipped with a slew of safety features, including a parachute.
“We’re very proud that we put in an option for a full vehicle parachute for the vehicle so that you could use that in case you really need to,” Bousfield said.
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