REMEMBER watching old science fiction movies, where flying cars presented the high-level technology future? Well, it seems that the future happened sooner than we could expect. Now, the aviation segment welcomes many aerospace startups that work on developing flying cars and their prototypes. Can we actually take a sky taxi or become a pilot while driving a flying car? This article presents you with a list of 5 startups that brings the idea of flying cars to real life.
Lilium Aviation manufactures electric vertical take-off and landing jets. The startup was founded in 2015. Now, Lilium is based in a globally renowned high-tech hub for mobility in Germany. Lilium Aviation develops an air mobility product with an estimated range of up to 300 km and a top speed of 300 km/h, with zero emissions to make it efficient and an eco-friendly individual means of transportation. In 2015, the startup filled out a patent application for a vertical take-off aircraft, and in 2016, for an aircraft aerofoil. Overall, this startup showed a huge potential through years and attracted over $375 million in funding.
SkyDrive is a drone startup that mainly focuses on developing flying cars. In 2012, SkyDrive was established by a volunteer company CARTIVATOR. The startup is based in Japan. SkyDrive brings to life electrical vertical take-off and landing pilotless aircraft, which are expected to be used in taxi service. The product would help to improve transportation in islands, mountainous places, and would also be a suitable option for emergency transport. In total, SkyDrive has attracted over $22 million in funding. Numerous transportation companies, including Toyota, have invested in the startup.
The journey of Opener started in 2011, when Marcus Leng, the Founder and the CEO, created the first flight in a proof-of-concept vehicle in his front yard in Warkworth, Ontario, Canada. In 2014, Opener relocated to Palo Alto, California, and succeeded in the flight of BlackFly v1. The debut of BlackFly was described as “the world’s first ultralight all-electric fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.” The single-seat flying car requires neither a pilot’s license nor any other special competencies. In 2019, the third version of BlackFly successfully passed the extensive cold-weather testing. The product of Opener provides a super-charging option, meaning it takes less than half an hour to re-power its battery.
AeroMobil is an exceptional engineering startup that develops and sells compact flying cars, combining a real car and an aircraft in a single vehicle. AeroMobil was founded in 2010, and the startup is based in Bratislava, Slovakia. AeroMobil has an international team of approximately 40 experts from aerospace and automotive industries, from 8 different countries. AeroMobil focuses on developing more practical and environmentally friendly personal flying cars, which would solve limited road infrastructures problem and create a probability to travel faster. Generally, AeroMobil has attracted over $18 million in funding.
The startup, which presents itself as the “future of personal transportation” was founded by five MIT-graduate pilots in 2006. The Chinese-owned company is based in Woburn, Massachusetts, United States. Terrafugia mainly focuses on developing the flying car named TF-X and the roadable aircraft named Transition. Both TF-X and the Transition are created to be able to fold their wings, allowing the vehicles to work as legal street road vehicles. After the successful development of TF-X and the Transition, Terrafugia sets itself as one of the leaders of the mobility revolution. By having seven rounds of funding, in total, the company has attracted over $6 million. Moreover, Terrafugia is funded by two investors, including Haiyin Capital and Semyon Dukach.
Reprinted from Aerotime News