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Slovakian Flying Car Crashes During Test Flight, the Pilot Is Uninjured

When Aeromobil’s CEO Juraj Veculik announced his company will be releasing the first functional, flying car on the market in 2017, people in the auto industry raised an eyebrow. We were not that suspicious since we knew it was possible, but not cost effective. During the same statement, however, the Slovakian aircraft makers also said they are planning to go autonomous once the futuristic vehicle hits retail "stores". That’s a bit far-fetched.
Slovakian Flying Car Crashes During Test Flight, the Pilot Lefts Uninjured 1 photo
Unfortunately, our suspicions were somewhat confirmed even long before they’d fly the hybrid car without a pilot. The aircraft’s inventor and test pilot, Stefan Klein, was testing the latest experimental AeroMobil model this weekend in Nitra, West Slovakia. Something went wrong, and he decided to abandon (the ship?) and activate the advanced ballistic parachute system. The malfunction apparently happened in an altitude of approximately 300 meters (900 feet). Luckily nobody was injured.

Judging by the images taken after the crash, we’d say the prototype left the scene a little shattered. However, local reports are that the 54-year-old inventor didn’t need any help to leave the scene even though he was later taken to hospital for minor injuries. The company then explained in a statement that the crash is somewhat natural since the prototype is currently in a Research and Development stage.

This is a learning period that allows us to detect and subsequently refine our design. It is necessary to test the prototype in every way possible to establish its limits and to improve on them. The flight recording details will help us learn from the data and improve the performance of the vehicle prior to our next flight test,” the statement reads.

Whether or not the crash will affect the initial 2017 market release is not clear. But assuming that innovative and somewhat daring inventions naturally go through this type of situations we shouldn’t give up to the flying car quite yet. After all, think of Elon Musk’s SpaceX program or Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic project.

For now, we’d like to keep things on the ground though, and enjoy proper “old-school” driving if you’d excuse us.


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