The AeroMobil 3.0 is the latest prototype flying car that its makers hope will revolutionise the transport industry. The upgraded model has significant improvements to the previous prototype, with a top groundspeed of 200 kph and a flight travel range of about 700 kilometres. Ben Gruber reports.
STORY: Up, up and away...this is the AeroMobil 3.0, a car/plane hybrid its inventors say will revolutionise the transport industry. The flying car weighs just 400 kilograms and has a flying range of 700 kilometres, making a trip between Paris in Munich in one go. The prototype was unveiled at a technology conference in Vienna on Wednesday. Its inventor Juraj Vuculik says he has been working on the project for the past 30 years, and that his dream of offering a fully functional flying car is almost a reality. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AEROMOBIL CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, JURAJ VACULIK, SAYING: "Our plan, the optimistic one, is that between 2016-2017 the first products will be able to delivered to the customers, but still this is open question. Now, as we know, the prototype the next period will be testing, testing, testing." Testing..to ensure that the Aeromobil meets regulatory standards and gains flight certification. The current prototype has wings that fold out to a span of 8 meters for flight. It runs on gasoline... consuming just 7.5 liters of fuel for every 100 kilometers traveled. Vaculik says the machine's sleek design is as much about form as it is function. He says that when ready, his invention will change the way people travel. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AEROMOBIL CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, JURAJ VACULIK, SAYING: "No, it's not a boy toy. It's not something just strange for Hollywood movies... it is something which is really necessary for the personal transportation because it is more efficient. It is much more emotional, and it is much faster because you are really travelling from A to B." Giving people the option to take to the air and avoid increasingly congested roadways… Flora Petersen from Vienna came to the unveiling to see what all the hype was about. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FLORA PETERSEN FROM VIENNA SAYING: "I love it! I didn't even know that it was yet possible actually, that you can make a car fly, so I really want to see how that works. I want to try it out for sure." And she may get her chance soon. The biggest challenge going forward for the team is to reduce the amount of runway the car needs to take-off - currently at 200 metres - a distance that is hard to come by in an urban landscape.