Since the 20s, inventors have been promising flying cars as part of humanity’s glorious future, only to back off once they start grappling with issues like fuel efficiency and safety standards. But along the way, they’ve produced some remarkable prototypes, getting slightly more plausible every year.
This is the latest: the AeroMobil 3.0, a fully functional prototype unveiled at the Pioneers festival in Vienna last week. It’s the only one of its kind, a two-person aircraft that can retract its wings to morph into an unusually long roadster. It’s certified and flight-tested as an ultralight aircraft, but you can drive it around town and fill it up at a regular gas station. It’s our latest, best guess at what we might want from a flying car, and an attempt to spur enough interest to actually start producing the things. As AeroMobil CTO Stefan Klein put it at the unveiling, “it’s the beginning of a whole new adventure.”