Like the aviators of old, flying car pioneer AeroMobil is learning the hard way that those who defy gravity can often be met with heavy-handed retribution. In testing its latest prototype, the flying car gave up the “flying” part mid-test, sending it crashing back to earth.
The flight took place this past weekend, when company co-founder Stefan Klein took the compact flying machine on a test run, during the course of which he ran into trouble, and lost control of the craft.
According to a local Slovakian news publication, witnesses at the airport where the test flight took place saw the AeroMobil 3.0 go into a tailspin, prompting the pilot to deploy the aircraft’s ballistic parachute system at around 900 feet. The ‘chutes allowed Klein to survive without serious injury a nasty wreck that ended in a crunching impact.
We’ve mentioned the aircraft before, when the 3.0 version was revealed just before the new year. The AeroMobil 3.0 is, like most of the current vehicles gunning for “flying car” status, more of a folding plane. A four-cylinder Rotax 912 light airplane engine keeps it going on the road and in the air, able to achieve 124 mph in flight and around 99 mph on the ground.
AeroMobil hasn’t stated what exactly happened, only saying that Klein encountered “an unexpected situation” before having to crash land. Thankfully, he was able to walk away from the accident on his own power, going to the hospital to be checked out, and being discharged shortly thereafter. AeroMobil will be going through the flight recorder data to find out just what happened and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The vehicle/aircraft is mangled, but salvageable, and a statement from the company indicated that product development will continue after the damaged parts are replaced. They also view the incident as just another part of the R&D process, omelet-making requiring the occasional broken egg and all that. Once the AeroMobil is patched up, it’ll be pressed back into test-flight service, taking us one step closer to a future of personal flying craft.