Sci-Tech

Revolutionary flying car prototype crashes

Technically Incorrect: A test flight for the AeroMobil 3.0 flying car ends in disaster in Slovakia, though its pilot walks away with only minor injuries.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The prototype that crashed in Slovakia. AeroMobil

It's not easy to perfect a car that can fly.

On Friday, the AeroMobil 3.0 prototype flying car was on a test flight in Slovakia when eyewitnesses say it went into a tailspin.

Its inventor and the man behind the controls, Stefan Klein, 54, deployed the vehicle's parachute system, the Prague Post reports. Klein reportedly sustained only minor injuries.

An AeroMobil statement on Saturday offered that Klein "encountered an unexpected situation and activated the advanced ballistic parachute system in an altitude of approximately 300 meters (900 feet)."

One word that wasn't in the company's statement was "crash." Instead, AeroMobil said: "The system has proved itself fully functional and landed the entire vehicle without any injury to the pilot."

However, images published by Slovakia's Nitra show that the aerial vehicle looked rather damaged. The front end looks especially mangled.

AeroMobil said: "The detailed data and overall experience from this test flight will be thoroughly analyzed and the results will be used in the ongoing R&D and improvements of the prototype." It added that the testing program would continue.

This isn't the first time a flying car has crashed. In October of last year, a Maverick flying car crashed in Florida.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is one of those who believe that a flying car may not be a good idea at all. Speaking recently on Neil DeGrasse Tyson's StarTalk podcast, he said: "If there are flying cars, then, well, obviously then you have added this additional dimension where a car could potentially fall on your head and would be susceptible to weather. And of course you will have to have a flying car that -- where it will be like on autopilot, because otherwise forget it."

Even on autopilot, he said, there were still dangers. And then there was also the noise factor to consider.

The AeroMobil was thought to be one of the more advanced designs, even promising that one day soon its vehicle might be self-flying.

For now, pieces must be picked up and drawing boards gone back to.

Correction, 8:10 a.m. May 11: The pilot deployed the vehicle's parachute system but did not actually parachute out of the vehicle.