Last year, GNN reported on the Samson Switchblade, a street-legal car that had received its airworthiness certificate from the FAA, and was ready to begin testing.
Last week, a veteran pilot took the Switchblade up on its maiden flight; driving it to the airport, deploying its wings and tail, and taking off for a 6-minute flight 500 feet above the ground.
The highly-anticipated two-seater received 2,300 reservations from 57 countries and all 50 states in the US, and the news of the successful maiden flight will likely see that grow.
Here’s exactly how it works. It needs an airport runway to take off and a private pilot’s license to fly. It uses unleaded gasoline rather than leaded airplane fuel and needs three minutes to switch into flying mode.
The aircraft can then be flown to the airport nearest your destination at up to 200mph and within a range of 450 miles. It can reach altitudes of 13,000 feet supposedly. Once landed, it folds in its wings and tail and is small enough to be parked in a normal garage.
“Today is the culmination of many years of hard work and persistence to make the vision of a flying sports car a reality,” said Sam Bousfield, Samson Sky CEO and designer of the Switchblade. “This puts us on the path towards producing thousands of Switchblades to meet the large and enthusiastic demand we’re receiving.”
The Samson Team will use flight test data to finalize production engineering and build several production prototypes.
FLYING TAXIS NEXT: New Ohio Factory to Produce Electric Air Taxis That Carry 5 Passengers With Vertical Take-off and Landing
The Switchblade comes in two kit types, a $180k model that permits a pilot to operate in clear weather conditions, and a $200k version to fly under different weather conditions, including flying into clouds and with zero visibility.
All models are shipped in a kit format, and must be assembled by a professional.
MORE FLYING CARS: Flying Taxi Takes Off for the First Time in Public Display From XPeng Motors – VIDEO
Perhaps the closest competitor to the Switchblade is the AirCar, a Slovakian flying car that received its own airworthiness certificate.
“AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars,” its creator, Professor Stefan Klein, said last year. “It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever.”
WATCH it take off…
SHARE This Era-Defining Moment With Your Friends Who Love Tech…