From London to Timbuktu in a flying car
It’s 2020 and where are the flying cars as promised to us in Back to the Future? Well, believe it or not, they already exist!
In 2009 British entrepreneur and inventor Neil Laughton piloted a flying car from London to Timbuktu.
He used the Parajet Skycar, the world’s first road-legal flying car. It uses a giant propellor and ParaWing to fly through the air. It is designed so that if the engine fails it will glide safely back to earth. It also has a backup parachute in case the wings are broken.
- Top Speed on road: 140 mph (230 km/h)
- Maximum flying speed: 100 mph (160 km/h)
- Takeoff speed: 37 mph (60 km/h)
- Wingspan: 38 sqm ()
The Parajet Skycar was flown successfully three times, including from Spain to Morocco over the Straits of Gibraltar.
The future of flying cars
Since the Parajet Skycar flying cars have continued to progress and Boeing, Hyundai, Airbus, Toyota and Uber are all working on their own flying cars.
Uber has already launched Uber Elevate and will begin testing air taxis later this year with aims to make travelling by air taxis more affordable than owning a car. The Uber Air Taxi will be able to take off and land vertically enabling it to park in built up areas. The first trials will be in Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne.