What?? Flying Cars Are Here?
Me: “Nick, I like that poster. That flying car looks so cool!”
Nick: “Actually, I bought one of those. That’s the Samson Sky Switchblade.”
I sat there in disbelief, eating my pizza. It was lunchtime at the hangar, and everyone was sitting around, engaged in conversation. I was a brand-new student pilot, and Nick Leonard was one of my mentors who happened to be an early investor in the Switchblade Flying Sports Car. Having visited the airport only a few times, I wasn’t familiar with the direction screws turned, and I was even hesitant to touch any of the airplanes for fear of damaging them.
That was three years ago. Since then, I’ve earned my private and commercial pilot certificates, an instrument rating, and most recently, a multi-engine rating. I’m in the process of restoring a Van’s RV-6 with the assistance of my mentors and friends, all while working in dispatch at a small charter company in Sacramento, CA. I’m also now a Samson Sky Ambassador.
When I was five years old, I dreamed of a flying car. I pondered ways to achieve flight, including making cardboard wings to mimic a bird’s flight. I loved being up high, climbing trees, and building swings. The sensation of being in the air was incredibly exhilarating.
However, it remained just a dream as flying cars didn’t exist in the early 2000s.
Times have changed significantly, and many flying cars are now in development. The Samson Switchblade is one such example. In March 2020, during a road trip from Sacramento to Portland, OR, I had the opportunity to see the Switchblade up close. Nick connected me with Sam and Martha Bousfield, and I set out for S39, Prineville Airport.
Martha greeted me warmly outside the hangar and shared some of the project’s details. They were working on top-secret testing, and as I stood on the balcony, I observed the process. I even shed a tear – I was witnessing my dream come true. They allowed me to experience the flight simulator, which felt both realistic and futuristic simultaneously. I left with a renewed sense of hope and excitement.
This year, I had the privilege to work for Samson Sky in their booth at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023. Alongside creating photo content, my fellow Ambassadors and I greeted visitors, addressed questions, and assisted in making reservations (with an already substantial list of reservation holders!). It was an honor to be part of a team with such driven, forward-thinking, and passionate individuals.
In the upcoming months, Samson Sky will be conducting more flight tests in preparation for their official first flight. They anticipate having the Samson Builder Assist Program ready approximately 2 years after the initial flight. For more information, you can visit their Facebook Page or website samsonsky.com.
Currently, my personal goal is to fly and get paid for it. I aim to travel and earn money, so when the opportunity arises, I can invest in a flying car because it’s actually happening. Flying cars are here, and I’m incredibly excited.
Tenley Ong sits on the wing of the Van’s RV-14 she piloted in a Fly By event at AirVenture 2023
Tenley Ong, Author