General Aviation News

February 8, 2024

Legislation paves the way for flying cars

The first flight of the Samson Switchblade. (Photo by Samson Sky)

Elected officials across the United States are working on laws to ensure flying cars can be easily registered and licensed in all 50 states.

Two U.S. companies — Samson Sky and Alef — and two European companies — PAL-V and Klein Vision — are projected to start production in 2025 of “roadable aircraft,” more commonly referred to as flying cars.

Samson Sky was one of three flying car companies that provided industry input to New Hampshire’s House Transportation Committee, resulting in the 2020 passage of the first ever legislation for state registration of roadable aircraft.

Dubbed the “Jetson’s Law,” it includes wording to allow flying cars a simpler method of state registration to allow their use on state roads and highways.

Others offering input included flying car companies Terrafugia, which has since moved its operations to China, and PAL-V, a Dutch company with a US office in New Hampshire.

“As with any small aircraft, you are not allowed to takeoff from or land on public roads in flying mode, except if you have declared an emergency, as is accepted under existing rules for aircraft,” officials with Samson Sky noted. “The new legislation basically specifies that drivers of roadable aircraft are required to adhere to the rules of the road while driving, the same as any other car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, or farm vehicle.”

With Jetson’s Law as a precedent for nationwide flying car regulations, officials with Samson are working with numerous other states on similar legislation.

Russell Bousfield, Samson’s legislative analyst, noted that bills are actively being drafted in eight of the more populous and forward-looking states. It is expected that these bill will be introduced in 2024.

“We’re very excited to provide industry input to state legislators who are laying the foundation for this new form of transportation,” he said. “It’s been very rewarding to work with influential lawmakers that share a desire to bring about new technologies and advancements in aerospace.”

“Legislation to help simplify the integration of roadable aircraft into the highway system will serve to benefit all flying car manufacturers,” said Bousfield.

Samson’s flying sports car, which had its maiden flight in November 2023, uses unleaded auto gas rather than leaded aviation fuel.

“From your garage, you drive your street-legal Switchblade to a nearby airport,” company officials explain. “Once there, you transform the vehicle from driving to flying mode, and fly to the airport closest to your destination, where you land, transform back to driving mode and drive the last few miles to your final destination.”

The Switchblade seats two, side-by-side, and flies up to 500 miles on a single tank of gas.

General Aviation News Staff

Switchblade, Samson Sky, Skybrid, and Skybrid Technology are trademarks or registered marks, and are used with permission on these pages.

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