Parker T. May –
Optometrist, Private Pilot
For me, the Switchblade will be a Freedom Machine.
I have been following ﬂying cars for years, and in fact the potential for a ﬂying car is what made me want to be a pilot in the ﬁrst place. I like to travel, and the Switchblade will make ‘Air Touring’ a practical and exciting thing to do.
What is Air Touring? You start from home, load your gear in the Switchblade, jump in and swing by a gas station on your way out of town. You call in your ﬂight plan, and radio the tower while you’re driving to the airport. Once there, skip parking, plane rental, the fuel truck, and transferring gear from your car to the plane. Instead, you just drive onto the tarmac, extend the wings, do the walk around, run the engine up, and take off.
At the destination airport you land, fold the wings in and drive off to see the sights. There is no ground transportation to work out. You can change your plans at a moment’s notice. Stopping for lunch is no longer a problem. And when you’re done for the day, you simply drive to your favorite hotel for a comfortable night’s stay. The next day, repeat the entire process. And that is Air Touring.
For me the Switchblade will be a Freedom Machine. There is a place to land and take off near almost anything I have interest in. There are about 5,000 airports across the US, and each one is a potential destination. The trouble up to now has been that too many are in the middle of nowhere and have no ground transportation available. When you turn off the engine, you hear crickets. But with a Switchblade, who cares. Even ﬂying off somewhere for lunch, dinner or a show will be a lot of fun when you can drive that last mile or two in your Switchblade. Freedom of choice, door-to-door convenience, and ease of transition between ﬂying and driving, will change my use of aviation.
I know from my research that there are many challenges to face when designing a ﬂying car. Weight versus strength is just one, and that’s where Samson has found a sweet spot in their flying sports car design. The foresight Sam Bousfield had, to not make this a ‘car’, but instead a design with 3 wheels so it can be classed as a motorcycle, was brilliant. He saved at least a hundred pounds, circumvented endless regulations, and still made the Switchblade rugged and sporty and safe – on the road and in the air. And adding a whole-vehicle parachute is just one more winning touch that demonstrates the care that’s gone into this vehicle.
Samson will have a Builder Assist Program available too. For an Experimental Aircraft, a build center is the real key to success. Nobody wants to work alone for three years of weekends to complete a plane. Kit builders want expertise, tools, and adequate space to work in. They want support and education. They want reassurance. And the majority of builders want to arrive at the ﬁnal product as quickly as possible. A Builder Assist Program is the answer. It’s all about convenience and knowledge, and being conﬁdent in what you’ve produced.
I can’t wait to drive my Switchblade around town with my elbow hanging out of the rolled down window. And ﬂying will be as convenient as going to the store. No more climbing in and out of an ‘up in the air’, too hot, too cold and uncomfortable cockpit. The Switchblade will have air conditioning, a warm heater and a great sound system too.
And as for aesthetics, the Switchblade looks every bit as good as it functions. Bottom line, the Switchblade is a comfortable, practical, affordable ‘roady’, that will change General Aviation and personal transportation dramatically.
My garage is waiting.
Parker T. May – Virginia, USA