Watch: This Bonkers Flying Car Just Completed Its First Flight
Samson Sky’s Switchblade recently took to the skies over Washington State.
Samson Sky’s Switchblade is up, up, and away.
The flying car recently completed its maiden flight over Washington State, paving the way for a new fleet that will be thousands strong.
The retrofuturistic three-wheeler, which has been 14 years in the making, smoothly took off from the runway at Grant County International Airport with Veteran test pilot Robert Moehle at the helm. In cloudy but calm conditions, the aircraft flew to an altitude of 500 feet, passing over the expansive airport and surrounding foothills before touching down after roughly six minutes.
“The Switchblade handled great,” Moehle said in a statement shared Friday. “I’m excited to be the first to fly it away from the ground.”
The Switchblade’s inaugural flight lasted for roughly six minutes.
Moehle, who previously served as test director for the Boeing 787, has notched 2400 hours in 56 commercial and experimental aircraft. His input over the past months has helped the Samson R&D team perfect the Switchblade prototype. The team will now use the test data from the most recent flight to finalize production engineering and build several production prototypes.
“After 14 years of design and rigorous testing, our first flight is a huge milestone,” Samson CEO Sam Bousfield said. “This puts us on the path towards producing thousands of Switchblades to meet the large and enthusiastic demand we’re receiving.”
Indeed, demand for the Switchblade is strong, with more than 2,300 reservations from 57 countries. (The singular vehicle supports both right- and left-hand drive so it is suitable for collectors all over the globe.) Speaking of which, the street-legal ride can cruise the streets at up to 125 mph or fly through the skies at approximately 200 mph.
Owners can drive the Switchblade from their garage to a nearby airport and turn it into a plane in just three minutes. The wings and tail will fold back in neatly when you’re ready to get back on the road. The hybrid propulsion system runs on regular gas rather than aviation fuel, too, which means you can fill the vehicle up at any old gas station. Samson says the aircraft can cover 500 miles at 160 mph before it will need to be refueled. To top it off, the Switchblade can accommodate two people, plus luggage.
“Someone asked me how it felt to see the Switchblade fly,” added Bousfield. “I thought about it, and realized this is what it feels like when your dreams come true.”
The Switchblade starts at $170,000 and requires a private pilot’s license to fly. You can reserve the vehicle here for $2,000. Other flying cars also preparing to take flight include Klein Vision’s AirCar, Aeromobil’s sporty AM4 model, and the Pal-V Liberty.
Rachel Cormack, Digital Editor